The next full day GMWRAG meeting takes place in Salford on Friday the 19th of January 2018. Full details of the meeting and options for travel have already been posted. We may even post options for food at lunch time in the next week if you’re planning on coming for the day.
Matthew Ahluwalia from the Public Law Project. Matt will talking about the role of PLP in RF v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (in which the High Court found that part of the PIP mobility regs. were unlawful and discriminated against people with mental health impairments); what the decision means and what happens or is likely to happen next.
As we have previously detailed, the meeting takes place at Manchester Town Hall on Friday the 17th of June 2016. We can now confirm that we have 3 speakers around the ongoing concerns on the impact of benefit sanctions.
The speakers are:
Catherine Connors, Skills and Work Board Business Manager – talking about “DWP Benefit Conditionality and Sanctions In Salford – One Year On”.
The meeting will open at 9:30am for a 10:00am start. Please note that, despite our having three speakers, the meeting is a half day and it is intended to close the meeting no later than 1:00pm.
As per previous posts about this meeting it remains the case that we find ourselves in the unusual position of needing to ask members for an indication as to who will be attending the meeting so passes can be issued in advance for visitors. We are checking out whether we can herd you into one meeting place and take you through security but, in the meantime, members should email Robin Serjeant at Manchester at email@example.com to confirm your attendance.
If you do not confirm your attendance to Robin we cannot guarantee that you will be allowed in. There is currently additional security in place because of the Referendum.
The two of you who contacted us to say you could attend the Thursday meeting… well we hope you can make the Friday. The other one… don’t worry we’ll forward all your emails to Robin.
In 2014 a Task Force comprised of Salfords Financial Inclusion Practitioners Group in Salford was invited by the Chair of the Skills and Work Board to produce a report into the impact of DWP conditionality and benefit sanctions in Salford. An interim report was produced in August 2014; endorsed by the Skills and Work Board and publicly launched in October 2014.
The conclusions of that report will surprise no-one. The threat and use of sanctions help no-one to move into work but do cause damage to the wellbeing of vulnerable claimants and can lead to hunger, debt and destitution. Furthermore, public and voluntary sector organisations were increasingly having to step in to support claimants in crisis due to sanctions but also benefit delays. This added to the strain on resources when faced with local government budget cuts.
It was recognised that the impacts of welfare reform were only just emerging so it was agreed an additional report would be produced after a period of at least 12 months had elapsed and particularly following the introduction of Universal Credit. That report can now be viewed here. Again, the conclusions should surprise no-one.
It was launched in Salford on Monday the 23rd of May 2016 at an event which included keynote speakers