Wales

Help needed across Social Media #SaveWILG

I am requesting help on Twitter, and social media in general, 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.

This is a crucial time for the #SaveWILG campaign as we are hoping to convince Assembly Members that they need to take action and protect people with high care and support needs across Wales by saving the Welsh Independent Living Grant.

Other key people to contact are members of the Petitions Committee who are continuing  to consider our petition – David Rowlands (@DavidRowlandsAM ‏), Janet Finch Saunders (@JFinchSaunders), Mike Hedges (@MikeHedgesAM), Rhun Ap Iorwerth (@RhunapIorwerth) and Neil McEvoy (@neiljmcevoy). Any pressure we can put on politicians has to be a good thing as they need to realise the devastation that the decision to close WILG will have on disabled people and their families. The outgoing Carwyn Jones (@fmwales) and Huw Irancca Davies (@huw4ogmore) are also worth a tweet to remind them that this campaign is still going strong.

Hashtags 

The following hashtags are good to use at the end of the suggested messages below as they will increase the potential audience and help raise awareness. For a full run down on how hashtags work you can click here but in the meantime we have hashtags to decide on and tweets to send. Some suggested hashtags are as follows:

Obviously the following hashtags should be used only when the associated TV programme is being aired, or on the relevant day of the week. For example, #bbcqt should only be used while ‘Question Time’ is being aired. Likewise, the popular hashtag #FridayFeeling should only be used on a Friday. 

#bbcqt

#bbctw

#marr

#WalesLive

#ITVSharpEnd

#Brexit

#BrexitShambles

#MondayMotivation

#TuesdayThoughts

#WednesdayWisdom

#ThursdayThoughts

#FridayFeeling

#WeekendVibes

#Corrie

#Emmerdale

#EastEnders

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

Thanks for your support.

***

SUGGESTED TWEETS (these can be edited accordingly but serve as a guideline. You may also use these suggested Tweets as Facebook messages):

@ The absurd two-tier argument that Welsh Labour are using is absolutely ridiculous. It is to all intents and purposes an equalisation downward, however subtle and however long it takes to materialise.  

A UN’s report found ‘grave and systematic violations of disabled ppls human rights’, and said it was a ‘human catastrophe’. Amongst their findings 2 reach this conclusion was their concerns at the ILF closure. r moving in the same direction.

needs to remember that WILG recipients are all disabled ppl with high care and support needs who cannot always speak for themselves. Any statistics in favour of the transition process r invariably unreliable.

@ Brexit may seem like the only game in town, but while politicians squabble over our withdraw from the European Union, disabled people with high care and support needs across Wales are in danger due to the loss of WILG.  #BrexitShambles

#@   Essential reading. This is ur chance to support disabled people with high care needs across Wales.

Essential reading from :

@ Social care is in crisis. Those with the highest care and support needs rely on WILG and governmental support. We’ve won a motion, collected evidence and won cross-party support. Show humanity, humility +

@ Disabled ppl with high care and support needs are in search of your support to maintain Independent Living for all. Are Welsh Labour planning on listening to the democratic wishes of their members

Disabled ppl with high care and support needs are in search of your support to maintain Independent Living for all. Are Welsh Labour planning on listening to the democratic wishes of their members

@ Disabled ppl 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 ppl. WHAT USE IS A TRANSITION PERIOD IF OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE AND A DEMOCRATIC VOTE IS NOT ENOUGH FOR A GOVERNMENTAL RE-THINK?

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

@   – The Movie via

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

***

I have updated this list of Twitter handles which was a little dated. Please remember that messages can also be sent via Facebook with accompanying memes. 

