Button Badges, Welsh Language Postcard and Memes #SaveWILG

Save WILG button badges – Only £1

Wear one with pride to help raise awareness and raise much-needed funds to propel the campaign forward. Contact me to make a purchase and I will make sure the badge gets to you quickly and safely.

Introducing our new Welsh Language Postcard for those of you who speak the lingo:

 

You can help #SaveWILG in so many ways such as buying a Save WILG and sharing these fantastic memes – created by my legendary comrade Brian Hilton – on social media or email. Make a difference this Xmas and help my crusade…

I have also updated the #SaveWILG Campaign page and the Shop. Postcard

Solidarity.

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Nothing Left

Haiku is a genre of classical Japanese poetry and one of the major genres of Japanese literature. A Haiku consists of 3 lines and 17 syllables. Each line has a set number of syllables see below:

Line 1 – 5 syllables
Line 2 – 7 syllables
Line 3 – 5 syllables

This is my  21st Haiku poem of 2017 and – along with the 118 Tanka poems I have written so far – I am well on my way to putting together a collection of poems to reflect the struggles of disabled people in 21st century Britain. I would like to publish these poems in a book to be released in 2018, and I am close to finding a team of illustrators to help me add images to my words and create the type of book that I envisage.  I am speaking with students from Glyndwr University who are interested in collaborating with me on this exciting project. Two of the talented artists who have agreed to illustrate my work are Julie Rogers-Owen and Heather Wilson. Samples of their work can be found by clicking on their names. There are other artists involved but I do not have links to their work at the moment. I hope to rectify this soon.

After so many short poems I am itching to write a longer verse that is not restricted by the number of syllables permitted. I now have the confidence to take on this challenge that has been inspired by the poetry of John Cooper Clarke. I am also worried that I am beginning to repeat certain phrases and feel that I need to work from a fresh palate. I will still be producing Tanka and Haiku poems, but feel the time is right to explore other forms of poetry.

Time to face the truth

She does not give a shit, mate

Just like all the rest

Round and Round and Round

Haiku is a genre of classical Japanese poetry and one of the major genres of Japanese literature. A Haiku consists of 3 lines and 17 syllables. Each line has a set number of syllables see below:

Line 1 – 5 syllables
Line 2 – 7 syllables
Line 3 – 5 syllables

This is my  20th Haiku poem of 2017 and – along with the 118 Tanka poems I have written so far – I am well on my way to putting together a collection of poems to reflect the struggles of disabled people in 21st century Britain. I would like to publish these poems in a book to be released in 2018, and I am close to finding a team of illustrators to help me add images to my words and create the type of book that I envisage.  I am speaking with students from Glyndwr University who are interested in collaborating with me on this exciting project. Two of the talented artists who have agreed to illustrate my work are Julie Rogers-Owen and Heather Wilson. Samples of their work can be found by clicking on their names. There are other artists involved but I do not have links to their work at the moment. I hope to rectify this soon.

After so many short poems I am itching to write a longer verse that is not restricted by the number of syllables permitted. I now have the confidence to take on this challenge that has been inspired by the poetry of John Cooper Clarke. I am also worried that I am beginning to repeat certain phrases and feel that I need to work from a fresh palate. I will still be producing Tanka and Haiku poems, but feel the time is right to explore other forms of poetry.

The same old pattern

A repetitive cycle

Terminal boredom

Letter from Ian Lucas MP

I received this letter from my MP Ian Lucas who has been extremely supportive of my #SaveWILG campaign. He was trying to find out information about how the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) has affected disabled people. He wanted me to see the response he received – printed below – from Sarah Newton MP, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work as it looks as if the Government is shifting responsibility for ILF  to local authorities who will now carry the can.

Thank you to Ian for his continued support. Together we will fight for justice for all disabled people against an obviously heartless Government…

Dear Ian

Thank you for your email of 2 November to my predecessor concerning the Post Closure Review of the Independent Living Fund (ILF).

As you are aware, the responsibility for the ILF has been devolved to local authorities. Central Government does not monitor individual authorities’ assessment of need. At the point of closure of the ILF, 94 per cent of users were also receiving support from local authorities. This duplication of support indicated that there would be a rationalisation of awards , therefore, it was expected that some awards would be reduced to rectify this.

The aim of the post closure review was to provide a qualitative assessment of the experiences of the closure of the ILF in England, as perceived by its former recipients and local authority staff within adult social services department.

This qualitative research comprised in-depth interviews with 50 former ILF users. The ILF closed in 2015 and the interviews took place between August and September 2016, therefore providing a more accurate idea of the immediate impact of ILF closure on recipients. Conducting research of this type is challenging. Many ILF users have mobility or communication difficulties or are vulnerable, which means that interviews are time consuming and can only be conducted by specially trained interviewers.

