Food bank volunteers pack a box of food.

Cheshire West and Chester Council encourage Councils to declare poverty emergency

Cheshire West and Chester Council have declared a Poverty Emergency and are urging councils across the country to do the same.

The motion, put forward by Cllr Mandy Clare outlines how policy should be put in place with poverty at the forefront of decision making.

The Council is now inviting Councils up and down England to use their motion as a starting point for doing the same in their region with ideas of a “stronger collection voice nationally”, by using similar policy.

When announcing the poverty emergency, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cllr Louise Gittins, said:

“As a Council we are committed to tackling poverty in the borough. Our declaration is supported by the new Council Plan that has poverty as a theme running throughout to support all of our communities.

 “Our aim is to continue to keep lived experience at the heart of how we prioritise and plan, but to expand this and to work more closely with residents and our partners to fine-tune our data and insight into the issues.”

The Council is currently in discussions with Universities to get formal academic research conducted into the effectiveness of a poverty emergency, with the hopes that more Councils nationally will join as a result of that research.

Cllr Mandy Clare said:

“We are encouraging other councils that want to join us in declaring a Poverty Emergency to get their motions as close to ours as possible – use it as a template or model motion if you want to.  That way we can take advantage of this moment of change and upheaval to build a stronger shared common platform and potentially a stronger collective ‘voice’ nationally on poverty and start to get it addressed as an equalities issue.

We will be launching our online platform soon, which will be used for updates on our progress but also to announce additional councils declaring and to platform good practice on tackling poverty as an equalities issue from across the UK, so we can all raise the bar for each other.”

Cllr Clare encourages Councils and Councillors to get in contact with her regarding their progress on the poverty emergency.

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