David Melding @DavidMeldingAM

Lynne Neagle @lynne_neagle

Gareth Bennett AC/AM @GarethBennettAM

David Rowlands AC/AM @DavidRowlandsAM

Hefin David AC/AM @hef4caerphilly

Caroline Jones AC/AM @carolineUKIP

Dr Dai Lloyd AC/AM @DaiLloydAM

Michelle Brown AM @MishBrownAM

Carwyn Jones AM/AC @AMCarwyn

Joyce Watson AM @JoyceWatsonam

Nathan Gill @NathanGillMEP

Neil Hamilton AC/AM @NeilUKIP

John Griffiths AM @JGriffithsLab

Vikki Howells AM @VikkiHowells

Ann Jones AM @ann_jonesam

David Rees @DavidReesAM

Neil McEvoy AM @neiljmcevoy

Ken Skates AM @KenSkatesAM

Dafydd Elis-Thomas @ElisThomasD

Mick Antoniw AM @MickAntoniw1

Jayne Bryant AM @JBryantWales

Mike Hedges @MikeHedgesAM

Julie James AM account @JulieJamesAM

Rebecca Evans AM @RebeccaEvansAM

Eluned Morgan @Eluned_Morgan

Jane Hutt AM  @JaneHutt

Rhianon Passmore @rhi4islwyn

Elin Jones @ElinCeredigion

Vaughan Gething AM @vaughangething

Mark Drakeford AM  @MarkDrakeford

Mark Isherwood AM @MarkIsherwoodAM

Angela Burns @AngelaBurnsAM

Mohammad Asghar AM @MohammadAsghar

Lesley Griffiths @lesley4wrexham

Nick Ramsay  @NickRamsayAM

Andrew RT Davies @AndrewRTDavies

Huw Irranca-Davies AM @huw4ogmore

Russell George AM @russ_george

Rhun ap Iorwerth @RhunapIorwerth

Julie Morgan @JulieMorganLAB

Sian Gwenllian AC/AM @siangwenfelin

Janet Finch-Saunders  @JFinchSaunders

Lee Waters AM @Amanwy

Alun Davies @AlunDaviesAM

Jeremy Miles AC/AM  @Jeremy_Miles

Jenny Rathbone AM  @JennyRathbone

Mark Reckless AM  @MarkReckless

Dawn Bowden AM @Dawn_Bowden

Llyr Gruffydd AC/AM @LlyrGruffydd

suzy davies @suzydaviesam

Darren Millar AM  @DarrenMillarAM

Steffan Lewis @steffanlewis

Adam Price @Adamprice

Hannah Blythyn AM @hannahblythyn

Kirsty Williams @Kirsty_Williams

LeanneWood @LeanneWood

Bethan Maeve AM/AC @bethanjenkins

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Contact your AM #SaveWILG

Here is an alphabetical list of AM contact details, so why not send festive messages to those with the influence to help #SaveWILG? Please feel free to encourage AMs to help protect independent living for disabled people with high support needs across Wales. If you are stuck for something to write, just spend two minutes reading this blog, my Twitter feed (@nathanleedavies) or our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SaveWILG) and you will soon get the idea.

Thanks for all your support in helping us to campaign for equality and justice in a crooked world.

