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The Poverty Emergency

Poverty Emergency

In October 2020, elected members of the Council voted to declare a poverty emergency for the borough. This declaration sets poverty alongside climate in providing the framework for a fairer, greener recovery.

Watch the meeting

Leader's Champion for Poverty and Inequality, Councillor Mandy Clare (Dene Ward), explains why the Council has declared a poverty emergency, what difference we hope to make and encourages other councils to join us.

By calling a poverty emergency, the Council is committing to tackling poverty in all its forms and at its roots, taking an evidence and lived experience-based approach in responding to the challenges that the communities of west Cheshire face. We are looking to the future and to how community ownership models and community wealth-building approaches can provide alternative models of economic development that can stimulate a fairer, greener recovery that better serve the needs of our communities and environment, in light of the impacts and insights the crisis has brought.

Since the declaration, the Council has received formal backing of the Equalities Trust and is preparing to begin work with other interested councils, some of whom have recently secured their own Poverty Emergency declaration. As a Council we have an opportunity to lead on changes for our low-income residents and to put that at the forefront of how we work and how we influence. As part of the declaration a number of commitments were set out, along with key principles that underpin our approach. These set the scene for a new approach to the issue of poverty with the aim of building a fairer and greener recovery across our borough and influencing permanent change.

The Council will:

  • Treat the issue of poverty as an equalities and fairness issue.
  • Work collectively to gather better quality evidence on the impacts of poverty, including the full range of disproportionate impacts of the crisis on those struggling on low incomes.
  • Put quality lived experience alongside quality evidence and partnership, including cross-council and cross-party partnership, at the heart of our approach.
  • Provide the spaces and opportunity for those affected by low income to gather, learn, strengthen and support one another in raising their democratic voice on the poverty-related issues that directly affect them, locally and nationally.
  • Explore routes to incorporate Community Wealth-Building and Collective Ownership approaches that address low income and environmental concerns within the Council's own provision and across the borough, with a focus on the communities most harshly economically impacted by the crisis.
  • Collaborate, work collectively and celebrate one another’s successes across councils.
  • Put working together to solve the root causes of poverty at the heart of our agenda, recognising that poverty is not a lifestyle choice.

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