Agenda and minutes
Venue: Committee Room 2 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Pat Philips 0151 691 8488 or Ann Beauchamp 0151 691 8608
Members' Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest
Members are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or any other relevant interest in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.
Members were asked to consider whether they had any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or other relevant interest in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.
No such declarations were made.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies had been received from Councillors Ron Abbey, Adrian Jones, Tony Jones, Anita Leech, Ian Lewis, Christine Spriggs and Paul Stuart.
Further to Wallasey Constituency Committee minute (15) (26 September 2018) refers, the Constituency Manager introduced a report of the Director of Strategy and Partnerships that proposed an approach to, and sought a decision for, the spend of the Committee’s budget. At that meeting it had been agreed that the Constituency Manager make further enquiries to develop a proposal regarding the best approach to tackle food poverty across the Constituency (within its available budget of £59,565) and a further special meeting of Wallasey Constituency Committee be arranged for decision.
A report of the Corporate Director for Strategy and Partnerships informed that discussion had taken place with the Constituency Manager for Birkenhead regarding the operation of the ‘Feeding Birkenhead’ project, which had been established by the Rt Hon Frank Field MP in 2014; together with associated projects funded by the Constituency Committee. Discussions had also taken place with Wirral Council’s Assistant Director for Early Help & Prevention. The Constituency Committee was informed that published data (up to November 2015) suggested that 13,675 children in Wirral were living in poverty (up to the age of 20 years); this equated to 19.9% of all children in Wirral living in poverty (HMRC, 2018). Whilst this was a year-on-year reduction from 2011, it was reported that this was higher than the 2015 average for England at 16.6%. Seven of twenty-two wards compared were above the Wirral threshold; including Seacombe (36.6%, 1,570 children), Leasowe & Moreton East (26.5%, 955 children) and Liscard (24.7%, 885 children), within Wallasey Constituency. Whilst the Constituency’s three remaining wards were below the threshold, there were still children living in low income households within those areas – New Brighton (18.7%, 565 children), Moreton West & Saughall Massie (14.2%, 400 children) and Wallasey (8.7%, 235 children).
The report outlined that food poverty meant that an individual or household was not able to obtain healthy, nutritious food, or could not access the food they would like to eat. This often resulted in people eating poor diets, which could lead to heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer, as well as inadequate levels of many vitamins and minerals. Food poverty and economic poverty were linked. Rent, tax and debts were fixed costs; food was often the ‘flexible’ budget item. Poor children could suffer from lower nutrient intake, bad dietary patterns, hunger, low fruit and vegetable consumption and problems accessing food in school holidays.
It was reported that activity to tackle food poverty would help contribute to the Wirral 2020 pledges to ensure children were ready for school and enable them to reach their full potential. Considerable work in contribution to these pledges was led by Wirral Council’s Early Help & Prevention Service. The Service had recently commissioned three contracts to support its Early Help offer (branded as ‘Community Matters’) and to create the right conditions for community-based early help to thrive. This included:
- Revitalising the voluntary, community and faith sector by creating a vibrant and visible network of providers;
- Providing support to children and families which was straight-forward ... view the full minutes text for item 19.