PAC evidence session with Neil Couling and Peter Schofield 9 July 2018 – ‘listening to stakeholders’

NAWRA has written to the chair of the Public Accounts Committee Meg Hillier MP to draw her attention to our correspondence earlier this year with Neil Couling, Director General for the Universal Credit Programme.

We wrote to Neil Couling about specific major problems within the operation of universal credit.  His response did not engage with our concerns and refused to address circumstances where UC is not operating as it should.

In the Public Accounts Committee evidence session on 9 July 2018, Neil Couling repeated the view that lobbying from some stakeholders was about policy rather than the implementation of universal credit.  NAWRA disputes that this is the case and plans to write again to Mr Couling on problems claimants are experiencing migrating from ESA to universal credit and the regulations not being followed correctly. We hope that following his assurances to the Public Accounts Committee he will be more receptive.


Mike Shermer

NAWRA would like to pay tribute to Mike Shermer, former committee member for the East of England region, who passed away peacefully on 17 May 2018, aged 74 years.

Mike was one of the original members of the NAWRA committee and demonstrated a commitment to the organisation throughout his time with us.  Mike was a dedicated welfare rights adviser with Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council and had also served as a Town Councillor for March in the Isle of Ely area of Cambridgeshire.  Following his retirement, Mike still kept in touch with welfare rights matters and he is sadly missed by all of us at NAWRA.

NAWRA would like to pass on condolences to Mike’s wife, Jeanette, and to all the Shermer family.

Mike Shermer
Mike Shermer

NAWRA conference in Nottingham 1 June 2018

Our quarterly meetings are held around the UK and include keynote speakers, workshops and a range of networking and professional development opportunities.

Here are details of the next NAWRA meeting:

Date: Friday 1 June 2018
Time: 10am – 4pm (registration from 9.30am)
Location: Nottingham Law School, Chaucer Building, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham NG1 5LP

The meeting is kindly hosted by Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre and Advice Nottingham. Our guest speakers will be Dr Tom Vickers of Nottingham Trent University, Tessa Gregory (Leigh Day Solicitors) and Elizabeth Davey (Equality and Human Rights Commission). There will be workshops on PIP caselaw, finanical resiliance and CPAG’s new Upper Tribunal Assistance Project.

Download the full agenda along with information about travel, accommodation and our social evening.

NAWRA meetings are free for members to attend. There is no need to book a place.  If your organisation is not already a NAWRA member then join here.

Please get in touch with any questions.