The Department fulfilled its obligations by publishing the findings of the interviews, but we would not publish the individual interviews themselves for Data Protection reasons.

We have also published the equality analysis that was conducted prior to the closure of the ILF, which can be accessed using the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-the-independent­ living-fund-equality-analysis

I can assure you that the Department is not seeking to withhold information on present payments to former ILF recipients. As indicated in the answer to your recent Parliamentary Question, the Department does not in fact hold this information. I suggest that you seek the information from individual local authorities.

Sarah Newton MP

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work

Memory Match – 22-04-78

Throughout the 2017/18 football season I will be contributing to the Wrexham AFC matchday programme. I will be penning a feature called Memory Match, a look back at classic Wrexham games from the past that I will share in this blog over the coming months.

This is the third successive season that I have been writing the Memory Match column. Indeed, when I have written a Memory Match for every Football League season that Wrexham AFC enjoyed,  I would like to compile all the columns into a book that will reflect the rich history of my beloved football club.

22-04-78

Wrexham v Rotherham United

League Division Three

Racecourse Ground

Result: 7-1

Wrexham: Davies, Evans, Dwyer, Davis (Cegielski), Roberts, Thomas, Shinton, Sutton, Lyons, Whittle, Cartwright

Goalscorers: Thomas, Lyons, Whittle (3, 2 pens), Shinton, Cartwright

Rotherham United: McAlister, Forrest, Breckin, Rhodes, Spencer, Green, Finney, Phillips, Gwyther, Goodfellow, Crawford

Goalscorer: Phillips

Attendance: 16,586

I wasn’t there. Almost four decades later I only have a dog-eared programme and a video cassette of poor quality images – that seem to have been shot from the moon – to remind me that the game really did happen.

After the heartbreak of the previous season, we had lost manager John Neal to the bright lights of Middlesbrough, star striker Billy Ashcroft joined him and a flood of transfer requests resulted. Arfon Griffiths stepped-up as player-manager, but the Robins recorded just one win in their first seven games and found themselves languishing in eighteenth position in the Third Division table. Griffiths took decisive action by signing Dixie McNeil for £60,000 from Hereford United and goalkeeper Dai Davies was recruited for a bargain £8,000 from Everton. “I am not a Welsh nationalist, but the little girl was beginning to get a Liverpool accent,” said the Welsh-speaking keeper.

‘Deadshot’ Dixie scored on his debut and Wrexham went on a thirteen game unbeaten run to top the league table for the first time in four years. However, it was the cup exploits of Arfon’s men that really made the nation sit up and take notice. It took Liverpool and Arsenal to knock the Welshmen out of the League and FA Cup competitions, both at the quarter-final stage.

Thankfully these cup shenanigans did not interfere with the Town’s league form and seven straight victories in March helped earn Griffiths his fourth manager of the month award of the season.

As the season drew to a close, Wrexham faced relegation-threatened Rotherham United on the back of five games without a win. Nevertheless, if Wrexham could win this match they would ensure promotion to the second tier for the first time in their history. In preparation for this massive game Arfon took his players to the Costa del Llandudno for a ride on the donkeys and a tram ride up the Great Orme. Whatever happened on the north Wales coast certainly helped to quash the tension and banish the jitters as Wrexham returned to the Racecourse to destroy Rotherham in emphatic fashion and finally escape from the Third Division.

16,586 fans crammed into the Cae Ras and saw Mickey Thomas fire us ahead on 12 minutes. Following a return pass with John Lyons, the magic little man fired past United goalkeeper Tom McAlister and celebrated with a somersault. Only three minutes later Lyons doubled our advantage after Les Cartwright clipped the ball back from the by line. Wrexham had the bit between their teeth and added a third after a penalty was awarded following a clumsy challenge on Cartwright by visiting defender Mark Rhodes. The spot-kick was blasted home by Graham Whittle.

Bobby Shinton got his name on the score sheet after he turned a defender inside out before jabbing the ball into the far corner. Before the half time whistle, the Reds made it five as Whittle headed home Cartwright’s cross. It was such a fine display that even the referee – Mr Bert Newsome – joined the rest of the ground in a standing ovation.

Battling Rotherham pulled one back after the break when Wayne Cegielski’s header dropped invitingly for Trevor Phillips to promptly smash the ball past Dai Davies.

Wrexham restored their five-goal advantage from the penalty spot as Whittle completed his hat-trick. Cartwright made a spectacular run to fire in a seven. At the final whistle, the crowd erupted and spilled onto the pitch in never-to-be-forgotten scenes — at least for those who were there.

***

The result did not help Rotherham’s cause, but they stayed up by one place.

