Agenda item

Child Poverty Strategy Action Plan - Progress Report


A report of the Chief Executive reminded the Cabinet that the Council has a statutory duty to work with partners to develop a Wirral Child Poverty Strategy as set out in the Child Poverty Act 2010.


The report set out the work that had been undertaken to date, in accordance with the report to the Cabinet on the 14 April 2011 (Minute No. 386 refers), to develop a Wirral Child Poverty Strategy and action plan in partnership with local organisations and agencies, including the voluntary, community and faith sector.  This included the contribution of the Wirral Child and Family Poverty Working Group, which had been established to make recommendations to the Council and its partners about a local Child Poverty Strategy and action plan. 


The report also provided a progress report on the £10,000 policy optionagreed by the Cabinet and Council in February 2010 to invest in targeted engagement with Wirral organisations and local communities and set out the proposed next steps in relation to the further development of the action plan.


The report also detailed the links between Wirral’s local approach and the development of a strategy for the Liverpool City Region, which had been shaped by the City Region Commission on Poverty and Life Chances, chaired by Frank Field MP.


The Cabinet noted that significant progress had been made and that this action list had involved the single most important piece of work the Council had seen for some time.  Members made reference to the pockets of deprivation on Wirral and the associated housing problems and unemployment that was experienced.  A corporate approach was needed to tackle these issues and reverse the trend.  This was a budget priority and a key priority for the Council.


Consequently, Councillor A McLachlan moved the following Motion which was seconded by Councillor S Foulkes and carried unanimously.




(1)  Cabinet recognises that the issue of Child Poverty is an extremely important one and welcomes this Child Poverty Strategy Action Plan as a major move forward in tackling Child Poverty on Wirral;


(2)  Cabinet recognises the extreme urgency of this matter in the light of the report just published by the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies which shows that the next two years will be dominated by a large decline in incomes, pushing an extra 600,000 children across the country into absolute poverty by 2012/13 and indicating that the consequences of the actions taken by this government means that the targets originally set in 2010 could be missed by up to 23%;


(3)  Cabinet believes that Wirral’s economic position will make it especially vulnerable to increases in child poverty at a time of recession; and


(4)  Cabinet therefore agrees the recommendations in the report and set out below ((a) to (d)), thanks all those involved for the hard work undertaken so far, and resolves to make sure that all Council strategies and plans are properly amended to include this as a major priority for the Council, with subsequent referral to the Council as appropriate:


(a)  the Cabinet notes the progress that has been made to date in relation to the development of a child and family poverty strategy for Wirral, including the excellent contribution of the Wirral Child and Family Poverty Working Group, and approves the draft strategy and initial action plan at Appendix 1 to the report;


(b)  the Cabinet authorises the Chief Executive to undertake further consultation on the draft strategy and prepare a final version for approval and adoption by the Council and partners;


(c)  the Cabinet authorises the Chief Executive (and any other officer nominated by him) to undertake any other steps and action incidental and conducive to finalising the strategy and progressing the action plan, including working with relevant partners and stakeholders as considered necessary and appropriate; and


(d)  the Cabinet agrees that the Wirral Child and Family Poverty Working Group should continue to meet to oversee the further development of the strategy.

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