 ***

Mick Antoniw AM

10 Market Street
Pontypridd
CF37 2ST

0300 200 7309

Mick.Antoniw@assembly.wales

Rhun ap Iorwerth AM

1B Church Street
Llangefni
Ynys Môn
LL77 7DU

01248 723 599

rhun.apiorwerth@assembly.wales

Mohammad Asghar (Oscar) AM

Unit 1
Fairoak House
15-17 Church Road
Newport
NP19 7EJ

01633 220022

Mohammad.Asghar@assembly.wales

Gareth Bennett AM

National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff
CF99 1NA

0300 200 7263

Gareth.Bennett@assembly.wales

Hannah Blythyn AM

38 Church Street
Flint
Flintshire
CH6 5AE

0300 200 7132

Hannah.Blythyn@assembly.wales

Dawn Bowden AM

110 High Street
Merthyr Tydfil
CF47 8AP

0300 200 7170

Dawn.Bowden@assembly.wales

Michelle Brown AM

National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff
CF99 1NA

Michelle.Brown@assembly.wales

Jayne Bryant AM

National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff
CF99 1NA

0300 200 7104

Jayne.Bryant@assembly.wales

Angela Burns AM

County Chambers
Warren Street
Tenby
Pembrokeshire
SA70 7JS

01834 843 052

Angela.Burns@assembly.wales

Hefin David AM

Bargoed YMCA
Aeron Place
Gilfach
Bargoed
CF81 8JA

01443 838542

Hefin.David@assembly.wales

Alun Davies AM

23 Beaufort Street
Brynmawr
Blaenau Gwent
NP23 4AQ

01495 311 160

Alun.Davies@assembly.wales

Andrew RT Davies AM

National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff
CF99 1NA

0300 200 7227

AndrewRT.Davies@assembly.wales

Paul Davies AM

20 Upper Market Street
Haverfordwest
SA61 1QA

01437 766425

Paul.Davies@assembly.wales

Suzy Davies AM

Cornhill Chambers
8 Christina Street
Swansea
SA1 4EW

0300 200 7209

Suzy.Davies@assembly.wales

Mark Drakeford AM

395 Cowbridge Road East
Canton
Cardiff
CF5 1JG

029 2022 3207

Mark.Drakeford@assembly.wales

Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM

7 Bank Place
Porthmadog
LL49 9AA

01766 515028

Dafydd.Elis-Thomas@assembly.wales

Rebecca Evans AM

9 Pontardulais Road
Gorseinon
Swansea
SA4 4FE

01792 899 081

Rebecca.Evans@assembly.wales

Janet Finch-Saunders AM

29 Madog Street
Llandudno
LL30 2TL

01492 871 198

Janet.Finch-Saunders@Assembly.Wales

Russell George AM

13 Parker’s Lane
Newtown
SY16 2LT

0300 200 7206

Russell.George@assembly.wales

Vaughan Gething AM

National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff
CF99 1NA

0300 200 7150

Vaughan.Gething@assembly.wales

John Griffiths AM

7th Floor
Clarence House
Clarence Place
Newport
NP19 7AA

01633 222 302

John.Griffiths@assembly.wales

Lesley Griffiths AM

Vernon House
41 Rhosddu Road
Wrexham
LL11 2NS

01978 355743

Lesley.Griffiths@assembly.wales

Llyr Gruffydd AM

Birch House Business Centre
Hen Lon Parcwr
Ruthin
Denbighsire
LL15 1NA

01824 703 593

Llyr.Gruffydd@assembly.wales

Siân Gwenllian AM

8 Castle Street
Caernarfon
LL55 1SE

01286 672076

Sian.Gwenllian@assembly.wales

Neil Hamilton AM

The Office of Neil Hamilton
Whitland Town Hall,
King Edward Street,
Whitland,
SA34 0AA

