Council progress on Anti-Poverty Strategy

Progress in implementing its Anti-Poverty Action Plan will be discussed by Dumfries and Galloway Council (28 June 2016).

Since the action plan was approved (25 June 2015) all aspects have been taken forward and contributions to tackling poverty have been made at local and national level. Process is considered to be very good, with support from partners and the Council’s profile, locally and nationally, considered as very positive.

Strategy objectives are:
• To listen to people and families experiencing poverty and make sure their voice is heard
• To support people experiencing poverty to move from dependence to independence
• To ensure our information and services are easy to access
• To provide services that meet the needs of people

Particular progress has been made with:
• Tackling Poverty Coordination Group (TPCG), which has recruited a group of service users with direct experience of poverty. It is working to set conditions to enable service users to feel comfortable and have confidence engage in discussions and drive the group direction.
• Poverty Alliance ‘stick your labels’ training has been delivered to financial staff, head teachers and key education staff.
• The council agreed the service review on Strategic Housing, Revenues, Benefits, Financial Advice, Housing Options and Homelessness (15 December 2015). Recommendations include developing customer service hubs and ‘tell us once’ financial assessments.
• A research project investigating ways to reduce extra costs involved in the school day.

Discussions on paying the Living Wage for homecare workers at national level are ongoing.

Council Leader Ronnie Nicholson said “Protecting our most vulnerable people, being inclusive, and providing the best start in life for all our children are priorities for our council. Our Anti-Poverty strategy and action plan are fundamental to delivering on our priorities. Unfortunately, for many people in our region, poverty is a daily reality. Poverty wastes people’s potential, drains public finances, and hampers economic growth. But, it isn’t inevitable. We can and must do all we can to lift people out of poverty. That’s why we’re implementing Dumfries and Galloway’s first ever anti-poverty strategy.”

The full report is available at http://egenda.dumgal.gov.uk/aksdumgal/users/public/admin/kab14.pl?operation=SUBMIT&meet=153&cmte=COU&grpid=public&arc=71

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