Our History

Greater Manchester Disabled People’s Panel Timeline 

December 2016 – February 2017 

As a result of Devolution Manchester, the first ever Greater Manchester Mayor position is created and elections will take place on 4th May 2017. The Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP) sees this as an opportunity for disabled people to influence policy and strategy at the highest local level and the idea of producing a Greater Manchester Disabled People’s Manifesto and present it to the newly elected GM Mayor, is first muted. Initially manifesto is drafted by GMCDP Exec Board and drafts of the document sent to Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO’s) in Greater Manchester for their input and support. 

March 2017 – Round table event 

  • Even held with Andy Burnham and members of GMCDP.  Draft copy of our manifesto had been sent prior to session at Andy’s requests as he was constructing his own Manifesto.   
  • The Mayoral Manifesto on Disability released to members, public and all GM Mayoral candidates. 

April 2017 

  • GMCDP organise a hustings for their members to quiz Mayoral candidates who were putting themselves forward for election to the GM Mayor position.  
  • GMCDP Staff and Executive Board training event. The idea for having a Disabled People’s Advisory Panel is first raised at this session as a follow-up action to the release of the manifesto. 
  • GMCDP Exec Board Meeting agree action to put together a ‘programme of engagement’ (what eventually becomes the Panel) between Disabled People and the Mayor’s Office. 

4th May 2017 – Mayoral Elections 

Andy Burnham elected as the first GM Mayor 

September 2017 – Event with new GM Mayor 

At the Mayors request, GMCDP organise event between Greater Manchester DPOs and the new GM Mayor. 28 representatives from 14 organisations attend. The idea to have a GM Mayor Disability Advisory Panel was agreed by all. GMCDP were actioned to put a proposal together by January 2018. 

December 2017 

Engagement Strategy Meeting– Representative from the meeting with the Mayor where invited to attend and give feedback on the draft of the Engagement Strategy (some feedback had been sent by those that did not attend session). Amendments/changes suggested and people asked to form a Working Group to conclude the strategy. 

January to September 2018 

  • Numerous working groups meetings and meetings with reps from the Mayor’s office/GMCA take place.  
  • GMCVO approached by GMCA to second someone to act as coordinator of the Panel, an idea the working group rejected as it was felt it would not provide enough resources to effectively meet the Panel’s obligations and ambitions. 
  • GMCDP give a deadline of end of September for a formal GMCA response to the strategy.
  • Original 4 page strategy is reduced down to a one page mission statement overview (click here to see).
  • GMCVO approached by GMCA to work with GMCDP to put together 3 costed funding options. Eventually 2nd option agreed by GMCA. 

October 2017 – January 2018 

  • Further meetings of the Working group take place 
  • GMCA meetings put back dates for ratification of the grant agreement 

March 2019 

  • Interviews for Panel Lead take place (decision made to split the role into two separate roles- operational and strategic) Rick Burgess and Jane Bevan take up positions in April. 
  • Grant agreement formally signed by GMCDP 
  • Anne Lythgoe becomes liaison between Panel and GMCA. 

April 2019 

Rick Burgess and Jane Bevan begin work at GMCDP to recruit panel and engage with Mayor, GMCA, and DPO’s and other groups in the City region. 

May 2019 

Applications invited for the panel members. 

June 2019 

Selection and first meeting held on the 20th June at the Windrush Millenium Centre in Manchester.

July 2019 – March 2020

The Panel meet every month in a different district of Greater Manchester: Oldham, Bolton, Stockport, Rochdale, Wigan, Trafford, Manchester, Bury. We develop our working, governance, and invite guests to inform and question on several key subject areas for disabled people: employment, health and social care, transport, benefits, hate crime, access, housing.

March 2020 – onwards

In early March, assessing the increasing risk from Covid 19 to disabled people we cancel March’s physical meeting and rapidly transition to virtual Zoom based meetings on a weekly basis to support the emergency response to the Pandemic and ensure disabled people’s rights and support needs are better met. We feed into the Mayor’s emergency response planning, the Humanitarian Aid Group, Health & Social Care among others. The Panel also helps the in the distribution of emergency funding to all 10 districts of GM.

The Panel create the GM Big Disability survey, it is compiled, designed, and launched to gather information on disabled people’s experiences of the pandemic to better inform our response and to improve GM services. With results being presented to the Mayor, council leaders, MP’s and other leading stakeholders across GM in June.

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