#SaveWILG – The Soundtrack

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Every good campaign should have a soundtrack – a collection of banging tunes that lyrically relate to the situation that is being fought over. I have put together a selection of songs in a Spotify playlist that all relate in some way to the cause we have been working towards over the last few years. I hope this provides you with some light relief amid all the political discourse.

To listen to the playlist, simply click here.

 

Welsh Labour Conference 2018 #SaveWILG

There is so much to say about my first Welsh Labour Conference. I don’t have time to share everything that went on during this wonderful weekend as I have much to catch up with and organise for the next few busy weeks. Instead I will share a Facebook post that I added on Saturday night along with a collection of photographs taken by comrades during the weekend.

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This was a hugely important conference for myself and all recipients of the Welsh Independent Living Grant due to Motion 4 that was proposed by Clwyd South CLP. The Motion read as follows:

Contemporary Resolution to Welsh Conference 2018

Clwyd South CLP

MOTION: TO DEFEND AND SAVE THE WELSH INDEPENDENT LIVING GRANT (WILG)

The Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) was introduced to help people who previously
claimed from the UK government’s Independent Living Fund (ILF), which closed in 2015. More
than 1,500 people are helped by the WILG scheme across Wales and recipients all have a high
degree of care and support needs.

The WILG was due to run until the end of March 2017, but it has been agreed that funding
would continue for another year. The annual £27million fund will then transfer directly to local
authorities during 2018-19 so they can meet the support needs of all former ILF recipients by 31
March 2019.

This conference calls upon the Welsh Labour government to maintain the WILG, at least until
the next Welsh Assembly election, and to do so whilst retaining the following principles:

• Preservation of the triangular structure of the grant between the local authority, the
individual and a third-party stakeholder

• That the available funding should be ring-fenced in the future to ensure that allocated
monies are used for the purpose for which they are intended.

• That the well-being of disabled people should not be put at risk.

• That the most vulnerable people in society should be protected not endangered.

• That quality of life is a human right for our vulnerable individuals, rather than merely
maintaining existence.

The Welsh Labour Party to report back progress to conference 2019.

Following the proposal of this motion by my friend and comrade Angie Evans, the motion was supported by three other passionate delegates all of whom played a vital role ensuring that the proposal was passed convincingly. Cue celebrations.

The following post is from Facebook:

Saturday afternoon:

BOOM. What an emotional day at the Welsh Labour conference where Motion 4 was passed to #SaveWILG after comrades took the stage to praise a certain campaign and activist. However, this victory is not just mine but is key for disabled rights across Wales and throughout the UK. All my fellow campaigners should also take a bow – this wasn’t just a one man show. We should all rejoice while remembering the fight is far from over as we need to ensure Welsh Labour listen to the will of their members.

I propose a #SaveWILG celebration and review meeting next week. Have a drink for me tonight and sing ‘Ohhh Nathan Lee Davies‘ 

PS – Good riddance Carwyn…

[The following article first appeared on the excellent All too Human blog – After Carwyn Jones]

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The important thing to remember is that the #SaveWILG campaign still continues as although we have won a key battle in our attempts to save WILG, The war to preserve independent living continues…

This Saturday We Plead With The Party We Love & Represent To Listen & Do The Correct Thing: Wales Is United On This Vital Issue

Clwyd South Labour Party

Where Theres a WILG Theres a WayAbove caption: A brief summary of why WILG must remain & is so vital

It is rare that you find one particular issue where it is almost universal in terms of collective support; the public, party members, elected officials, the media, all other political parties in Wales…the list goes on. The campaign to Save the Welsh Independent Grant (aka SWILG or WILG) is one such example. This coming Saturday, on the agenda to be debated & voted on at Welsh Labour Conference, is the Clwyd South Labour party motion to reverse the Welsh government’s current stance of scrapping WILG in favour of an alternative form of benefit. To be clear, we are extremely reluctant to stand up to our beloved party, and while we have no doubt there are genuine intentions behind decisions made, the consequences of those decisions, and the potential devastating effects, means we have no choice.