Letter from Huw Irranca-Davies AM

I am sharing this letter from Huw Irranca-Davies  AM to Lesley Griffiths AM concerning my #SaveWILG campaign. There are many, many issues that I would like to pick up from this email, but I am biting my lip until we can arrange a meeting with my MP and Huw Irranca-Davies himself.

I hope this can be in one of the 24 days before Christmas, so that I can discuss my concerns and enjoy the festive break but I am not holding my breath and am preparing for my 8th consecutive Christmas of concern and worry over the future of Independent Living for disabled people in 21st century Britain.

Seasons Greetings…

***

Lesley Griffiths AM
Assembly Member for Wrexham
Lesley.Griffiths@assembly.wales

 

14- November 2017

Dear Lesley

Thank you for your letter to Rebecca Evans AM on behalf of your constituent, Mr Nathan Davies, outlining his ongoing concerns regarding the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG). I am replying as policy on social care in Wales now forms part of my Ministerial portfolio.

I have agreed to meet Mr Davies and his MP, Ian Lucas, and my Diary Secretary is arranging for this to take place as soon as is possible.

In relation to Mr Davies’ comments about Wrexham County Borough Council, my officials have been in contact with the authority to ascertain the latest position. I am aware that Wrexham initially had social worker vacancies which impacted upon its ability to undertake future support reviews of WILG recipients and reviews of those receiving social care more generally. This seems to have occurred in Mr Davies’ case.

Wrexham County Borough Council now informs us that it has recently recruited additional social workers to undertake reviews of those receiving social care from the authority, thereby releasing more experienced officers to undertake future support reviews of its WILG recipients. Recipients will be contacted individually by the authority to enter into a dialogue as to the wellbeing outcomes they wish to achieve to live independently and to agree the future support they require to achieve these. The authority intends to complete as many of these support reviews as possible within this financial year, with those not able to be completed by then as soon as possible in next financial year. Whenever a WILG recipient’s support review is completed, their payments under the WILG will not cease until a package of care to deliver the future support they require is in place.

One public consultation on the way in which former recipients of the Independent Living Fund should be supported in the future was held. This ran from October to December 2014 and asked for views on the principle of four potential options to provide support. A summary of the responses received and the conclusions reached was published in March 2015. Stakeholders, including recipients, were informed of this at the time and until recently this summary appeared on the Welsh Government’s website (only being removed as part of a wider updating of our website). I attach a copy of the consultation summary published in 2015 together with a copy of the information letter on this which officials sent to local authorities at the time for them to provide to recipients. I would be grateful if you would provide these to Mr Davies as part of your response to him.

As regards Direct Payments, I understand Wrexham County Borough Council currently operates around 200 such payments to adults to enable them to have control over the care and support they obtain to meet their wellbeing outcomes. The authority is not aware of any operational issues affecting the delivery of these, although accepts that some individuals experience difficulties with recruiting appropriate staff or with securing the care they need from support providers. To ensure their practice is current and appropriate, it has held discussions with officers from Flintshire County Council relating to a collaborative approach to delivering Direct Payments in the region.

If Mr Davies has specific concerns regarding his care package or his Direct Payments from the authority, I understand that Sheila Finnigan-Jones, Service Manager for Disability Services, is happy to meet him to discuss these. Her contact details are:

Tel: Wrexham (01978) XXXXXX E-mail: Sheila.finnigan-jones@wrexham.gov.uk

Huw lrranca-Davies AC/AM

Y Gweinidog Gofal Cymdeithasol a Phlant Minister for Children and Social Care

Microwave Meals

Haiku is a genre of classical Japanese poetry and one of the major genres of Japanese literature. A Haiku consists of 3 lines and 17 syllables. Each line has a set number of syllables see below:

Line 1 – 5 syllables
Line 2 – 7 syllables
Line 3 – 5 syllables

This is my  19th Haiku poem of 2017 and – along with the 118 Tanka’s I have written so far – I am well on my way to putting together a collection of poems to reflect the struggles of disabled people in 21st century Britain. I would like to publish these poems in a book to be released in 2018, and I am close to finding a team of illustrators to help me add images to my words and create the type of book that I envisage.  I am speaking with students from Glyndwr University who are interested in collaborating with me on this exciting project. Two of the talented artists who have agreed to illustrate my work are Julie Rogers-Owen and Heather Wilson. Samples of their work can be found by clicking on their names. There are other artists involved but I do not have links to their work at the moment. I hope to rectify this soon.

After so many short poems I am itching to write a longer verse that is not restricted by the number of syllables permitted. I now have the confidence to take on this challenge that has been inspired by the poetry of John Cooper Clarke. I am also worried that I am beginning to repeat certain phrases and feel that I need to work from a fresh palate. I will still be producing Tanka and Haiku poems, but feel the time is right to explore other forms of poetry.

Never fall in love

It will result in heartbreak

     You are on your own