0300 200 7422

Neil.Hamilton@assembly.wales

Mike Hedges AM

97 Pleasant Street
Morriston
Swansea
SA6 6HJ

01792 790621

Mike.Hedges@assembly.wales

Vikki Howells AM

27 High Street
Aberdare
CF44 7AA

01685 881 388

Vikki.Howells@assembly.wales

Jane Hutt AM

115 High Street
Barry
CF62 7DT

01446 740981

Jane.Hutt@assembly.wales

Huw Irranca-Davies AM

Unit 2
112-113 Commercial Street
Maesteg
CF34 9DL

0300 200 7105

Huw.Irranca-Davies@assembly.wales

Mark Isherwood AM

Delyn Conservative Assoc.
5 Halkyn Street
Holywell
CH8 7TX

01352 710232

Mark.Isherwood@assembly.wales

Julie James AM

1st Floor
11 Wind Street
Swansea
SA1 1DP

01792 460 836

Julie.James@assembly.wales

Ann Jones AM

The Hub
69-75 Wellington Road
Rhyl
LL18 1BE

01745 332813

Ann.Jones@assembly.wales

Caroline Jones AM

National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff
CF99 1NA

Caroline.Jones@assembly.wales

Carwyn Jones AM

1st/2nd Floor Suites
3 Cross Street
Bridgend
CF31 1EX

01656 664320

Carwyn.Jones@assembly.wales

Elin Jones AM

Ty Goronwy
32 Heoly Wig
Aberystwyth
SY23 2LN

01970 624516

Elin.Jones@assembly.wales

Helen Mary Jones AM

National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
CF99 1NA

0300 200 6565

HelenMary.Jones@assembly.wales

Mandy Jones AM

National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff
CF99 1NA

01248 717 052

mandy.jones@assembly.wales

Steffan Lewis AM

1a Griffiths Blds
Victoria Terrace
Newbridge
Caerphilly
NP11 4EW

0300 200 7138

Steffan.Lewis@assembly.wales

Dai Lloyd AM

Uned 2
Ffordd Brunel
Parc Ynni Baglan
SA11 2FP

0300 200 7255

Dai.Lloyd@assembly.wales

Neil McEvoy AM

321 Cowbridge Road East
Canton
Cardiff
CF5 1JD

0300 200 7434

Neil.McEvoy@assembly.wales

David Melding AM

Office 2
20 Pantbach Road
Birchgrove
Cardiff
CF14 1UA

029 2062 3088

David.Melding@assembly.wales

Jeremy Miles AM

7 High Street
Pontardawe
Swansea
SA8 4HU

01792 869993

Jeremy.Miles@assembly.wales

Darren Millar AM

North Wales Business Park
Abergele
LL22 8LJ

01745 839117

Darren.Millar@assembly.wales

Eluned Morgan AM

19 Cartlett
Haverfordwest
Pembrokeshire
SA61 2LH

03002007310

Eluned.Morgan@assembly.wales

Julie Morgan AM

17 Plasnewydd
Whitchurch
Cardiff
CF14 1NR

029 2061 4577

Julie.Morgan@assembly.wales

Lynne Neagle AM

73 Upper Trosnant Street
Pontypool
NP4 8AU

01495 740022

Lynne.Neagle@assembly.wales

Rhianon Passmore AM

208 High Street
Blackwood
NP12 1AJ

01495 225 162

Rhianon.Passmore@assembly.wales

Adam Price AM

37 Wind Street
Ammanford
SA18 3DN

01269 597 677

Adam.Price@assembly.wales

Nick Ramsay AM

The Grange
16 Maryport Street
Usk
NP15 1AB

01291 674898

Nicholas.Ramsay@assembly.wales

Jenny Rathbone AM

165 Albany Road
Cardiff
CF24 3NT

029 2025 6255

Jenny.Rathbone@assembly.wales

Mark Reckless AM

20 Commercial Street
Pontypool
Torfaen
NP4 6JS

07970 930275

Mark.Reckless@assembly.wales

David Rees AM

Water Street Business Centre
Water Street
Port Talbot
SA12 6LF

01639 870779

David.Rees@assembly.wales

David J Rowlands AM

20 Commercial Street
Pontypool
Torfaen
NP4 6JS

0300 200 7235

DavidJ.Rowlands@assembly.wales

Jack Sargeant AM

National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
CF99 1NA

0300 200 6565

Jack.Sargeant@assembly.wales

Bethan Sayed AM

Unit 2
Brunel Way
Baglan Energy Park
Port Talbot
SA11 2FP

01639 820 530

Bethan.Sayed@assembly.wales

Ken Skates AM

Unit 19
The Malthouse Business Centre
Regent Street
Llangollen
LL20 8RP

0300 200 7114

Ken.Skates@assembly.wales

Lee Waters AM

43 Pottery Street
Llanelli
Carmarthenshire
SA15 1SU

01554 774 902

Lee.Waters@assembly.wales

Joyce Watson AM

3 Red Street
Carmarthen
SA31 1QL

01267 233448

Joyce.Watson@assembly.wales

Kirsty Williams AM

4 Water Gate
Brecon
LD3 9AN

01874 625739

Kirsty.Williams@assembly.wales

Leanne Wood AM

68 Heol Pontypridd
Porth
CF39 9PL

01443 681420

Leanne.Wood@assembly.wales

Letter from Huw Irranca-Davies to the Chair of the Petitions Committee #SaveWILG

 This is the letter that Huw Irranca-Davies has written to the Chair of the Petitions Committee – Mr David Rowlands – defending the Welsh Government’s decision to close WILG.

My response appears in the next blog in which I have totally decimated the weak arguments in favour of signalling an end to the Welsh Independent Living Grant. 

The fight continues…

***

 Dear David, 

 Thank you for your letter of 31 October in connection with Nathan Davies’ petition to reconsider the closure of the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG). 

Before I respond to your questions I think it is important to remind ourselves of the purpose of the transition process we are undertaking.  We are introducing this change to ensure equality of access for all disabled people in Wales to support to live independently in the community.  This is to remove the two-tier arrangement which existed previously, where some were able to access support from their local authority and payments from the Independent Living Fund (ILF), while others, because of the UK Government’s decision to close the ILF to new applicants in 2010, have only been able to access support from their authority.  Hence the objective of this transition, and of the support reviews being undertaken within it, is to ensure all disabled people are empowered in a consistent way to be able to live independently in a manner that is appropriate in their particular circumstances.  This could be by support provided directly from their local authority, by support provided by direct payments from their authority, by support provided in other ways (such as from the third sector, family or friends) or by a mix of any of these.  This is the ethos and cornerstone the social services legislation we introduced and something which every disabled person in Wales deserves access to irrespective of how they may have been supported in the past. 

