Petition

Watch Petitions Committee grill Huw Irancca-Davies #SaveWILG

Dear Petitioner

 Your petition will be considered at our next meeting on Tuesday 19 June at 9.00am.

 I enclose a link to the Agenda and Public Papers for your consideration:

 http://senedd.assembly.wales/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=430&MId=4758&Ver=4

 A live broadcast of the meeting will be available on Senedd TV at:

 http://www.senedd.tv/

 Kind regards,

Petitions Committee

Protect WILG Campaign

I have now achieved over 60 signatures for my petition, which means the closure of the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) will be discussed at the Welsh Assembly when it reconvenes in September.

I am not just going to let the petition stagnate over the summer period though as the more signatures we can get, the more pressure the Welsh Government will be under to examine how they have handled this closure. I will therefore keep spreading my petition online and through social media with the help of my friends from Disabled People Against Cuts, who are also helping me to create a series of memes that I will share as soon as they are available.

A paper version of the petition will also be available next week which I will be carrying round with me everywhere I go.

I am also going to London soon to take part in a DPAC protest at the Houses of Parliament.

A year ago, I remember that a friend of mine on Facebook launched a petition about the closure of football fields in the local area and received something like 15,000 signatures and rightly so. However, it is soul destroying that I struggle to get half as much support despite this being a more serious issue that will destroy thousands of lives.

Anyway, enough of my moaning. Please sign this petition before you carry on enjoying what is left of the weekend.

https://www.assembly.wales/en/gethome/e-petitions/Pages/petitiondetail.aspx?PetitionID=1216

Thanks for your support.

 

IMPORTANT UPDATE: WILG Petition

Hi all

I would very much appreciate it if you could sign and share the following petition that I have created to  ask the Welsh Government to reconsider their decision to close the Welsh Independent Living Grant and transfer all responsibility for care and support to hapless local authorities.

https://www.assembly.wales/en/gethome/e-petitions/Pages/petitiondetail.aspx?PetitionID=1216

After the first 20 signatures were added, I changed the petition text slightly. The crux of the petition remains the same, but after receiving an email from a mentor of mine, I decided to re-word  a couple of paragraphs to make the petition more effective. The full story is explained on the petition or can be found in the following blog entry:

https://nathanleedavies.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/call-out-to-welsh-independent-living-grant-wilg-recipiants/

Anyone can sign the petition and they DO NOT have to be resident in Wales. This petition runs until September 1st when the Assembly return from their summer break.

We need to reach 50 signatures to force a debate in the Welsh Assembly. I am hoping to surpass that number many times to show the strength of feeling about this issue. Disabled people throughout Wales – and indeed beyond – deserve the support of an independent body to help regulate their care and support without increasing the dependency on local authorities.

Many thanks for your time and support

Nathan

Defend Disabled People’s Right to Independent Living

A few months ago I signed an online petition to help Defend Disabled People’s Right to Independent Living.

Yesterday I received the following update on the campaign along with the latest developments. I am sharing these on my blog to raise awareness and remind people that action needs to be taken in order to protect the rights of disabled people.

If you haven’t already done so, please consider signing the petition, sharing with others and asking yourself if you could do anything to help disabled people in their fight for independent living.

***

Thank you for signing the petition Defend Disabled People’s Right to Independent Living.

We would like your help again, this time to support Disabled people whose independent living support is being taken away.

Despite a well supported and fierce campaign that saw wheelchair users attempt to storm the House of Commons chamber during Prime Minister’s Questions, the Independent Living Fund tragically closed at the end of June and as a result Disabled people with high support needs are facing cuts to vital everyday support.

Many of these cuts are in breach of the Care Act 2014 and can be legally challenged, however due to recent changes to legal aid, some Disabled people are not able to fund the legal support they need.

We are asking for donations to fund legal challenges to protect care packages and the rights of Disabled people to choose to live in the community among family and friends instead of being moved into residential homes.

To find out more go to: http://dpac.uk.net/2015/12/independent-living-fighting-fund-donations-needed-now-to-support-disabled-people-hit-by-the-closure-of-the-ilf-fight-cuts-to-vital-day-to-day-support/

To donate go to: www.gofundme.com/9up7iw

Disabled People Against Cuts would also like to hear from anyone who may be affected by the social care proposals Southampton Council is consulting on which will potentially force Disabled people with high support needs out of their homes (http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/tag/southampton-city-council/): contact mail@dpac.uk.net.

Please share this appeal with your friends, family and colleagues.

Thank you so much.

Ellen and Cherylee

Disabled People in Wrexham need car parking protected – Sign the petition

Please sign this petition, which has been started by the Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham (AVOW) and is designed to safeguard specific accessible parking bays for disabled people in Wrexham Town Centre.

The petition text reads:

A planning application has been submitted for a new town centre Police Station in a building currently used as an Art Gallery. The current building has a staff car park for 25 car and the applicant has stated they only require 20 spaces for operational vehicles. However they have extended their application to include land that is currently used as a dedicated car park for 8 Blue Badge vehicles.

