Family Poverty

ANEC members have for some time expressed concerns about poverty in the North East and the actions that councils, and their partners, can take to address it. The issue is particularly pressing as a result of continuing economic challenges and expenditure reductions that have affected key local government services, together with the welfare reforms that the Government is introducing.

ANEC set up a member-led Family Poverty Task and Finish Group in 2013 with cross-party representatives from councils across the North East, to examine the issues and develop a response.

Councillor Jan Brunton, Chair of the Task and Finish Group said:

‘Family poverty is an increasingly pressing issue for people in the North East, as a result of continuing economic challenges and expenditure cuts that have affected key public services, together with the Government's programme of welfare reform. Our report takes a wide-ranging look at key aspects of family poverty including welfare reform, financial inclusion, health, housing and employment. We have put forward clear and positive recommendations for action - by the Government, social landlords and other agencies as well as councils themselves.'

Councillor Paul Watson, ANEC's Chair added:

‘I am grateful to Jan, her colleagues on the Task and Finish Group and all those who gave their time and expertise to inform the Group's findings. The report is a valuable contribution to the debate and the Association will continue to maintain a focus on family poverty. In particular we will be monitoring the impact of welfare reform - not just on individuals and communities, but also on wider issues such as crime and disorder and community cohesion.'

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