As you may know from the Action for ME and MEA websites, James Purnell MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has agreed to address the next APPG on M.E., about the Welfare Reform Green Paper, ‘No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility.’
He has also agreed to take questions.
As the Minister will not be able to attend the whole meeting, the time available for questions will be limited and priority will be given to MPs present on the day who wish to ask questions, .
This approach has been suggested to try to involve a greater number of MPs and to add their weight to questions raised.
The ME Association and Action for M.E. are therefore urging local support groups and their members to raise their concerns about the Welfare Reform Paper with their MP and to encourage their MP to attend the APPG, which will take place 3-5pm, Wednesday 8 October in Committee Room 18, House of Commons.
For anyone who has recently moved house or is new to M.E. parliamentary lobbying, here is a list of MPs by constituency
The Chair of the APPG has also invited support groups, individuals with M.E., their carers and professionals with an interest in M.E. to submit questions for the Minister via Action for M.E. or the ME Association (the Secretariat of the APPG).
The aim here is to ensure that a range of the issues of most common concern are covered on the day, in the time the Minister has available.
Again, for reasons of time, questions must relate directly to the Welfare Reform Green Paper – and only questions of up to 100 words in length will be considered (very sorry about this but the aim is to include as many questions as possible from as many people as possible, in the time available).
Questions should be submitted to either Action for M.E. or the ME Association, by 5pm Tuesday 30 September, by emailing Action for ME or The ME Association. Please address your question, "TO THE APPG / MINISTER." Alternatively, questions may also be posted to either charity in hard copy.
The Chair will then select a representative sample to put to the Minister.
The APPG is just one of the ways you can participate in the public consultation on the Welfare Reform Green Paper – and lobbying will continue after the consultation closes, as the Paper passes through Parliament.
Raising political interest by engaging directly with your MP / MSP is a vital part of this ongoing process.
Look here for other ways to feed into the public consultation on the Welfare Reform Green Paper.