Learning Disability Wales would like to seek your views to feed
into the Petitions Committee of National Assembly for Wales.
Nathan Lee Davies, who is a recipient of the
Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) and a disability activist is
asking Welsh Government to reconsider their decision to close WILG
from April 2019 resulting in the transfer of the fund directly to
Nathan does not believe that Welsh Government
has listened to stakeholder advice that advised not to close the
He says 'It should also be remembered that
closure of WILG is not inevitable as is proved through the
formation and success of the Scottish Independent Living Fund;
which also works to support the Northern Ireland ILF.
Furthermore, the hugely popular Labour Party
Manifesto outlined plans to set up a national care system to exist
independently of local authorities. This is exactly the time that
the Labour Party should be united on such issues against the
Tories. We must question why Welsh Labour are not playing their
part in the changing political landscape? Indeed, eventually it
should be our aim to set up an Independent Living Fund for Wales so
that no disabled person should have to suffer the same uncertainty
and isolation as WILG recipients are now experiencing. We can only
begin to believe that true social justice and equality for all is
possible if Welsh Labour revisit their WILG decision.
Welsh Labour will no doubt argue that we
should give the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act a chance
to succeed. However, this idealistic act needs hefty investment and
resources to ensure it is a success - with no sign of any of the
necessary improvements to our infrastructure that the success of
the Act depends on. This may indeed be the time for a revolutionary
change in the way social care is delivered, but such a
transformation could take a decade or more and WILG recipients do
not deserve to be treated like guinea pigs when their high care and
support needs require long-term stability and structure".
Your views are wanted
The Committee has agreed to seek the views of
others who may have a perspective on the petition and the decision
to close the Welsh Independent Living Grant from March 2019. Views
are sought on:
- The Welsh Government's decision to transfer funding for the
Welsh Independent Living Grant to local authorities.
- The potential benefits or problems which may arise from
supporting WILG recipients through local authority social care
provision in the future.
- The current transition process, including assessment by local
authorities, and any feedback from WILG recipients.
- If you (or your organisation) was involved in the work of the
ILF stakeholder advisory group, your experience of this process and
the extent to which the group's deliberations and final
recommendation reflected the views of members.
- Any alternative approaches that you believe should have been
taken by the Welsh Government, or any changes which should be made
at this stage.
- Any other views or comments that you have in relation to the
Please email your views to Learning Disability
Wales. We will collate views and make a response. Please send your
views by Friday 7 September 2018.
Or if you would like to provide your response
directly send it to SeneddPetitions@assembly.wales,
by Friday 14 September 2018.
Responses are typically published as part of their Committee
papers and will be discussed at a future Committee meeting.
Full overview can be found here:
Most recently, the Committee held evidence
sessions with Nathan and the Minister for Children, Older People
and Social Care. Details of all the evidence received to date can
be found here:
Background to WILG
The WILG was introduced to help people who
previously claimed from the UK government's Independent Living Fund
(ILF), which closed in 2015. More than 1,500 people are helped by
the scheme across Wales. Recipients all have high degree of care
and support needs. It was due to run until the end of March 2017,
but Social Services Minister Rebecca Evans said in November that
funding would continue for another year. The annual £27m fund will
then transfer directly to local authorities during 2018-19 to
meet the support needs of all former ILF recipients by 31 March