Published: Thursday, 25th February 2021
Agreement has been given to hold a consultation on the Council's draft Anti-Poverty Strategy.
The Strategy has been developed as part a Borders-wide commitment to supporting individuals, families and communities experiencing hardship, whether that is as a result of economic, fuel, housing, food, digital or any other type of poverty.
Its development was agreed at the Council meeting held on 25 September 2020. A short term working group was tasked with reviewing the extent of poverty in the region and the impact that this has had on the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities, as well as on their financial, educational and other circumstances. The group has been:
- gathering information on the range of initiatives and projects already working to support people experiencing poverty
- studying best practice examples and approaches taken by other local authority areas
- reflecting on a variety of specific COVID-19 impact reports published nationally.
Input has also been provided by the following partner organisations to ensure their knowledge of the local picture is included:
- Citizens Advice Borders
- Registered Social Landlords
- Third Sector and Voluntary agencies.
Consultation details to be confirmed
The consultation itself will be held from March to May 2021, details to be announced through our website and social media channels in due course.
The Strategy will be supported by an Action Plan to be developed once the results of the consultation have been taken into account. The final documents will be presented to Council for approval in June 2021.
Councillor Robin Tatler, Executive Member for Community Development and Localities
“There is already some extremely good work being undertaken to combat the effects of poverty on individuals and families in our local communities. However, we know there is much more that can and needs to be done, especially with the ongoing impact of COVID-19. This draft Strategy is a significantly important step towards that aim.
“Our vision for the Strategy is ambitious, namely ‘we want a Scottish Borders where no-one lives in poverty and we want everyone to be able to achieve their full potential and feel healthy, happy and valued’ and while we are very conscious of the many challenges that face our residents and our communities, especially at this time, we believe we have a responsibility to do all we can to support them.
"We also believe that by working together with our partners, sharing resources and pooling our knowledge and strengths, we can develop a forward thinking, sustainable approach to tackling poverty that will benefit us all.
“What we need now is for as many people as possible to have a look at the draft Strategy and then take part in the consultation once it goes live. We are particularly keen to hear from anyone with a direct lived experience of poverty. Their input is key to informing our decision making and making sure that we put in place appropriate measures and solutions that will have a real impact and make a genuine difference to people’s lives.”
Help and support is already available
Councillor Tatler added: “We would also remind people that there is already a great deal of advice, information and support available and people shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch to see how we, and our partner agencies, may be able to help.”
The Council’s Customer Advice and Support Services team can be contacted on 0300 100 1800. They are also available to advise on support that can be accessed through our Community Assistance Hubs. Additional information is available about the support available to those affected by COVID-19 as well as general advice on benefits and grants
- The draft Strategy and covering report were presented at the Council meeting held on 25 February 2021
- Agreement to the development of an Anti-Poverty Strategy was approved at the Council meeting held on 25 September 2020
- Information about the work being done to support child poverty is available in the Local Child Poverty Action Report – Annual Progress Report 2019/20