Author: nld01

Written Statement by Julie Morgan AM #SaveWILG

I have just received this Written Statement by Julie Morgan AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services. It is an update on the current situation regarding the Independent Care Assessments that the #SaveWILG Campaign insisted upon.

This is another positive step forward and it is encouraging that the end is now in sight…

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TITLE: Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) – Update on Independent Care Assessments

DATE: 18 July 2019

BY: Julie Morgan AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services

In February I announced a change of approach in the way that people who used to receive payments under the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) were in future to access their support from their local authority’s social services. This is an update on the arrangements I am introducing.

It is paramount that people’s ability to live independently is not compromised by changes to the way their care and support is arranged and provided. It was for this reason that I decided that those people who used to receive payments under the WILG should have the opportunity of an independent care and support assessment if they are unhappy with the outcome of their local authority care and support assessment. Those assessments are being undertaken to agree with people the wellbeing outcomes they wish to achieve to live independently and to agree how these would be met.

While the majority of people who used to receive WILG payments are content with the care and support they are now receiving, where people are unhappy with the outcome of care assessment the ability to have an independent care assessment would provide for a second opinion. It also restores for them the tripartite decision making arrangement that existed under the Independent Living Fund (ILF) of recipient, independent ILF social worker and local authority social worker. This was something that the “#Save the WILG campaign” was very keen to have restored.

I am pleased to report that we have made good progress in putting in place the arrangements for these independent care assessments. I wrote in April to all former WILG recipients informing them of their ability to have an independent care assessment and explained my reasons for providing this opportunity. If people wanted an independent assessment, I asked them to contact their local authority by 14 June to request this, so we could gauge the level of interest. By that date 55 requests had been made across 14 local authorities. This is out of approaching 1,400 people in Wales who received payments from the WILG. This would seem to confirm our understanding that the vast majority of former WILG recipients are content with the outcome of the care assessment they had and the subsequent care and support they are receiving. However, it does also confirm that I was right to introduce this change of approach

for what is a significant number of people who have concerns about the outcome of their care assessment.

We have in addition completed a procurement exercise to secure an organisation to recruit and manage the independent social workers required to undertake these assessments. These social workers will be suitability qualified and experienced to perform this task, being registered as such on the relevant register maintained by Social Care Wales. They would consequently be well versed in the ethos and requirements of our Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 and the regulations and code of practice we have made under this in relation to care assessments and meeting care needs. They would not, however, be employed by a local authority in Wales so as to maintain their independence.

Following evaluation of the bids received for this contract, ICS Assessment Services Ltd. has now been appointed to organise and undertake the independent care and support assessments requested. ICS has significant experience in both social care and undertaking assessments, having worked previously with a range of local authorities across Wales and England. Officials have met with representatives of ICS, the Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru and the Welsh Local Government Association, to agree the process that will be followed to complete the independent assessments and to work through the practicalities associated with this. This is well advanced so that the arrangements to begin to undertake ICS assessments should be in place by the end of this month. I will be writing shortly to those former WILG recipients who have requested an independent care and support assessment be update them in more detail on this and to confirm what they need to do to pursue their assessment.

I would remind Members that the cost of these independent care assessments, and any additional support for people that might be identified from them, will be met by the Welsh Government. This is so that there can be no question of changes being made to people’s care and support as a cost cutting measure. The under-pinning principle of my approach is to ensure that outcomes reached are consistent with supporting people’s agreed wellbeing outcomes.

I appreciate that establishing these arrangements has taken some time. However, it is imperative that we put in place properly considered arrangements. The “#Save the WILG Campaign” has been supportive of the approach I am taking, as we share a common interest in seeing changes implemented properly.

I will update Members as further progress is made.

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Corbyn Issues Brexit Update #JC4PM

Colonel Blink: War Games

 

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This morning I have been to Specsavers in Broughton to pick up two new pairs of glasses. This is important for two reasons:

I usually visit Specsavers in Wrexham for my annual check up. This year I have been forced to make the longer journey to Broughton due to the hassle of  parking my car in Wrexham. When I launched a petition last year to fight the proposed introduction of car parking charges for Blue Badge holders, I argued that the town would suffer as a consequence. I am now totally evading my hometown in favour of a retail park in Flintshire that offers free parking in a well policed, nonthreatening and clean environment.

It is a sad indictment of how far the Conservative/Independent led Council have let the town decline, that I would rather drive to a less convenient location for an essential piece of business. I will continue to do this while the Council is being led by many short sighted and unscrupulous buffoons who care more about lining their own pockets rather than doing what is best for the town.

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I have had to have a new pair of varifocals. I am having a tough time getting used to them. The optician said it could take up to two or even three weeks for my eyes to adjust as there is a lot going on with my new lenses. I have also had new frames and think my new look suits me – at least I hope it does…

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A potential new anthem for fans of Wrexham AFC? #JustSaying

Memory Match – 25-08-28

It has been a while since I last wrote a Memory Match column. I spent 2015-2018 writing these articles for the Wrexham AFC matchday programme when we were proud to be a community club.