Given the objective, and as I outline below the support for the majority of the disabled people affected by this transition is now being provided though their local authority, it is difficult to see how this could now be unpicked to reinstate the WILG as Mr Davies’ petitions without creating turmoil for those that have been through this transition. 

We welcome receiving correspondence in Welsh.  Any correspondence received in Welsh will be answered in Welsh and corresponding in Welsh will not lead to a delay in responding. 

As you say we have now completed our latest quarterly monitoring of local authorities’ progress in transitioning people who used to receive WILG payments to receiving their support to live independently through their local authority.  This latest monitoring covers the period up to the end of September this year and details of this are below.  Overall this shows good progress in undertaking future support reviews with people affected, in agreeing with them their future support package to deliver their wellbeing outcomes and in putting these in place to provide that support. 

The data provided by local authorities shows that of the 1,336 people who were originally in receipt of payments under the WILG, over 1,242 (93%) had by the end of September completed or were in the process of completing their support review with their local authority.  As a result 717 people (54%) had now agreed their future support package with their local authority and were receiving this through their authority.  In the majority of these cases (531 – 74% of the 717) people were receiving support of a similar level and nature to that they would have received if they had still been receiving payments under the WILG.  In around 100 of the 717 (14%) the level of support being provided had increased due to the dependency of the person increasing since their last review.  In around 86 of the 717 cases (12%) the support from the authority itself has reduced as it was thought more appropriate in those people’s circumstances if the support they required was provided in a different manner than previously (such as support provided from a third party). 

With a small number of people (20) their review identified it was no longer appropriate for them to receive community care from their local authority, either because the person had developed a need for healthcare or was now in need of some form of residential based care.  

This left around 64 people who were at that time yet to begin their support review.  This is due to a mixture of social worker capacity within a small number of authorities, where they had not by that time been able to engage with all people affected, and a number of people who to date have not themselves engaged with their authority despite authorities’ approaches to them to do so.  As a result we have sought, and received, assurances from the seven authorities concerned that these remaining reviews will be completed by the end of the year at the latest so as not to impact upon the future support they agree with their authority being place by the end of March next year when the period for this transition is due to end. 

Out of all the reviews completed as at the end of September there were 17 people who were challenging the outcome of their support reviews.  This is just under 2% of the people who had undergone their review with their authority. 

Despite this good progress I am not complacent.  You will have seen the recent media coverage of this transition which focussed heavily on those people who are to receive less direct support from their local authority, with little or no reference to the majority who to receive the similar support from their local authority or indeed are to receive more.  I have, therefore, to be assured of this position, asked local authorities to undertake a deep dive review of all cases where following a support review there is an intention to reduce the authority’s direct support to the person.  This is to identify the reasons for this decision and the exact scale of any reductions and to receive from each Director of Social Services a personal assurance that where such changes occur they are appropriate and do not impact on people’s ability to live independently in the community.  The results of this deep dive review are due to be received and analysed by the end of November.  

In addition to this I intend to undertake a series of regional meetings with Directors and Cabinet members for Health and Social Services within authorities to discuss the outcome of these reviews to ensure that it is the case that any reduction in direct support from an authority is not impacting on people’s ability to live independently.  My officials are in the process of arranging these meetings, which I hope to have concluded by early December.  That said, I have already visited both Wrexham County Borough Council and Powys County Council to meet their Directors and Cabinet Members and have received their assurance that people affected are genuinely being empowered to live independently to deliver their wellbeing outcomes. 

You ask about the possibility of requiring local authorities to report the actual expenditure they incur on people who transition to local authority support.  The level of expenditure on the support an individual requires is, of course, dependent on the level, nature and complexity of that support as identified by their support review.  It is not determined by a standard amount per person and so the level of expenditure will vary from person to person as the support they require will vary.  As a result the fact that one person may be having more or less expenditure on their support than another is not an indicator of the appropriateness of that support, but of the cost of support they require. 

Added to this it must be remembered that all people who received payments under the WILG would also have received a level of care and support from their local authority which it would have funded separately.  This is because this was a qualifying condition originally set by the ILF for receiving payments.  As such it is difficult to see how authorities could, if this request was made, separate out the cost of only one element of over 1,000 people’s overall support package or indeed what value there would be in doing so. 

