Badges

Wear them with Pride

Two new badges have arrived and will soon be available. Thanks must go to Keith Sinclair and his badge making contact, Rob.

The first badge is of the character I created with the help of an online Avatar creator during my dark years in Inverness. I like using this Avatar on all my work as it means I did something useful during these ‘lost’ years. They are perfect for my growing fanbase who want to show their support for my work ūüôā

The Wrexham DPAC badges will hopefully help to foster a sense of togetherness for disabled people based in Wrexham as we fight back against the exploitation shown towards to us by Wrexham Council. An example of this unfairness can be seen below.

Both badges will be available at forthcoming information days or directly from me at £1 each.

 

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I wrote the following paragraph in an email to a friend following an annoying trip to Wrexham Town Centre where they have just introduced car park charges for Blue Badge holders despite my protest, which can be read in previous blog posts.

Just had a frustrating drive around town where I could not find anywhere to park. These damn principles won’t let me pay the Council anything so it seems that I won’t be able to go to town until 2022 when I hope we can elect a decent bunch of Councillors. I was thinking of maybe printing loads of stickers to paste around town protesting these parking charges.Something needs to be done as all they have succeeded in doing is to cut me off from their hometown. I wanted to open a bank account at NatWest today but I am not paying to park my car.¬†¬†

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Thanks to Sylvia Prankard for the photograph. 

Open Letter to Welsh CLPs #SaveWILG


I am writing to you as a Labour Party member, Unite activist and disability rights campaigner to call on your support as we work together to Save the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG).

#SaveWILG OUTLINED

WAG is devolving the funds and responsibility for former Independent Living Fund (ILF) recipients to 22 local authorities.¬† Many of these authorities are not Labour controlled, many are already strapped for cash and the money that is due to be transferred hasn‚Äôt been ringfenced for the benefit of current WILG recipients…

Under the ILF, recipients received an independent third person who was involved in negotiating care packages along with the Local Authority.  This was a great source of support to people with high care and support needs and is something that needs to be re-established.  Sole reliance on local authorities is dangerous and lessons should be learned from England where funds have been distributed to local authorities since 2015 with disastrous effects.

The money from the WAG is a clear (transparent) amount specific to WILG recipients. However, it is currently planned for this money to be paid to local authorities under the Revenue Support Act and could therefore be subsumed into other projects while local authorities try to cut back on our specific care package provision.

Why should former WILG recipients have to fight for the care package they need, not simply to exist, but to be able to live a decent and fulfilled life?  This is an impossible task for the vast majority of recipients who live with conditions such as learning disabilities, cerebral palsy or Friedreich’s Ataxia.

The families of former WILG recipients will inevitably suffer as they will find themselves trying to fill the gaps in care provision not covered in the new ‚Äúreduced‚ÄĚ care package provided by the local authority.

Our care package is essential to our existence, it is not a privilege: Why would a civilised society put us through this misery? It is a human right to be treated fairly and equally with everyone else, so why are we being squeezed into this disadvantageous position by our own Labour government. They have got this wrong, but there is still time for them to revisit this decision and retain the WILG…

Motion 4 to save WILG was overwhelmingly passed at the Welsh Labour Conference in Llandudno during April 2018, but Minister for Children and Social Care Huw Irranca-Davies has since stated that¬†he would not rethink the policy “in its entirety”. This has transformed the #SaveWILG campaign from a quest to protect independent living for vulnerable individuals to exactly that plus a fight to preserve Party Democracy. The will of our members MUST be listened to.

The Welsh Government tried to defend their actions by claiming they had acted in accordance to the instructions of a stakeholder group. I have spoken to several members of the advisory group who DID oppose LA provision. Surely, this calls into question the basis for the Minister‚Äôs decision. There’s been a total lack of imagination on the part of the Welsh Government in terms of creating an independent living plan that all local authorities must buy into. This would be a guarantee of ensuring equity across Wales

We are constantly being told that it is unfair that only a certain percentage of the population receive WILG and that this creates a two-tier system throughout Wales. I would suggest that the WAG should look to the fine example of ILF Scotland and roll out such a system to all disabled people with high care and support needs in Wales.

This motion has cross-party support with Plaid Cymru, and even UKIP & Conservative AMs lending support and fighting against this proposal. Welsh Deputy Leader candidate Julie Morgan AM also supports the campaign and has called for an ‚Äúurgent enquiry‚ÄĚ re scrapping WILG. We have had support from English MPs like Chris Williamson, many AMs, officials etc. The film director Ken Loach (pictured below) also supports the campaign, as do many other high-profile cultural figures like the poet & musician Atilla The Stockbroker, comedian & campaigner Mark Thomas, esteemed Welsh footballers like Joey Jones, Mickey Thomas, Wayne Phillips and so many more people from all sorts of backgrounds.

