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Wednesday, 08 July 2015

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Plan to tackle Allerdale poverty issues

Allerdale council has revealed its plans to tackle a poverty problem which has left some children with a life expectancy 20 years lower than others in Cumbria.

The council in August launched a project to reduce poverty, backed by the Times & Star’s Fight Against Poverty campaign.

Now it has drawn up a draft strategy for tackling issues such as access to credit, access to healthy food and education, which it hopes will help people overcome poverty.

Its efforts have come after figures showed that six areas of Allerdale are among the 10 per cent most deprived areas nationally.

Statistics showed that a child growing up in Workington’s Moss Bay area can expect to live 20 years less than one living 30 miles away in rural Greystoke, near Penrith.

People are considered to be living in poverty if their income is less than 60 per cent of the median or middle income for an area, which is £387.70 per week gross for a full-time worker in Allerdale.

Latest government figures available showed that the Frostoms and Westfield North area of Workington was among the two per cent most deprived areas of the country.

It was followed by High Salterbeck and Brierydale in Workington in the top four per cent, and Ewanrigg in Maryport in the top five per cent.

The council held workshops with housing associations, charities, public services and other organisations working in poverty-related areas.

From that it drafted its reducing poverty strategy.

The council aims to help residents access credit and support with budget planning, food and housing, skills, education and employment, and benefits.

It also seeks to help people reduce household bills.

Among the recommendations is a plan for the council to pay money into a credit union scheme to allow the union to hand out more affordable loans.

It also proposes encouraging people to pay into credit unions through payrolls to increase the number of people with credit union accounts.

It has proposed a campaign against legal loan sharking and wants to work with partners to expand education and outreach work to develop financial awareness and money management.

The strategy also urges the council to work with North Lakes Foodbank to maximise its services to people in crisis and help develop food-growing initiatives to allow people to grow healthy food locally.

Under the strategy a campaign would be launched to encourage all employers to pay a living wage and the council would seek to maximise apprenticeship opportunities.

The draft strategy will be considered by the council’s scrutiny panel at a meeting at Allerdale House, Workington, at 10am next Friday.

The draft strategy is expected to go out to consultation by early January with a view to full council approving it in March.

Have your say

Allerdales reducing poverty project is a joke and a publicity stunt! The Council is currently laying off more and more of its staff possibly pushing them into poverty while the Council is wasting money on projects in one area of Allerdale! The Chief Exec is on 90k plus and it's Directors on 70k plus! Is this fair? Why don't Allerdale get to grip with reality and why don't all Councils in Cumbria get together with less Councillors and less senior staff with more available money to spend across the County! Also why in Allerdale focussing its efforts solely on Workington?

Posted by Get A Grip on 13 December 2012 at 23:16

poverty is trailing your shopping trolley from town and up mason street,couldnt afford taxis but we made sure the kids didnt do without ,although there were no holidays abroad and when the car packed in it meant getting up at4,30 in the morning to bike to work at maryport in all weathers,then again we hadent to fork out for fags and drink so in that respect we didnt waste our money.
when you consider interest payments were in the reigon of 18% then you can see there wasnt much to spare,i think in todays terms people are the best off they have been esp with the advent of tax credits and the like.and if kids are going hungary then why are allerdale council bankrolling derwent park? no wonder council tax is so high.

Posted by cynical west cumbrian on 7 December 2012 at 19:01

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