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,
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nathan Lee Davies (email@example.com).
We look forward to seeing you all on 25 April at Maesgwyn Community Centre.
I have spent the morning writing to all the candidates in the Wrexham area for the forthcoming Welsh Assembly elections in order to invite them to take part in a hustings that I am hoping to organise for recipients of WILG.
I will publish any replies I receive and keep you up to date with my progress.
I am writing to give you the opportunity to be involved in a hustings that I am organising – along with Sheila Meadows OBE – to clarify your position on the future of independent living for disabled people in Wales. Alternatively, I wonder if you are holding any cross party meetings or hustings that WILG recipients could attend to ask questions and gain information.
As a former recipient of ILF, I now rely on the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) to pay for my care team. Future arrangements past March 2017 are clouded in doubt and uncertainty with disabled people facing a bleak future. It is laughable to think that I am one of the lucky ones as in 2010 the ILF was closed to new recipients. Will you, and your party, be prepared to fight for independent living for all?
We are hoping to hire Maesgwyn Community Centre as a venue for this proposed hustings and I believe this will present you with an excellent opportunity to address concerned members of the electorate and reassure them about what you would do to protect and enhance their rights.
In 2013 there were 111 claimants of ILF in Wrexham. We can assume that the numbers receiving WILG are similar and if we include family members and those employed and reliant on such funds then this translates to a large proportion of the eligible voting community. I would argue that this therefore gives you a valuable chance to prove your worth to the local community.
Many thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.