Poverty, Austerity & Family
Many families are struggling with the consequences of recurrent poverty and increasing austerity and need a chance to improve their own lives. What is needed is a coherent approach that addresses the very structure of poverty.
Helen Jones MP is the Shadow Minister For Local Government and is hosting this meeting for us. She knows the struggle that local authorities have to deliver services at times of retrenchment and cuts. She will lead us in this discussion on how austerity impacts on families and what should be done. How can we get a coherent approach across Parties that addresses the very structure of poverty? Joining Helen in this will be
Vicki Fitzgerald who is the Chief Executive of Gateway Family Services and has worked for the past 14 years on regeneration in Birmingham, with a particular focus on the development of people in local communities. Vicki led the development of new qualifications to equip the workforce to deliver high-quality services, which responds to increasing health inequalities.She works closely with families and has first hand knowledge of the problems many face.
David Holmes is the Chief Executive of Family Action, which provides home and project based support for families with complex needs, community based services for people with enduring mental health problems, and financial help for individuals and families who have fallen through the safety net of the welfare state.David has senior management experience in children’s services in the voluntary sector, local government and central government, and was Chief Executive of BAAF from February 2006 to February 2013. Before moving to local government as a Deputy Director of Children's Services, David directed the Child Protection, Adoption and Children’s Trusts divisions in the Department of Health and then the Looked After Children division in the Department for Education and Skills.
There was a time when we thought we had defeated poverty and created a safety net for all but it now seems to be back with a vengeance. The number of families who live in poverty is probably greater than the 120,000 cited by the government. Parties and indeed individuals can take up entrenched positions – either blaming the government or blaming individuals. How can we extricate ourselves from this dilemma so there is some common and agreed action on a pressingly urgent problem? This is what we would like to discuss at this meeting.
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Please Note this is the meeting that was postponed from January because of the illness of Helen Jones.
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