The Committee considered a report of the Corporate Strategy and Policy Manager which sought to provide an overview of the Trafford Poverty Strategy 2021/22. The Committee had requested this information to understand how Council policies influenced the wider determinants of health, such as employment and housing, to tackle social, economic and health inequalities.
The Executive Member for Communities and Partnerships and the Interim Director of Strategy and Policy attended the meeting to present the report and answer the questions of the Committee.
Members noted that the Poverty Strategy had been published in February 2021. This was a one-year strategy to set a clear direction during the pandemic while the Council and its partners had the opportunity to develop a longer term strategy to respond to the post-pandemic situation.
A Poverty Action Group had been established to oversee the delivery of the one-year strategy and the development of the longer term plan. A Poverty Action Tracker had been developed to monitor the progress of the Action Group against the nine themes of the strategy and their targets.
Members sought and received clarification on a number of matters such as pockets of deprivation in the south of the Borough and difficulty to attract funding and support because of their proximity to affluent areas, the need to focus on standards of existing social housing, the monitoring of the outcomes of the strategy and the importance of public involvement to enhance the action.
The Executive Member for Communities and Partnerships reminded the Committee of the partnership approach to the strategy. Through collaboration with service providers, voluntary and community groups, people with experience of poverty would be involved in identifying issues linked with poverty and possible solutions. This was the purpose of the Poverty True Commission which would be set up in autumn 2021 to help to inform the three year Poverty Strategy 2022-2025. A similar approach in Salford had led to significant outcomes in tackling poverty.
Members suggested that one member of the Poverty True Commission could be selected amongst residents who lived in the south of the Borough.
Officers informed of the Poverty Action Tracker which would be brought to the attention of representatives across the Council on a monthly basis to monitor progress against targets.
Members noted that different levels of poverty were present in different areas of the Borough. The pandemic had enhanced these issues and had put people in very precarious positions. Therefore, it was important that people had access to advice and support as poverty was the main driver of health inequalities.
Members agreed to nominate Councillor Hartley as representative of the Health Scrutiny Committee at the Poverty Action Group. Councillor Hartley would report to the Committee on the progress of the group.
1. That the content of the report be noted;
2. That a progress report be submitted to the Health Scrutiny Committee in due course with a specific update on poverty in the south of the Borough and a Housing and Homelessness dashboard;
3. That Councillor Hartley be appointed to the Poverty Action Group as representative of the Health Scrutiny Committee. Councillor Hartley would report to the Committee on the progress of the Poverty Action Group and share the progress on the Poverty Action Tracker.