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18.04.13

Local government ‘anti-poverty champions’ for Wales

The Welsh Government has created 22 ‘anti-poverty champions’, to help the poorest in society and to protect those most at risk.

There will be two champions per local authority; one councillor and one senior council official. The champions scheme is being launched with communities and tackling poverty minister Huw Lewis.

Lewis said: “The Welsh Government is committed to doing all it can to tackle poverty head on. Addressing this issue should not be considered an add-on to what we do; it should be a theme that runs through all that we do. As the new Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, I look to the whole of Welsh Government, the public sector, third sector and private sector to work collectively on this for the greater good of the country.

“These new Local Government Anti-poverty Champions will not be new to this issue and will play a crucial role in addressing it. This meeting is an opportunity to explore how we can work together. There is no denying that we will be working against a background that is vastly more challenging than in the past. The UK’s economy continues to struggle to grow and we are seeing the impact of changes to welfare that will hit the most vulnerable in our society.

“These changes are likely to hit services provided by Local Government, from housing, social care and education. That is why as a Government we have provided additional funding to local authorities for 2013-14 to return the council tax support budget to the level it was before the UK Government implemented its austerity measures. This means that there will be no reduction in support for eligible claimants as a result of the funding cut in Wales.

“We will not be able to do everything that needs to be done, but by working together we will do all we can to make sure the most vulnerable do not fall through the net.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Image c. National Assembly for Wales

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