Barrow Borough Council declares poverty emergency

BARROW Borough Council has become one of the first authorities in the country to declare a

poverty emergency.

During a full council meeting held yesterday, councillors were asked to approve a motion

set by Barrow Borough Council leader Ann Thomson to declare a poverty emergency to help

identify and tackle the root causes of poverty and inequalities across the area.

Now, the aim is to try to set up a Poverty Truth Commission with an independent chair who will

bring together all the agencies who will work with the community. The Commission will also be

at the heart of the council’s Growing Forward Agenda.

Council leader Ann Thomson, who put forward the motion at the meeting along with Councillor

Hayley Preston, said: “Due to Covid-19 we are living with economic uncertainty and financial

pressures have increased in all households.

“Unemployment is on the rise and the cost of living has gone up, so it’s now more important

than ever to declare a poverty emergency in Barrow.

“People shouldn’t feel ashamed of the situation they’re in - by declaring this emergency we can

build a stronger community and we build a powerful voice against poverty by making sure we

listen carefully to the very people who have experienced it first hand.

“We need to raise awareness of the issue of poverty and we need our central government to

step up to tackle this issue too.”

Poverty Truth Commissions have been launched in several parts of the UK to bring those who

live in, or who have experienced poverty, together with people in power to inform the way

services are commissioned and run.