Let…

View original post 2,901 more words

#SaveWILG: A Summary

 

 I am looking for support for my motion to save the Welsh Independent Living Grant at the Welsh Labour Conference at the weekend. A quick summary of why this is so important appears below:
  • You may be familiar with the demise of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) and the transition of funds to the devolved Governments.
  • In Wales, WILG was created while the Welsh Government carried out a consultation to decide the best way forward. There were four different options on the table and disabled people and their families made it clear that their favoured option was to create an ILF for Wales. Respondents to the consultation were strongly opposed to transferring the funds entirely to Local Authorities.
  • Alas, in November 2016 the Welsh Government decided to ignore the will of the people and transferred funds to Local Authorities starting on March 31st 2018. This has now been put back until March 31st 2019.
  • The Welsh Government claim that this decision was made with the unanimous support of the WILG stakeholder group. This is simply not true as I know five members of that group who were opposed to the decision but their views were lost as they were drowned out by the Local Authorities who were represented on the stakeholder group and the Welsh Government with the injection of cash they would receive via the Revenue Support Grant. This means that the money that the Local Authorities will receive is not ring fenced.
  • In May 2015, I was told by my Social Worker that without WILG my hours of care and support would be reduced from 86.5 hours a week to just 31. I have a progressive disease of the nervous system so I need more hours of care now, not less.
I am leading a campaign to save the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG). Our campaign has attracted support from the likes of Ken Loach and we are working with BBC Wales Live on a future programme which is scheduled for May. I am also exchanging letters with the Minister for Children and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies, AM via the petitions committee at the Senedd who are very supportive of my campaign and holding the Welsh Government to task. In addition, one of the two candidates for Welsh Labour Deputy Leader, Julie Morgan AM, has pledged to launch an inquiry into why WILG is being closed. This is just a small glimpse into what has been going on in Wales. Much more can be found out by reading my blog entries at:  https://nathanleedavies.wordpress.com/
If you think you may be able to help us in our fight to Save the Welsh Independent Living Grant then I would be happy to talk to you in greater detail about our campaign and our specific objectives.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Nathan Lee Davies
Disabled Activist and Author
https://www.facebook.com/SaveWILG/
https://twitter.com/nathanleedavies
https://nathanleedavies.wordpress.com/save-wilg-campaign

Petitions Committee Do Us Proud #SaveWILG

I have just been cheered up no end by the petitions committee speaking about Save WILG and paying tribute to a certain campaigner. I was almost in tears. Janet Finch-Saunders did us proud and she wearing a badge of ours. She is a Welsh Conservative but she really is a Tory with a heart of gold.I would vote for her over Huw Irranca-Davies any day.

This section about WILG appears after about 1 hour 24 minutes.

The video, broadcast by Senedd TV, can be viewed by clicking here.

They Can’t Take That Away from Me #SaveWILG

What my #SaveWILG campaign is in need of is a theme tune. I hit upon this idea while listening to Spotify in bed the other night. Frank Sinatra featured on my playlist performing his classic hit They Can’t Take That Away from Me.

Without permission, I have took it upon myself to change the words to this popular hit, in order to make it fit with the campaign. If anyone is interested in recording this song I would be happy to contribute to recording costs as I think it would be a really effective way of raising awareness. I am getting carried away with myself now, but I really like the new lyrics that I have created.

Anyway, see for yourself with the video of Frank Sinatra posted below, so you have no excuse not to sing along. I have also added a few paragraphs from Wikipedia about Frank Sinatra and composers Ira and George Gershwin. I do hope there are no copyright issues over the use of this tune as I am giving the writers full credit and not claiming any credit for myself.

I hope you like my new version.