Support disabled people and their families 

WILG ‚Äď Because we‚Äôre worth it

#SaveWILG

HOW YOU CAN HELP?

We are urging our comrades to get involved in the important campaign in a number of ways. Please see below how you can support our postcard campaign and spread memes across social media and email to raise awareness. There are also a number of campaigns being planned over the next few months and details will be posted on my blog.

The main people that we need to convince to change direction are First Minister Carwyn Jones, Minister for Children and Social Care Huw Irranca-Davies and all of the candidates in the Welsh Labour Leadership Election. The key emails are:

First Minister Carwyn Jones: Carwyn.Jones@gov.wales or Tweet @fmwales
Minister for Children and Social Care Huw Irranca-Davies: DS.MinCandSC@gov.wales or Tweet @huw4ogmore
Mark Drakeford AM: Mark.Drakeford@gov.wales or Tweet @wgcs_finance

Other emails will be published once we have a full list of candidates running in the meantime you can contact your local AM and anyone connected to the Welsh Government.

For more information please contact Nathan Lee Davies at nathandavies01@hotmail.com There is also a dedicated Facebook page to Save the Welsh Independent Living Grant and Twitter users should follow @nathanleedavies

Continue reading for further supporting evidence on why saving this grant is so crucial for 1,300 disabled people and the democratic future of the Party we all believe in.

Media Articles

Wales Live, BBC One Wales, 09/05/2018

Welsh Government under pressure over disabled grant

Disabled man continues fight for independent lives in Flintshire and Wrexham

This disabled man has lost half his care after Tories axed the Independent Living Fund

Welsh Government has ‚Äėsold disabled people down the river‚Äô

Independent living grants: Disability campaigner fear cuts

Postcards

Take part in our postcard campaign in a number of ways. We would like to encourage people to print the image below and pose for a selfie while holding it to show your support and help raise awareness  of our campaign. You can share it on Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat or Instagram using #SaveWILG.

Alternatively, you can contact me for one of the 500 cards I have had printed with a special message to Children and Social Care Minister Huw Irranca-Davies. There are also cards to be sent to First Minister Carwyn Jones and blank cards that can be sent to the Leadership Candidates who must realise that if they want our support they must publicly support our campaign. You can also send these postcards to your local AM to encourage them to argue our case in the Senedd.

Memes

To be shared on social media or sent to your AM via email.

Button badges ‚Äď Only ¬£1

Wear one of our badges 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 badges get to you quickly and safely.

New Badges and Easter Memes #SaveWILG

I am pleased to announce that the new WILG badges have arrived and are plastered with our new slogan:¬†Where there’s a WILG, there’s a way.¬†I hope you will agree that the badges look really good and it is an excellent slogan dreamed up by myself and my PA when we were messing about with ideas.

These badges are available for £1 each with all profits going directly towards the #SaveWILG campaign. You can simply get in touch with me and I will be able to send you some in the post or deliver it in person at one of our many campaigning events that we have planned for the coming months.



We also have green badges available and these can be obtained along with the red badges for £1 each.


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During the Easter period, we are encouraging people to share our newly produced memes across social media. In particular, we are targeting Welsh AM’s from all parties, but especially a few influential figures in Welsh Labour such as First Minister Carwyn Jones (@fmwales), Minister for Children and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies (@huw4ogmore) and Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething (@wgcs_health).

I have even written a tweet for you to copy and paste into Twitter and send to those suggested above. I can’t make it any easier for you. This will help you to do something positive over the long weekend and alleviate your guilt for stuffing your face with chocolate.

Suggested tweet:

@fmwales @huw4ogmore @wgcs_health Protect disabled people and their families #SaveWILG. 

You can also share on Facebook as all three AM’s have their own pages. If there are any other influential AM’s or Councillors that you can contact that would be great.



Help Needed on Social Media #SaveWILG

I am requesting help on Social Media to get the message across to Assembly Members across Wales that there is still time to reverse the awful decision to close WILG and transfer all responsibilities for Independent Living to local authorities.

A list of AM Twitter handles can be found below along with a suggested Tweet and electronic postcards and memes that can be attached to Tweets for greater impact. Those of you who are not on Twitter can use Facebook to send messages, postcards and memes to AMs or you can email them using their addresses that can be found on this mailing list. 

It is also still not too late to show your support for the #SaveWILG postcard campaign. You can download and print postcards below or get in touch with me and I will send you a few hard copies.

Even if you only manage to contact a handful of AMs, this could make a real difference to disabled people across Wales.

Thanks for your support.

