Evaluation of Anti Poverty Strategy and future actions
The Communities Committee received an independent Evaluation of the Strategy in February 2021 which evidenced:
- Poverty has been placed on the political agenda in a way that it wasn't previously, and is ensuring that action on poverty is seen as essential across different political parties
- The Strategy has been the basis for challenging claims that there is little power to tackle poverty locally and has illustrated the sorts of activities that can have a positive impact
- The Strategy's focus on issues such as listening to the community, capacity building and challenging stigma have all been recognised and well received
- The Strategy helped to foster a culture of placing service users and those with lived experience at the heart of decision making
Future actions to tackle poverty
We are working closely with partners, our communities and people facing the challenge of poverty to make sure we get the most effective approaches in place.
A partnership Poverty and Inequality Strategy for 2021-2024 was agreed by the Communities Committee on 9 February 2021 and the Community Planning Partnership Board on 12 March 2021.
The definition of poverty we use is: The situation for individuals where: income and resources are so inadequate to preclude them having a standard of living considered acceptable in the society in which they live. Because of their poverty they may experience multiple disadvantages through unemployment, low income, poor housing, inadequate health care, and barriers to lifelong learning, culture, sport and recreation. They are often excluded and marginalised from participating in activities (economic, social and cultural) that are the norm for other people and their access to fundamental rights may be restricted."
Our vision is : A Dumfries and Galloway in which local action has driven poverty as low as possible, and has mitigated as far as possible the impact of poverty when experienced'.
Our Objectives are:
- Outcome Objective 1: Tackle severe and persistent poverty and destitution
- Outcome Objective 2: Maximising income of people facing poverty
- Outcome Objective 3: Reducing the financial pressures on people in poverty
- Outcome Objective 4: Building individuals and communities' ability to deal with the effects of poverty
- Enabling Objective 1: Building organisational and system capacity
- Enabling Objective 2: Addressing barriers to access
A new Poverty and Inequalities Partnership and Action Plan are now being developed. Further background is here:
Our Council has allocated funding to tackle poverty and inequalities in its Budget for 2021/22 and the Communities Committee agreed the awards in April 2021 which include School Clothing Grants, Community Transport, Taxi-Cards , Credit Unions and Grassroots Projects
Finding help and support
We're currently working with Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway to source information from every organisation in the region which aims to prevent and eradicate poverty. The information will be used to create an up-to-date database which will make it easier for people to find the right help and support. It will also allow organisations to:
- develop partnership opportunities and collaborative working
- establish a new e-mail network
- share best practice
- avoid duplication of services
- re-focus support to where it is most needed
Living Wage Accreditation
We have produced a toolkit to assist other local authorities in achieving accreditation as a living wage employer.