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10th LDAG meeting by Ruth Derrick

Ruth Derrick

I originally planned to catch the train to the LDAG meeting today, but there was nowhere to park at the station, so I drove onto the M4 towards the Cardiff East Park and Ride instead. I then discovered that the route has changed and the bus now stops on Churchill Way, but hey, I could do with the exercise!

An interesting meeting today and as a relatively new member of the group, I am still learning the rules of engagement. It is always difficult joining an established group, but a local authority colleague of mine will soon be joining too and I feel that this will help with the balance of the group.

Today we spent much of the time talking about the consultations relating to Parts 2, 3, 4 and 7 of the new Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act. It is safe to say that there is a huge amount to process relating to the Act across a range of topic areas. There is definitely a lot of reading and thinking involved.

It is really interesting to hear the views of others who have different experiences to me. I always try not to make assumptions about other people's views, particularly when I don't know people well and I hope that other LDAG members hold similar values.

Steve Vaughan from Welsh Government talked to us about the Continuing Health Care (CHC) framework. He wanted to know if we felt that the framework was inclusive and supported people with a learning disability to access the help they need. There were some strong opinions in the group and I hope that this was helpful to Steve's task.

Later, Joe Powell from All Wales People First raised the importance of discussing issues from a range of people, organisations and networks who we are all in touch with through our own personal and professional links. We agreed that although the LDAG is not a lobbying group, it is important that we discuss issues that are brought to our attention by others. This way, we can recognise any trends or themes that may be worthy of further enquiry.

On my way out of the Welsh Government building, Jim Crowe kindly offered me a lift up the road. It was damp and dusky outside but I declined the warm dry car on the basis that I really do need the exercise! I walked into the city centre, past Winter Wonderland. There was a lovely smell of candy floss, the lights looked very pretty, the skaters were laughing and I suddenly realised that it is only two weeks until Christmas - Nadolig Llawen pawb!

Christmas presents