Progress On Tackling Poverty And Inequalities In D&G

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee will meet on Tuesday 10 March and will receive a report on the progress being made to tackle poverty in the region.

The Council’s current anti-poverty strategy and action plan were agreed at committee almost five years ago and is in place until the end of this current calendar year. Running alongside the strategy and action plan was research carried out by the Crichton Institute and the University of Glasgow, commissioned in 2015. The report details that this research can no longer be relied upon as accurate due to it being almost five years old. There will be refreshed research conducted, and it is hoped this will be ready for sharing with the Member/Officer working group in the middle of this year.

The report also details that £200k for Participatory Budgeting is currently out to public vote to see which organisations get a share of the money to spend on projects and initiatives to tackle poverty in local areas across the region. There will be online voting as well as in-person voting events, meaning the process will be more inclusive.
Another key issue for the Council is to tackle fuel poverty in the region. We have been working with partners Smart Energy GB and Message Matters to bring events to the area that highlight the importance and benefits of smart meters. The events (in Dumfries and Newton Stewart) will be held on 13 March and are part of a national pilot on the issue of helping reduce fuel poverty.

Councillor Andy Ferguson, Chairman of Communities Committee said ahead of the meeting on 10 March;
Tackling poverty has been and remains one of this Council’s main priorities. We continue to invest and work with our communities to do all we can to help those who need it most. This is an excellent report in terms of signposting to how we deliver this help, with everything from holiday food programmes to participatory budgeting.”
A review of arrangements on the delivery of the holiday food programme was carried out in October last year and a variation in delivery was taken forward for the Christmas break and February half term holiday. This resulted in higher numbers of children attending and a more diverse range of activities on offer.
Councillor John Martin, Vice Chair of Communities Committee said;
“The rejuvenated holiday food programme is one of the major successes of the last few months. Getting the help and support to those who need it most is at the forefront of our Council’s thoughts and the feedback from the activities we’re putting on during these programmes has been extremely positive.”

Papers for the meeting on Tuesday 10 March will be available at https://dumfriesgalloway.moderngov.co.uk/mgCalendarMonthView.aspx?GL=1&bcr=1

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