Lesley Griffiths AM

Support from Ian Lucas MP #SaveWILG

I am pleased with how the #SaveWILG campaign is going so far as I’ve had plenty of media coverage, a good response to my postcard campaign, solidarity and support from Welsh Labour Grassroots and now I have had support from Ian Lucas MP, totally justifying the efforts I made to help him get re-elected in June.  He has written to Rebecca Evans AM to voice his concerns over the closure of WILG and to ask for a meeting between her good-self and recipients.  I have copied the letter below with permission from Ian Lucas.

This has made me think… If other people could write to their local MP and highlight the worrying WILG situation, then any further letters like the one below will only serve to increase the pressure on the Welsh Government and make them think twice about their decision to close WILG.  This would be great wherever you live as a letter from an MP outside of Wales would be just as effective.  Thanks for your support.

Anyway, here is the letter from Ian Lucas:

Rebecca Evans AM
Minister for Social Services and Public Health
Welsh Government
5th Floor
Tŷ Hywel
Cardiff Bay
CF99 1NA

14 August 2017

Our Ref: ZA19750

Dear Rebecca,

I am writing on behalf of a constituent, Mr Nathan Lee Davies who recently contacted me regarding the Welsh Government proposal to transfer administration of the Independent Living Fund to local authorities.

Nathan is a beneficiary of the fund with whom both Lesley Griffiths and I have worked over a number of years on disability issues. Nathan suffers from Friedreich’s ataxia, a disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system. We have participated together in consultation events on ILF and discussed the fund with other recipients at consultation events, some of which were organised by the Welsh Government.

I am acutely aware that the UK Government has passed responsibility for the difficult decisions relating to the future of the ILF to the Welsh Government and I do not envy you the decision you have been asked to make. However, I am very concerned indeed, having discussed the issue in depth with Nathan, at the decision to transfer administration of the scheme to local authorities.

Neither of us believe that our Council has either the capacity or expertise to carry out this function and this decision is causing real concern to Nathan and other recipients of the scheme.

I would be very grateful if you would agree to meet with Nathan, me and other recipients of the scheme to discuss their concerns.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Lucas MP

 

Hustings arranged for the benefit of the disabled community in Wrexham

After a lot of communication via Facebook and Twitter with local candidates for the forthcoming Welsh Assembly elections, Sheila Meadows OBE and I have organised a hustings for recipients of the Welsh Independent Living Grant to listen to the prospective party plans for independent living and help them decide who to vote for on May the 5th.

Below I have copied the flyer that Sheila and I wrote that is to be emailed to those affected in Wrexham and Clwyd South. We are hoping that the meeting will be well attended as we have had confirmation that a number of prominent local politicians will be attending. Those that have been invited include Carrie Harper and Mabon Ap Gwynfor of Plaid Cymru, Alan Butterworth and Duncan Rees of the Green Party, Lesley Griffiths and Ken Skates of the Labour Party and Andrew Atkinson of the Welsh Conservatives.

The flyer reads as follows:

Future of WILG (Previously ILF)

 

Independent living is at risk for disabled people across Wales. In the run up to the May 2016 Assembly elections we have managed to arrange a meeting with local candidates about how they, and their party, plan to support disabled people if elected. 

Meeting to be held at:

Maesgwyn Community Centre

Lilac Way, Wrexham,

LL11 2BB 

Monday 25 April – 1:30-3:00pm

 

The Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) will remain in place until March 2017. A total of £27 million will continue to be transferred from the Westminster Government to Wales until 2020. How this sum of money will be administered is anyone’s guess. Should Wales establish their own Welsh Independent Living Fund to provide long-term security? Perhaps you accept the funding should come via the Local Authority but require assurances over ring-fencing? Whatever your standpoint, this is our chance to meet, discuss the issues and question the politicians that will influence our lives over the next political term. Don’t miss your opportunity to be heard…

If you have a question that you want to put to the candidates, or for us to feed back to the Welsh government, email your questions to either Sheila Meadows (sheilamdow@aol.com) or Nathan Lee Davies (nathandavies01@hotmail.com).

We look forward to seeing you all on 25 April at Maesgwyn Community Centre.

Letter to Ian Lucas MP for Wrexham

Dear Ian

Hope you are well and good to see you, Lesley and Carwyn at the Racecourse the other week – such a shame about the performance and result [Wrexham lost 1-3 to Woking].

Firstly, a word on the Food Waste (Reduction) Bill as many farmers are being forced to throw away up to 40% of their v9eg every week because they’re millimetres off meeting supermarkets’ strict standards.

This Friday, as my MP, please can you help change this by attending the debate on the Food Waste (Reduction) Bill? If you attend the debate and support this new law supermarkets would have to stop rejecting perfectly good food.

I would also like to set-up a meeting with your good self to discuss independent living and ask if you would be willing to press the Tories hard about the  amount of money they give to the devolved governments, or local authorities in England, to cover independent living.

It is not good enough to simply pass on the same amount of money distributed in 2015 under the now dissolved Independent Living Fund as this does not account for new claimants or changes in circumstances. As someone with a progressive disability, I fear that the time will come – sooner rather than later – when I won’t be able to pay for the  hours of care needed for me to remain living independently in the community. The Tories must be challenged and stopped from pushing ahead with fascist plans that boil down to nothing less than systematic social cleansing.

I am also interested in discovering if there is any disabled representation with Wrexham Council and how to get involved.

Speak soon

Nathan Lee Davies

Wrexham Council receive better than expected settlement

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TAKEN FROM THE NEWSLETTER OF LESLEY GRIFFITHS, WELSH LABOUR AM FOR WREXHAM. EVERY TIME I TRY TO OPEN HER BLOG MY LAPTOP SOUNDS AN ALARM AND WARNS ME THAT A THREAT HAS BEEN DETECTED.

SENSITIVE INTERNET SECURITY OR HAVE I MISJUDGED OUR LOCAL POLITICIAN?

 

Local Government settlements were announced this week and with Local Authorities braced for cuts of up to 4.5%, the Welsh Government delivered some positive news with the funding revenue decreased by a much smaller 1.4%. 

Wrexham Council will receive a 1.3% reduction in its budget, meaning the Authority will have millions more pounds than originally expected and I very much hope the extra funding will be reinvested into local public services. 

I understand the situation is still far from ideal, but further cuts to the Welsh Government budget from the UK Government unfortunately mean there are some difficult decisions for both the Welsh Government and Local Authorities to take. 

The situation is worse in England as councils, having already seen their Government funding cut significantly since 2010, will see it cut by a further 8% every year for the next 4 years. 

The Welsh Government has always done its best to mitigate against UK Government cuts and it will continue to do all it can to protect the people of Wales from Tory austerity.

 

Surely this makes it more difficult for the council to justify their cuts to adult social care?

I will be keeping and quoting such figures right back at the council as I fight for independent living for all.