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SUGGESTED TWEETS:

Disabled people with high care and support needs are in search of your support to maintain Independent Living for all. #SaveWILG

Wales voted Labour. Don’t copy Tory policy and damage independent living 4 disabled people #SaveWILG

This is the impact of closing the ILF in England  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-living-fund-post-closure-review #SaveWILG

Welsh Labour: Don’t copy Tories in Westminster. Protect independent living 4 disabled people #SaveWILG

@JulieMorganLAB @fmwales #NewYearsDay same old neglect from my Local Authority. The need for overnight support is obvious and urgent. The need #SaveWILG is greater than ever as LA’s cannot provide the high levels of care and support needed by former ILF recipients. #SaveWILG

These Tweets should be accompanied by some of the many postcard photographs, electronic postcards and memes.

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David Melding @DavidMeldingAM

Lynne Neagle @lynne_neagle

Gareth Bennett AC/AM @GarethBennettAM

David Rowlands AC/AMVerified account @DavidRowlandsAM

Hefin David AC/AM @hef4caerphilly

Caroline Jones AC/AM @carolineUKIP

Dr Dai Lloyd AC/AM @DaiLloydAM

Carl Sargeant AM @Carl4AandD Michelle Brown AM @MishBrownAM

Carwyn Jones AM/ACVerified account @AMCarwyn

Joyce Watson AM @JoyceWatsonam

Nathan GillVerified account @NathanGillMEP

Neil Hamilton AC/AMVerified account @NeilUKIP

John Griffiths AM @JGriffithsLab

Vikki Howells AM @VikkiHowells

Ann Jones AM @ann_jonesam

David Rees @DavidReesAM

Neil McEvoy AM @neiljmcevoy

Ken Skates AMVerified account @KenSkatesAM

Dafydd Elis-Thomas @ElisThomasD

MickAntoniw AM @MickAntoniw1

Jayne Bryant AM @JBryantWales

Mike Hedges @MikeHedgesAM

Julie James AMVerified account @JulieJamesAM

Rebecca Evans AMVerified account @RebeccaEvansAM

Eluned Morgan @Eluned_Morgan

JaneHutt AMVerified account @JaneHutt

Rhianon Passmore @rhi4islwyn

Elin Jones @ElinCeredigion

Vaughan Gething AMVerified account @vaughangething

Mark Drakeford AMVerified account @MarkDrakeford

Mark Isherwood AMVerified account @MarkIsherwoodAM

Angela Burns @AngelaBurnsAM

Mohammad Asghar AMVerified account @MohammadAsghar

Lesley GriffithsVerified account @lesley4wrexham

Nick RamsayVerified account @NickRamsayAM

Andrew RT DaviesVerified account @AndrewRTDavies

Simon ThomasVerified account @SimonThomasAC

Huw Irranca-DaviesAMVerified account @huw4ogmore

Russell George AMVerified account @russ_george

Rhun ap IorwerthVerified account @RhunapIorwerth

Julie MorganVerified account @JulieMorganLAB

Sian Gwenllian AC/AM @siangwenfelin

Janet Finch-SaundersVerified account @JFinchSaunders

Lee Waters AMVerified account @Amanwy

Alun DaviesVerified account @AlunDaviesAM

Jeremy Miles AC/AMVerified account @Jeremy_Miles

Jenny Rathbone AMVerified account @JennyRathbone

Mark Reckless AMVerified account @MarkReckless

Dawn Bowden AM @Dawn_Bowden

Llyr Gruffydd AC/AM @LlyrGruffydd

suzy daviesVerified account @suzydaviesam

Darren Millar AMVerified account @DarrenMillarAM

Steffan LewisVerified account @steffanlewis

Adam PriceVerified account @Adamprice

Hannah Blythyn AM @hannahblythyn

Kirsty WilliamsVerified account @Kirsty_Williams

LeanneWoodVerified account @LeanneWood

Bethan Maeve AM/ACVerified account @bethanjenkins

 

Don’t forget there are still plenty of badges available for you to wear with pride to help to spread awareness. Simply get in touch if you would be interested in showing your support by purchasing a badge.

 

 

 

Badges and an update #SaveWILG

Its all go with the #SaveWILG campaign. I now have Save WILG badges available at £1 each to help fundraise for the cause. There are many costs involved with running such a campaign as we are planning to stage fundraising events, print leaflets and stage an art exhibition about the importance of independent living for disabled people.

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If anyone would like to support the campaign by purchasing and wearing a badge please get in touch with me via the contact page or on Twitter or Facebook.

I would like to ask my friends at Disabled People Against Cuts if they would like to create any submissions of artwork, in any form, for the planned exhibition  at  Theatr Clwyd in Mold, North Wales during the week beginning January 16th, 2018.

I am hoping to frame many of my postcard photographs for the exhibition so I am also asking as many of you as possible to post with one of my Save WILG postcards and agree to take part in the exhibition. If you have already posed for a picture then you can ask your friends or family members to do the same. I really want to push this and show the depth of support for this campaign that is out there.

There will be more updates in the near future with plenty of exciting events in the pipeline as we attend to salvage independent living for all disabled people.

Thanks for your support.