Barrow Borough Council declares Poverty Emergency

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Barrow Borough Council has become one of the first authorities in the country to declare a poverty emergency.

During a full council meeting held yesterday, councillors were asked to approve a motion set by Barrow Borough Council leader Ann Thomson to declare a poverty emergency to help identify and tackle the root causes of poverty and inequalities across the area.

Now, the aim is to try to set up a Poverty Truth Commission with an independent chair who will bring together all the agencies who will work with the community. The Commission will also be at the heart of the council’s Growing Forward Agenda.

Council leader Ann Thomson, who put forward the motion at the meeting along with Councillor Hayley Preston, said: “Due to Covid-19 we are living with economic uncertainty and financial pressures have increased in all households.

“Unemployment is on the rise and the cost of living has gone up, so it’s now more important than ever to declare a poverty emergency in Barrow.

“People shouldn’t feel ashamed of the situation they’re in - by declaring this emergency we can build a stronger community and we build a powerful voice against poverty by making sure we listen carefully to the very people who have experienced it first hand.

“We need to raise awareness of the issue of poverty and we need our central government to step up to tackle this issue too.”

Poverty Truth Commissions have been launched in several parts of the UK to bring those who live in, or who have experienced poverty, together with people in power to inform the way services are commissioned and run.

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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland: Barrow Borough Council declares Poverty Emergency
Barrow Borough Council declares Poverty Emergency
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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland
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