Taking lead to tackle poverty

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Calderdale Council is taking the lead on tackling poverty.

On Monday councillors will be asked to approve recommendations to support some of the poorest families in Calderdale whilst identifying long-term measures that will help to reduce the numbers of children born or living in poverty.

Calderdale Council’s cabinet will be asked to establish a cabinet child poverty task force to tackle this issue, which has been identified as one of the council’s priorities. Council services and partners such as the NHS will work together with families affected by welfare reform; with young people to prevent drug and alcohol dependency and pregnancy; provide advice on housing and homelessness and offer debt advice.

This will be complemented by the work of the economic task force, which is recommending to cabinet further investment in advice services to help those affected by the welfare reform programme.

Under the proposals the Citizens Advice Bureau would receive £25,000 per year, for two years, for advice services as demand from vulnerable groups has significantly increased. A further £8,000 would be allocated for research into how families are dealing with the changes to the benefits system, finding out how the council can best support those hardest hit.

A new £100,000 fund would be available for organisations which run advice services, including those affected by the changeover from disability living allowance to personal independence payments, and the introduction of universal credit. Bids from advice agencies for up to £25,000 from the fund would be invited.