The way you wear your badge
The way you stamp your feet
The memory of all that
No, no Huw can’t take WILG away from me
 
The way our hope just beams
The way we fly the flag
The way we stand our ground
No, no Huw can’t take WILG away from me
 
We may never never meet again, if Welsh Labour turn left

Still I’ll always, always keep the memory of

The way you wear your badge
The way you stamp your feet
 The way you changed my life
No, no Huw can’t take WILG away from me
No, Huw can’t take WILG away from me

Francis Albert Sinatra (/sɪˈnɑːtrə/; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor, and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide.[2] Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants, Sinatra began his musical career in the swing era with bandleaders Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. Sinatra found success as a solo artist after he signed with Columbia Records in 1943, becoming the idol of the “bobby soxers“. He released his debut album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra, in 1946. Sinatra’s professional career had stalled by the early 1950s, and he turned to Las Vegas, where he became one of its best known residencyperformers as part of the Rat Pack. His career was reborn in 1953 with the success of From Here to Eternity, with his performance subsequently winning an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Sinatra released several critically lauded albums, including In the Wee Small Hours (1955), Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! (1956), Come Fly with Me (1958), Only the Lonely (1958) and Nice ‘n’ Easy (1960).

Ira Gershwin (6 December 1896 – 17 August 1983) was an American lyricist who collaborated with his younger brother, composerGeorge Gershwin, to create some of the most memorable songs of the 20th century.[1]

With George he wrote more than a dozen Broadway shows, featuring songs such as “I Got Rhythm“, “Embraceable You“, “The Man I Love” and “Someone to Watch Over Me“. He was also responsible, along with DuBose Heyward, for the libretto to George’s opera Porgy and Bess.

George Jacob Gershwin (/ˈɡɜːrʃ.wɪn/; September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer and pianist.[1][2] Gershwin’s compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928), as well as the contemporary opera Porgy and Bess (1935).

 

R (Luke Davey) v. Oxfordshire CC Court of Appeal 2017 #SaveWILG

The following article is from a website produced by Luke Clements who is a Professor of Law at Leeds University and a Solicitor.

This is an invaluable piece of writing from Mr Clements who would certainly a good person to speak with and have as an ally for our campaign. I remember Sheila Meadows OBE mentioned the work that Mr Clements had been doing many years ago, but he recently came to my attention again following an email from Ann James who has a professional and personal interest in Social Care in Wales. She set up this journal with Luke Clements last Autumn and it is a resource which enables critical discussion and analysis of social welfare law in Wales. It also provides exposition of  the SS&WB (Wales) Act 2014, and provides briefings on aspects of the law.

It is really encouraging to have received an email from someone so knowledgeable at the start of a very important period for the #SaveWILG campaign.

Without further ado here is the excellent article that I will also email to all of my campaign team as we prepare for the Welsh Labour Conference on April 20-22.

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People in Wales in receipt of the Independent Living Grant, the Welsh Government’s interim measure to soften the blow of the closure the Independent Living Fund (ILF) would have followed R (Luke Davey) v Oxfordshire CC and the subsequent appeal with interest in the hope that the Court of Appeal would overturn the earlier High Court decision.

The Welsh Government has confirmed that the Independent Living Grant will continue in Wales until March 2018 and in the subsequent year all those who previously received the ILF will be re- assessed and have their care and support provided for by their local authority.

It is likely that many former ILF recipients will see attempts to reduce their care and support funding in the same way as Luke Davey.

In this case we have seen the High Court loathed to strike down the Local Authority decision as being irrational and the Court of Appeal found no reason to interfere with the decision of the High Court.

One should take heart that Davey does not give local authorities a carte blanche – and it should most certainly not be taken as creating an open season to cut services. It decides that the well-being duty is a legally enforceable obligation and that once a support plan has been agreed local authorities must provide the funds to meet every aspect of that plan. It also states – in terms – that once there is evidence that a direct payment is insufficient to secure suitably qualified carers then the local authority must address this by increasing the amount paid.

Davey is a case ‘on its facts’: disheartening and quite possibly a personal tragedy for Luke Davey. Cases of this kind come along infrequently but they do not upend the social care legal order.

For us in Wales, the excellent Merton decision and the facts of the Davey case, provides the basis for disabled people to expect an assessment that gives primacy to their well-being outcomes identified by the person being assessed or their advocates. It highlights that Local Authorities need to provide a rational for any changes in provision that will stand up to the test of irrationality should it be challenged in the Courts.

The transition to local authority provision for previous recipients of the ILF is not an automatic signal for a reduction in care provision for the individual who is eligible for care and support.