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Poverty Truth Advisory Board

Poverty Emergency

Building on the learning from two West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commissions, (WCPTC), it was agreed in early 2020 to mainstream this approach to inform and support all poverty work across the Council and with local partner agencies, developing a programme of work in conjunction with services that retains the existing WCPTC ethos.

To support this work, the Council has now set up a Poverty Truth Advisory Board (PTAB) with public, private, civic sector and Community Inspirer representatives to advise and support services across the Council and partner agencies.

This Board is meeting monthly and includes cross-party representation. It is co-chaired by Cllr Mandy Clare as the Cheshire West and Chester Council Leader's Champion for Poverty and Inequality alongside Community Inspirer, Antony Spurway. The Board will ensure all stakeholders will continue to be fully involved in decision-making across work to tackle the poverty agenda, inform future strategy, policy and longer term governance of such, in which those with lived experience will have a voice.

There are a number of working groups set up outside of PTAB to work on priorities, including data collection and analysis, Covid hardship fund, transport and budget consultation. Work is also underway to co-produce a strategy to tackle poverty across the borough, under the title of A Fairer Future.

  • Bringing the poverty agenda to the forefront and respond to any changes/challenges that the communities of West Cheshire face.
  • Listening and learning from people with lived experience of poverty.
  • Influence the Council and partner organisations to recognise people with lived experience as key stakeholders.
  • Securing a robust framework to ensure that change in how decisions are made is permanent.
  • Building a community to help inform work.
  • Reducing stigmas and assumptions attached to the use of the word poverty.
  • Gathering data to evidence the impact COVID-19 is having on those already in poverty, or likely to experience it as a result.
  • Using knowledge and evidence to influence those in positions of power to review how we tackle poverty within Cheshire West and beyond.
  • Advising and helping to develop policy on the use of appropriate funding to support the poverty agenda, now and in the future.
  • Timely and pro-active involvement in Council policy reviews.
  • Building knowledge of how decision making and influencing works within Local Government and beyond.
  • Exploring and developing opportunities to network within the wider community and beyond West Cheshire to make change-making more accessible to people experiencing poverty or on low incomes.

Some of this work is a continuation or expansion of previous Poverty Truth Commission work and some relates directly to developing new work around the additional commitments made within the Poverty Emergency declaration:

  • Embed Poverty Truth principles and approach across Council and partner agency services.
  • Bring poverty agenda to the forefront.
  • Supporting work to remove gaps and duplication between services.
  • Continue to campaign for change at a local, regional and national level.
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