What I can say is that the full funding of £27 million a year transferred from the UK Government to support people affected has been added from this year to the Revenue Support Grant on a recurrent basis.  Not a single penny of this has been retained centrally.  As a result no local authority has raised with me or my officials that a lack of funding is an issue with this transition or that this is adversely affecting the outcomes which they able to receive for people affected. 

Yours sincerely, 

Huw Irranca-Davies AC/AM 

Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care 

Vital Twitter Thread #SaveWILG

This morning I published a vitally important Tweet thread that I hope will capture the attention of those with the power to provide security to the 1,300 disabled people with high support needs throughout Wales who receive the Welsh Independent Living Grant.

I publish memes and photographs alongside these Tweets. If you want to follow me on Twitter and perhaps Retweet my epic thread, my handle is @nathanleedavies

I am currently extremely busy as we head into a crucial month for the #SaveWILG campaign.

The fight continues…

***

The following Tweet thread is VERY IMPORTANT. I trust that ALL Assembly Members and those in the Media with the power to spread awareness of the struggles of disabled people with high support needs will READ THIS in full and take the appropriate action to help us

There can be no denying that the WILG transition process is highlighting some major problems in the social care system throughout Wales. Local authorities cannot be trusted to provide adequate support for disabled people on their own.

The evidence is overwhelming as displayed in the Freedom of Information requests gathered from all 22 LAs, first-hand stories from WILG recipients and clear evidence that the same system is failing people in England.

 The amount of support for #SaveWILG has been incredible. Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, MPs, AMs and celebrities such as Ken Loach have all backed our campaign while Welsh Labour members passed a motion at conference to protect the grant.

 A similar motion was also passed by Disability Labour, our friends in Scotland and Northern Ireland also show that there is clearly another way of doing things to protect those with high support needs.

I haven’t even mentioned the UN report which found ‘grave and systematic violations of disabled ppls human rights’, saying it was a ‘human catastrophe’. This was partly based on concerns at the closure of the ILF. @WelshLabour are moving in the same direction. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/government-spending-cuts-human-catastrophe-un-committee-rights-persons-with-disabilities-disabled-a7911556.html …

 I am receiving emails on a daily basis from WILG recipients across Wales telling me about the difficulties they are facing with the transition process. These people are too afraid to speak out due to the fear of reprisals.

 Other recipients are also in the process of taking their LA’s to court and cannot speak out for fear of compromising their case. WILG will not or cannot raise their voice at all – for many reasons such as cognitive impairment, exhaustion or fear of further cuts to their hours.

 The absurd two-tier argument that Welsh Labour are using is absolutely ridiculous. It is to all intents and purposes an equalisation downward, however subtle and however long it takes to materialise. 

The ‘two-tier’ system is entirely the choice of WAG. Not us or recipients. Again, using this as a reason to stop providing what is needed as a basic starting point, is not a reason!!!

The effect being that money (saving) is at the root of this and the standard of life/living for recipients is not likely to be maintained in a way that allows them to have a really fulsome, fulfilled and rewarding life, rather than merely existing….

 I have spent all day writing this thread of Tweets and have sacrificed three years of my life to this campaign for common justice. I will not stop fighting for the rights of disabled people but it is a disgrace that I have to in 21st Century Wales. 

WALESPOSTCARDFRONT001

 

Don’t You Forget About Me #SaveWILG

This is a Tweet that I composed last night amidst all the political shenanigans that are dominating news headlines and office conversations across the UK:

 Brexit may seem like the only game in town, but while politicians squabble over our withdraw from the European Union, disabled people with high care and support needs across Wales are in danger due to the loss of WILG.

I have also added a few paragraphs from Wikipedia about Simple Minds. I do hope there are no copyright issues over the use of this tune as I am giving the writers full credit and not claiming any credit for myself. In addition it is for the benefit of a very worthy cause as we attempt to #SaveWILG.

***

Simple Minds are a Scottish rock band. They formed in Glasgow in 1977 and became the most commercially successful Scottish band of the 1980s.[3] They achieved five UK Albums chart number one albums during their career and have sold an estimated 70 million albums.[4] Despite various personnel changes, they continue to record and tour.