Unfortunately, the club’s treatment of disabled supporters is nothing short of a disgrace, while the treatment of the proactive Disabled Supporters Association leaves a lot to be desired. I am therefore withdrawing my support of the club until ALL disabled supporters are given adequate and inclusive facilities from which to enjoy the football served up at the Racecourse.

Instead I will go to watch 90 minutes of action, wherever I feel I am welcomed. It goes without saying that I will always have one ear on the Wrexham result as it is not the actual club that I have fallen out with. It is merely the way the club is being run that I have an issue with. I will continue to attend matches when it is my turn on the platform rota and away matches, but I am not wasting any more time at the bottom of the stand with an abysmal view of the action while exposed to the elements. It is a disgrace that disabled supporters are being treated in such a way at the start of the 21st century.

I still want to continue with these Memory Match articles as they proved popular. I also enjoy writing them and remembering a time when it was enjoyable to visit the Racecourse and watch a decent standard of football.

25/08/28

Wrexham v Chesterfield

League Division Three (Northern Section)

Racecourse Ground

Result: 4-3

 Wrexham: Greatrex, Jones, Lumberg, Read, Bellis, Graham, Longmuir, Rogers, Mays, Woodhouse, Gunson

Goalscorers: Mays (4)

 Chesterfield: Bilcliff, Beeson, Bicknell, Wass, Fell, Neale, Bloxham, Roseboom, Cowan, Taylor, Lee

Goalscorers: Roseboom, Bloxham, Cowan,

Attendance: 5,463

Following yet another anonymous season in mid-table, Wrexham excelled in 1928/29 and finished third in the League table. Chesterfield visited the Racecourse on the opening day of the season and the club were hopeful that the arrival of Albert ‘Billy’ Mays from Merthyr Town would help propel them to greater heights. The centre-forward had previous League experience with Bristol City, Plymouth Argyle and the South Wales club, so hopes were high.

Writing in the Leader, ‘XYZ’ summed up his impression of the new marksman following this first match of the season:

Mays made a favourable impression and scored four goals. This was the best individual performance in League football on Saturday and the great ovation he received from the spectators was fully deserved.

Mays gave Wrexham the lead after 15 minutes, but just 10 minutes later Chesterfield equalised when Jack Lee raced away from Teddy Read and Alf Jones, to deliver a fine centre. Ken Greatrex punched clear, but the ball only found Teddy Roseboom, who got his name on the scoresheet.

Worse was to follow before the interval, as another attack down the left flank by Lee, led to William Cowan scoring a second for the visitors.

Wrexham fought back in the second period and showed plenty of aggression. Archie Longmuir fired in a couple of first-time shots, while Billie Rogers was very unlucky not to score with a ferocious cross-shot. Eventually, Mays restored parity from a Gunson centre, but Chesterfield were not to be outdone. Albert Bloxham was the man to put the visitors back in control, but this sensational game was still far from over. Gunson and Mays combined, before the centre-forward drew the keeper out and completed his hat-trick.

The fat lady hadn’t started to sing yet though and Wrexham carried on attacking. That man Mays headed home the winning goal from a corner in the last minute.

We were off to a winning start. Things would continue in a positive vein, with six more wins and three draws before we fell to our first defeat of the season, against Stockport County at Edgeley Park (6-2).

Bradford City eventually won promotion from the Third Division North that season. They finished a single point ahead of Stockport County, and 11 points clear of third placed Wrexham.

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Billy Mays ended the season with 32 League goals. This was not the last time that he secured a 4-goal haul, as he repeated this trick on January the 5th 1929, in a 5-0 home thrashing of Barrow.

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Season 1928/29 was also significant as it saw the first Wrexham goal by a certain Tommy Bamford. He struck in a 4-0 crushing of Accrington Stanley at the Racecourse, on the 30th of March 1929.

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Unfortunately, our success in the League did not transfer to the Cup competitions. We were knocked out of the FA Cup at the First Round stage, when Carlisle United visited the Racecourse and scraped a 0-1 victory. It was a similar story in the Welsh Cup, as Rhyl secured a 2-4 victory at the Cae Ras at the Fifth Round stage. We had received byes for the previous rounds.

What Do I Get?

The following blog is a random collection of thoughts from a sexually frustrated member of the disabled community in 21st Century Britain. 

I have a lot on my mind.  I will soon be starting my reassessment with an independent social worker, am working on an art exhibition related to the #SaveWILG campaign, am trying to work out how you publish a book on Kindle, and I continue to support all of my many friends and comrades within Welsh Labour Grassroots/Momentum and  Disabled People Against Cuts.

