Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 11th July 2012
Title of Item/Report
Tackling Family Poverty
Record of the Decision
Members were provided with an update on the family poverty framework and were asked to approve a revised document.

It was explained that a special consultation event was arranged with Stockton Renaissance to consider the Family Poverty Framework.

The event was to determine what poverty looked like for the Council and many of the organisations working across Stockton and to determine what actions collectively and individually could be taken to address some of the issues raised.

Members noted that since the original report to Cabinet the national picture continued to change, not least in terms of central government policy, the publication of a number of relevant reviews and research, a much reduced financial settlement across all public sector organisations. These had been reflected in the Framework document.

The outcome from the event showed that whilst there were some ambitions included in the original framework which were supported, overall the draft was seen as too general and all encompassing and needed to be more ambitious in its tone. There was also a strong suggestion that the document proposed a universal approach to tackling family poverty which would be difficult to achieve given the current financial climate. It identified there was a need to be far more targeted in which families were offered support. It was noted that since the consultation event took place the programme of EIT reviews and some policy initiatives within the Council, had resulted in outcomes that were implementing a more targeted approach. For example, the Early Intervention Grant Review. Other activity included the Troubled Families initiative and work on the impact of the Welfare Reform.

It was noted that since the last report in January 2012 the Framework document had been updated to reflect:

• National Policy changes
• National research undertaken
• Recent consultation undertaken with Renaissance and Young People in our area
• Strategic Aims documented in both the Council and partnership documents that focus on tackling the poverty agenda.
• Day to day practical activity we and our partners are delivering to address the poverty agenda in Stockton.

The Coalition Government’s policy framework with regard to family poverty had also become clearer and this was documented in the framework.

The Government also instigated a number of relevant reviews which had concluded and reported. The findings had been taken into consideration.

All of the factors outlined above have been taken into account and a revised draft framework produced. This was provided to members as an appendix to the report.

Measures and targets would be finalised to enable monitoring of the impact of the framework over the short medium and long term.

An Annual update of the Framework Document would be required to reflect changes following the development and update of both the Council and partnership plans and strategies, such as the Health and Wellbeing Strategy, JSNA, impacts of policy changes etc.

RESOLVED that the Poverty Framework Document, as detailed at Appendix 1 to the report, be approved
Reasons for the Decision
At a meeting on 12th January 2012 cabinet approved a draft Family Poverty Framework for consultation. This framework document formed the basis of two consultation events with Renaissance, the latest of which was held in March 2012.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday 20 July 2012.

Date of Publication: 16 July 2012

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