We are co-Secretaries, with Sara Pickard from Mencap Cymru, for the Cross Party Group on Learning Disability, on behalf of the Learning Disability Consortium.
The Cross Party Group is made up of Members of the Senedd from some of the main political parties in Wales and members of the Learning Disability Consortium. The Group aims to discuss and promote the issues that affect the lives of people with a learning disability in Wales and their families/carers.
The Learning Disability Consortium is a group of third sector organisations in Wales that represent the interests of people with learning disabilities and their families/carers: All Wales Forum of Parents and Carers, All Wales People First, Cymorth Cymru, Learning Disability Wales, Down’s Syndrome Association (Wales) and Mencap Cymru.
The group was set up following discussions within the Consortium about the need to highlight the specific issues that people with a learning disability and their families/carers face in Wales. We have been members of the Cross Party Group on Disability for some time and while many of the issues raised within this group are equally relevant to the lives of people with learning disabilities, there are many other issues that specifically affect people with learning disabilities and their families that we felt needed to be addressed. That is why we decided to set up a new Cross Party Group on Learning Disability to look at these issues. We will, however, continue to work with the Cross Party Group on Disability on issues that affect all disabled people in Wales.
The new Cross Party Group on Learning Disability met for the first time on 11 May 2022 to elect the Chair and co-Secretaries. Members of the group elected Sioned Williams MS as Chair, and Samantha Williams and Sara Pickard as co-Secretaries for the group. Joe Powell, Director of All Wales People First, gave a presentation at the first meeting on why he thought it was important to set up the new Cross Party Group and his hopes for what the group could achieve. Members also discussed possible topics and speakers for future meetings and agreed that at least half of the speakers at each meeting should be people with lived experience.
Meeting 2 was held online on 21 September 2022 on the topic of health inequalities.
Meeting 3 was held online on 7 December 2022 on the cost of living crisis.
Meeting 4 was held online on 30 March 2023. This included the Annual General Meeting (or AGM) and supporting parents with a learning disability.
Meeting 5 was held at Ty Hywel, Cardiff Bay and online on 27 June 2023 on problems with renewing bus passes and the new guidance for supporting parents with a learning disability.
Meeting 6 was held online on 27 September 2023 on the reopening of day services.
You can read the easy read agendas and minutes of all past meetings by clicking on the links under ‘Meetings’ below.
Future meetings will be open to anyone wishing to attend. Dates and information about how to join the meetings will be available soon. If you would like to receive emails about future meetings and the work of the Cross Party Group on Learning Disability, please email email@example.com to join the mailing list.