I am doing all of this of my own back, because it is the right thing to do. I have a strong set of principles and beliefs that I continue to live by. Without these, I am nothing. I don’t want to become part of the mainstream and hop onto the capitalist wheel that only goes round in ever decreasing circles and sucks the enjoyment out of everything.

I am lucky that I answer to no one. I cherish my independence and believe that I have achieved so much since leaving Inverness in 2009. The only thing that continues to evade me is the search for sexual intimacy and friendship. This is a particularly difficult topic to discuss on this blog as in no way do I want to come across as an inappropriate pervert who is only after one thing. This is not the case at all…

According to John Donne, “no man is an island”. I am enjoying my independence, but this island I find myself stranded on, does get lonely at times. It is important to underline that in no way am I looking for another wife. I have been there and done that. It was a miserable period in my life and I feel that I have achieved so much more when I have been able to focus on myself.

I guess I want my cake and be able to eat it. What is wrong with this? I believe everyone – male or female – has the right to be free and enjoy life for the precious time we have on this earth. Intimacy is surely a human right for all of us, something that is best explained in the following article by Chuka Nwanazia :

Sex care in the Netherlands – helping the disabled find intimacy

The above is an illuminating article that makes me wish I lived in Holland, rather than backward Britain where attitudes towards disability and sexuality remain almost Victorian in nature. It is not as if I haven’t tried, but keep hitting brick walls and outdated attitudes. Maybe the answer is to try to set up a sex care organisation of my own to provide disabled people across Britain with the intimacy they crave.

This is certainly something to think about while trying to get to sleep in my half empty bed…

 

Clwyd South Labour Party Women’s Forum Fundraising Event For Local Charities Praised By All

I was there…

Clwyd South Labour Party

CSWFWOMEN'S FUNDRAISER CSLPClwyd South Women’s Forum (CLICK HERE) held their Music, Politics & Fun on Saturday 29th June at Brymbo Sports and Social Club, near Wrexham. The event was well attended and raised vital funds for Wrexham Food Bank (CLICK HERE), The WINGS Project Wrexham (CLICK HERE) and Clwyd South Women’s Forum.

Pictured Above: Musician & Campaigner Jess Silk

Helen Grout (pictured below),Clwyd South Labour Party’s (CLICK HERE) Women’s Officer and Women’s Forum Chair, said:

Helen Grout's profile photo, Image may contain: 1 person, close-upPictured Above: Clwyd South Labour Party Women’s Officer & Chair of Clwyd South Women’s Forum, Helen Grout

“We are amazed at the support and help we have received from so many people and we can’t thank everyone enough for the effort and time they have put in to making this event a success. From our wonderful stall holders to our performers we have been overwhelmed by their support. A special thanks needs to go to John…

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Alcohol Wasn’t Involved

On Wednesday evening, I decided to venture to Broughton Retail Park for a dinner out of the house. I needed a change from the old routine, and thought stuffing my face at Nando’s sounded like a good idea.

Broughton Retail Park is a 20-minute drive from my abode. I hadn’t been to Nando’s for a few years, so I was looking forward to some tasty chicken. Unfortunately, I always tend to overestimate the amount of spice that I can handle. I opted for the plain version of chicken liver and a Portuguese roll, but even this was too spicy and I required plenty of liquid to cool my overheated insides.

I just don’t understand why people eat spicy food? It seems to be a test of endurance for some. It doesn’t impress me, or take away from the fact that men who can shovel extra-spicy food down their gobs, still have other inadequacies that they are trying to make up for.

After deciding that this would be my last visit to the South African restaurant chain, I left the establishment to make the short journey to my vehicle. It is difficult to explain the situation outside Nando’s in Broughton. Basically, the surface outside the restaurant is all level, but then all of a sudden there is an unexpected rise in the pavement, and a step (I will have to go back there soon to get a photograph). In addition, there are no clear signs or hazard warnings painted on the floor. After eating, I totally forgot about this weird arrangement and drove my wheelchair off the side of the step, falling head first on to the concrete floor.

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Sorry about sharing this image but I wanted to share my injuries. I scraped my nose and cheek and also injured my elbow and one or two fingers, but it could have been much worse. I was obviously shaken up, as was my personal assistant, but I was impressed by the reaction of the public. Loads of people came to my rescue along with security and even the police. They wanted me to go to A&E, but I didn’t have double-vision and I wasn’t feeling sick, so I thought I would be OK with my personal assistant staying the night to check on my progress. I did not fancy the idea of spending hours on end in the hospital, as a victim of Tory budget cuts.

Everything turned out fine in the end and my wounds are healing well. I dare say I could probably make a fortune from suing the Retail Park for their hazardous pavement and inadequate signage, but I am not interested in making any financial gain from the situation. Instead, I just want to make sure that the pedestrian paths are safe for everyone to use, so that no one has to go through a similar ordeal as I did last Wednesday.

I will be contacting Broughton Retail Park to flag my concerns and hopefully work with them to ensure a level playing field for all…