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Renfrewshire to share Scotland-leading tackling poverty experience at event

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Representatives from local authorities across the country will visit Paisley next week (Tuesday 7 March) to hear more on Renfrewshire’s Scotland-leading approach to tackling poverty.

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The ‘Tackling Poverty Locally: learning and building from existing practice’ conference will take place at Paisley Town Hall and is expected to attract delegates from local authorities and national organisations who will share best practice and ideas on how local government can tackle poverty and inequality.

At the event attendees will hear more in how Renfrewshire Council’s Tackling Poverty Programme has made a difference to the lives of Renfrewshire residents.

To date Renfrewshire’s innovative and ambitious Tackling Poverty Programme has delivered significant results by putting over £2million back into the pockets of those most in need. More than 50 separate projects sit under the programme addressing a range of issues from health, income and employment to welfare, attainment and managing money.

Delegates will be given the opportunity to learn more about Renfrewshire’s cross-cutting approach to tackling poverty and can attend a series of workshops on areas such as health, homelessness, impact on families in poverty, attainment and maximising household incomes. There will also be an interactive panel discussion which will explore the possible next steps for local authorities.

Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Cllr Mark Macmillan, who will address the conference, said: “Poverty is an issue which affects communities throughout Scotland and we are happy to host our colleagues in local government to share our experiences and work collaboratively to find an approach that will help those most in need in our communities.

“Local authorities have an important role to play in addressing this issue as we are often at the front line of working with the most vulnerable in our communities, which makes us uniquely placed to design services to support them based on what they tell us.

“In Renfrewshire we have adopted an innovative approach to tackling poverty which has helped put money back into the pockets of families in our community and we are eager to share any insight which will help deliver similar results in other communities throughout Scotland.”

News of this event follows on from the recent announcement that the Council has approved an additional £1.5million to support initiatives that help tackle poverty in the community. The extra funding will extend initiatives such as breakfast clubs and cost of the school day which are helping maximise income for families in the region.

Renfrewshire Council’s Tackling Poverty Programme came out of the view that poverty is not inevitable. The Council set up the Tackling Poverty Commission, the first of its kind in Scotland, to assess the nature, causes and impact of poverty in Renfrewshire and make recommendations for the introduction of a strategic approach. The report and recommendations were published in 2015 and the Tackling Poverty two-year strategy subsequently followed. The next step is to look to the future and build on the results that have been achieved to date in order to continue to support those struggling in the community.