The band scored a string of hit singles, becoming best known internationally for their 1985 hit “Don’t You (Forget About Me)“, from the soundtrack of the film The Breakfast Club. Their other more prominent hits include “Alive and Kicking” and “Belfast Child” (UK #1). In 2016, they received the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors.[5]

The core of the band is the two remaining founding members, Jim Kerr (vocals, songwriting) and Charlie Burchill (guitars, keyboards after 1990, other instruments, songwriting). The other current band members are Ged Grimes (bass guitar), Sarah Brown (vocals), Gordy Goudie (guitar), Cherisse Osei (drums) and Catherine AD(vocals, keyboards, guitar). Former members include bass guitarist Derek Forbes, keyboardists Mick MacNeil and Andy Gillespie, drummers Brian McGee and Mel Gaynor(who first joined the band in 1982).

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With sincere thanks to the prolific Brian Hilton for creating this meme.

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Get Involved: Send an Email to Leadership Candidates #SaveWILG

I am asking all my loyal readers and comrades to spare 3 minutes of their time and send the following postcard picture and message to the 3 Welsh Labour leadership candidates, plus other important figures who will be able to influence Welsh Government thinking with regard to the Welsh Independent Living Grant.

The email can be copied and pasted from below. It should include an inline image of the postcard to maximise impact. The end of WILG is imminent and we MUST keep up the pressure and show those in power that we are not going anywhere. We will continue to protest and defend the rights of disabled people with high care and support needs across Wales.

Help us do this by sending the email below. Thanks, as ever, for your support.

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SUBJECT: Save the Welsh Independent Living Grant (#SaveWILG) 
 
Message to Mark Drakeford AM, Eluned Morgan AM, Vaughan Gething AM (Delete as appropriate
 
This is a crucial time for the future of Social Care in Wales. The SSWBA is an excellent piece of legislation, but it will take many years to come to fruition. 
 
In the meantime, WILG recipients will be at the mercy of local authorities who are unprepared for this Act and are already threatening substantial cuts in the care and support services that recipients need to function as a part of their local communities.
 
We are calling on the Welsh Government to reconsider the decision to end WILG as of April 2019 and fully explore the alternative options while listening to recipients and party members who voted overwhelmingly for a motion to save WILG  at the Welsh Labour conference in April 2018.
 
Our campaign to save WILG  has won cross party support, two motions have been passed, a number of MP’s and AM’s have lent their support including Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. We have also had the backing of Unions and celebrities such as Ken Loach who all agree that the Freedom of Information work that we have done provides glaring evidence that disabled people with high care and support needs require and are entitled to third party support from an independent body.

The 3 candidates can be emailed at the following addresses:

Mark Drakeford AM: Mark.Drakeford@assembly.wales

Eluned Morgan AM: Eluned.Morgan@assembly.wales

Vaughan Gething AM: Vaughan.Gething@gov.wales

While you are at it the same message could also be sent to the Minister for Older People, Children and Social Care Huw Irranca-Davies who is currently responsible for WILG. He can be contacted at Huw.Irranca-Davies@assembly.wales

It is also important that we continue to put pressure on the Petitions Committee who need to realise that NOW is the time to write a report on WILG to help preserve disabled peoples rights in Wales and force the Welsh Government to take the necessary steps and #SaveWILG.

David Rowlands: DavidJ.Rowlands@assembly.wales

Janet Finch Saunders: Janet.Finch-Saunders@Assembly.Wales

Mike Hedges: Mike.Hedges@assembly.wales

Rhun Ap Iopwerth: rhun.apiorwerth@assembly.wales

Neil McEvoy: Neil.McEvoy@assembly.wales

Any help and support you can give would be much appreciated. Together we can make a difference…

EHRC Report: How Fair is Wales?

Rhian Davies of Disability Wales has also alerted me to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report into the somewhat dire situation of disabled people: How Fair is Wales?

This can be found in a PDF format, but really is essential reading for anyone with the power to help disabled people overcome the numerous challenges they face in 21st century Wales and become equal members of society.

I fully expect all Welsh Assembly Members to be studying this document as to create a prosperous Wales then surely it is essential that the foundations are settled first and that all citizens are able to contribute in their own way.

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is-britain-fairer-2018-is-wales-fairer

This is the most comprehensive review of how Wales is performing on equality and human rights.

It looks across all areas of life, including:

  • education
  • work
  • living standards
  • health
  • justice and security
  • participation in society

It provides a complete picture of people’s life chances in Wales today.

Click here to access the PDF.