Working together to tackle poverty

Cllr Jenny Lynn, Calderdale Council's Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities

The continued impact of the cost of living crisis on Calderdale residents is being recognised in the Council’s Anti-Poverty Annual Report and Action Plan.

At the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 11 December, members will consider the Anti-Poverty Annual Report and Action Plan, which outlines the work taking place across the borough by the Council, its partners and local communities, to help tackle the many problems caused by poverty.

The Anti-Poverty Action Plan contains specific actions that aim to increase the life chances, opportunities and experiences for all residents of Calderdale. This includes efforts to alleviate financial pressures, enable people to live a larger life and be part of their community.

The three themes of the action plan are:

  • Prevention: To prevent local residents from falling into poverty.
  • Intervention: To provide support to local residents who have fallen into poverty, to bring them back out of poverty.
  • Resilience: To provide local residents with the tools to help them stay out of poverty.

The Council has a longstanding commitment to work in partnership with statutory and voluntary sector partners and through the borough’s Anti-Poverty Partnership, work is coordinated to ensure it best supports the borough’s most vulnerable residents.

The group’s activities are wide ranging, spanning housing, welfare and debt advice, education, employment and training, food poverty, fuel poverty, health and wellbeing and early intervention and signposting.

Over the last 12-months, there has been a particular recognition of the ongoing cost of living pressures faced by residents. One example of the work to tackle fuel poverty is the Warm Spaces scheme.

The number of people in Calderdale classed as being ‘fuel poor’ is higher than the national average. In partnership with the Community Foundation for Calderdale and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the Council supported 22 warm spaces in winter 2022, as a place where people can gather for free in a warm, safe, welcoming place.

The scheme has continued for 2023, with a number of community warm spaces running this winter, including all 12 Calderdale libraries: Find a Warm Space | Calderdale Council.

Significant work has also taken place to improve signposting to advice and support, with regular partnership events with the voluntary and community sector proving popular and offering opportunities to learn from each other, increasing knowledge of the help available.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Jenny Lynn, said:

“We understand that this continues to be a worrying time for many Calderdale residents, with household costs and food prices still high, budgets continuing to be stretched, and more people subsequently hitting crisis point.

“We’re proud of our collaborative approach to supporting those who may be struggling financially, providing advice and targeted help for those facing the most complex challenges.

“The Anti-Poverty Annual Report allows us to look back at the work which has taken place over the last 12 months, including case studies which show how partnership work is making a real difference to people’s lives.

“We’re also looking at our Anti-Poverty Action Plan, which identifies ways in which we can continue to support people, ensuring that we focus our resources where they will have greatest impact on the people who are in greatest need.”

The work of the Anti-Poverty Partnership supports the Council’s priority to reduce inequalities and the Vision2024 for Calderdale to be a place where you can reach your potential and live a larger life. Find out more at The Anti-Poverty Action Plan and Annual Report will be discussed at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 11 December from 3pm. The meeting will take place at Halifax Town Hall and will be live streamed at link)