Children & Young People Select Committee Minutes

Date:
Wednesday, 28th July, 2021
Time:
17.00
Place:
JIm Cooke Suite, Stockton Central Library, Stockton on Tees TS18 1TU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Carol Clark (Chair), Cllr Barbara Inman (Vice Chair), Cllr Clare Gamble, Cllr Steve Matthews (sub for Cllr Dan Fagan), Cllr Maurice Perry (sub for Cllr Andrew Sherris), Cllr Lauriane Povey, Cllr Stephen Richardson, Cllr Sylvia Walmsley (sub for Cllr Ray Godwin), Cllr Sally Ann Watson.
Officers:
Martin Gray (DCS), Haleem Ghafoor (Comms), Ruby Poppleton (PH), John Devine, Judy Trainer (DS)
In Attendance:
Amanda Bailey (North East Child Poverty Commission)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Dan Fagan, Cllr Ray Godwin, Cllr Andrew Sherris
Item Description Decision
Public
CYP
7/21
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
CYP
8/21
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 23 JUNE 2021
 
CYP
9/21
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF CHILD POVERTY
AGREED that the information be noted.
CYP
10/21
SELECT COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME AND CHAIR'S UPDATE
AGREED that the Work Programme be noted.
CYP
11/21
CHAIRS UPDATE
 

Preamble

ItemPreamble
CYP
7/21
Cllr Clare Gamble declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in item 3 owing to Billingham Town Council running holiday activities and food.
CYP
8/21
AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 23 June 2021 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
CYP
9/21
Scrutiny Review of Child Poverty

Amanda Bailey (North East Child Poverty Commission) gave a background presentation on child poverty. The Commission were a stakeholder network of representatives from different sectors in the region; its overarching aim was to provide a strong regional voice to raise awareness of the issue of child poverty in the North East and to work collaboratively to tackle the problem. The presentation covered the following:

• Child Poverty Act 2010
• NECPC aim and vision
• Defining child poverty
• Measuring child poverty
• National picture 2019/20
• Regional picture 2019/20
• Reasons for steep North East increase
• Local picture
• Inequalities within Stockton
• Everyday impact of child poverty
• Covid 19 impact
• Tackling child poverty though policy
• A new child poverty strategy
o Investing in a strong social security system that prevents and reduces poverty
o Growing the availability of good work and removing employment barriers
o Action to tackle major fixed outgoing for families e.g., housing and childcare
o Beyond family incomes
• Role of Local Authorities

The key issues highlighted and discussed were as follows:

• Child Poverty is a structural problem not the fault of individuals or people’s characteristics; there are only small numbers of families living in poverty where alcohol and drug abuse is a contributory factor
• 4.3 million children in the UK live in poverty; 75% are from working households
• Between 2014/15 and 2019/20, child poverty in the region has risen just below the UK average to the second highest of any region or nation; this is likely to be significantly worse due to Covid
• 13,922 children were living in poverty in Stockton in 2019/20 - an increase of almost 4,300 since 2014/15
• The steep North East increase is likely to be influenced by the large proportion of low-paid workers pushed below the poverty line by the reduction of in-work benefits
• JRF contend that it may be harder to progress out of poverty in the North East due to higher unemployment rates and lower average earnings
• In Stockton there has been a 71% increase in households in receipt of Universal Credit and a 24.4% increase in Stockton for pupils eligible for Free School Meals
• The threshold for FSM is low; extending this to all families in receipt of universal credit would benefit a further 2,900 Stockton children and FSM are a passport to other forms of support
• Child poverty is highly policy responsive however, the majority of policy levers are held by the UK Government
• It is difficult to measure the success of anti-poverty strategies due to external factors however, it could be argued that if no action had been taken, poverty would have increased

Ruby Poppleton (Stockton Borough Council Public Heath) gave a presentation covering the following:

• Child poverty - measurement and inequality
• Demographics in Stockton
• Child Poverty rates
• Causes of child poverty:
o Benefit system
o Income from employment
o Costs of living
• Impact on health and wellbeing - wider determinants on health
• Health impact
• Stockton child health profile
• Policies/ intervention to reduce child poverty
• Public health initiatives

The key issues highlighted and discussed were as follows:

• Poverty is partially or wholly outside of the parents’ control and completely outside of children’s control
• Poverty is a cause and effect of inequality
• “Its expensive to be poor”
• Children living in poverty experience avoidable differences in health outcomes compared to their more affluent peers; investment and early intervention improves social and emotional development, school achievement and lifelong health
• 71% of children living in poverty come from families with little or no savings
• Tees Credit Union offer a range of services.
CYP
11/21
There was no update.

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