The 8 spaces are very close to the Shopmobility service that provides an invaluable service to enable people to access shops and services in the town centre.

The alternatives that have been put forward will seriously disadvantage disabled people or anyone who has mobility problems. The relocation into a public car park by the Library would increase the distance people have to walk or use a wheelchair. Anyone with a walking stick or crutches would particularly find this a problem.

The conversion of Egerton Street into ‘Blue Badge Only’ will not include dedicated parking bays and there would be no guarantee that there would be adequate space to drop a ramp from the back of a vehicle. This latter suggestion cannot be agreed by the Planning Committee so there is no guarantee it would be approved.

We have no objection to the change of use of the building, or the other structural changes, but we do want to ensure that disabled people using facilities in Wrexham have suitable car parking to meet their needs.

The petition can be signed here. Thank you for your support.

Government response

Dear Nathan Lee Davies,

The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Assess full impact of all cuts to support & social care for disabled people”.

Government responded:

The Government is committed to a fair tax and welfare system. Every individual policy change is carefully considered, including looking at the effect on disabled people in line with legal obligations.

The Government is committed to a fair tax and welfare system where everyone contributes to reducing the deficit, and where those with the most contribute the most. Every individual policy change is carefully considered, including looking at the effect on disabled people in line with legal obligations.

However, it is not possible, using the Government’s existing analytical tools, to produce a cumulative assessment of the impact of policies on disabled people. HM Treasury has a world-leading distributional model, which it has used since 2010 to publish analysis of the impacts of policy decisions on households across the income distribution. This model uses the Living Cost and Food Survey (LCF), which does not have information on disability status. It contains expenditure information which allows analysis of the impacts of indirect taxes such as VAT and fuel duty, and underpins a unique model of public service usage; both of these enable HMT to consider the impacts of all of the Government tax and spending decisions which directly affect households.

As well as the inability to identify who has a disability in the data, most analysis of the impacts of welfare reforms tend to be limited in that they take static snapshots of benefit changes. Fundamental reforms are designed to support people in to employment and will therefore enable people to generate more income for themselves. Analysis needs to take account of behaviour change of reforms rather than the more limited approach of focusing solely on benefit changes

This analysis shows that the proportion of welfare and public service spending which benefits poorer households has not changed since 2010-11, with half of all spending on welfare and public services still going to the poorest 40% of households in 2017-18. At the same time, the richest fifth of households will pay a greater proportion of taxes than in 2010-11 as a result of government policy – and more than all other households put together.

The Government spends around £50 billion on disability benefits and services annually, and expenditure on sick and disabled people is higher than the OECD average. Welfare changes since 2010 have included protections for key vulnerable groups least able to increase their earnings, including those who need additional support as a result of disability. In the Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015:

• Many disability-related elements of the benefit system are still uprated by the Consumer Price Index

• The additional component for those in the Support Group of Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit (UC) equivalents has been maintained

• Households which include a member who is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, the Support Component of Employment and Support Allowance or UC equivalents are exempt from the benefit cap.

Overall, reforms are focused on supporting people to find and keep work where appropriate. Growing evidence over the last decade shows work can keep people healthy as well as promote recovery which is why, as part of the Government’s objective to achieve full employment, it aims to halve the disability employment gap. Last year 226,000 more disabled people found work and to continue this success the Government has extended Access to Work to provide support to more disabled people in pre-employment, launched Specialist Employability Support to provide intensive, specialist support to the disabled people who need the most help and has extended Work Choice, providing tailored support to disabled people, to 2017. The Disability Confident campaign is working with employers to ensure that they understand the benefits of recruiting and retaining disabled people in work

Sickness Absence in the workplace is also a major issue, with employees off sick for four weeks or more being at greater risk of not returning to work. The Government recognises the importance of early support which is why Fit for Work has been developed; giving access to free, impartial work-related health advice to help employees on sick leave get back to work.

In terms of Social Care and NHS reforms, the Government is committed to supporting the most vulnerable. The Care Act 2014 introduces a modern system to promote and maintain the wellbeing of those with care and support needs so they can live independently. This includes introduction of a new national eligibility threshold which allows local authorities to maintain previous levels of access for service users. This threshold is set out in Eligibility Regulations, and local authorities cannot tighten eligibility beyond this threshold. The Act also provides new legislative focus on personalisation by placing personal budgets into law for the first time for people and carers, increasing opportunities for greater choice and control, so that people can choose social care best suited to meet their needs.

Department for Work and Pensions

Click this link to view the response online:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106068?reveal_response=yes

The Petitions Committee will take a look at this petition and its response. They can press the government for action and gather evidence. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Committee will consider it for a debate.

The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government. Find out more about the Committee: https://petition.parliament.uk/help#petitions-committee

Thanks,
The Petitions team
UK Gponseovernment and Parliament