Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive Members have agreed to fund a number of initiatives aimed at reducing inequality in local communities.
During the Executive meeting on Wednesday 13 June, the panel considered a number of schemes in Allerdale that address the issues highlighted in the Council’s Tackling Poverty Strategy. This includes:
- Providing £35k per year for three years to Allerdale Citizen’s Advice Bureau to facilitate supporting Allerdale residents with Universal Credit related issues
- £12k to support North Lakes Foodbank during 2018/19, as well as £500 per year over the next three years to support the production of recipe information leaflets
- Fare Share will receive a one-off payment of £10k to develop opportunities for local groups to access the food distribution scheme
- Two small grants funds will be established, with £17,500 being contributed over three years towards work skills and training support, and £17k towards small projects run by community groups which address the themes of the Council’s Tackling Poverty Strategy, as well as supporting internships for young people with learning difficulties
- £59,700 will be committed towards development work in areas that are considered to be a priority tackling poverty.
Councillor Alan Smith, Leader of Allerdale Borough Council, said: “These projects will have a positive impact on the people of Allerdale who require these services most of all. We have made a great deal of progress in supporting our local community, but there is always much more we can do. We’re a small Council, so while we can’t eradicate poverty on our own, we will do everything we can to help. This funding demonstrates that we are committed to tackling the issues that affect many of our more vulnerable residents.”
Deputy Leader, Councillor Mark Fryer, added: “Tackling inequality is one of the most important priorities for the Council. Despite these times of austerity, we must continue to do as much as we possibly can to help the people of Allerdale and ensure everyone is taken care of, whether it’s ensuring children have access to decent meals during school holidays or providing people with a roof over their head. It is imperative that we help those people who need it the most.”
The funding agreement comes after the Council adopted its Tackling Poverty Strategy in February 2018. The strategy had been devised with input from the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The strategy has a number of key priority areas which include:
- Ensuring people have access to food and support
- Improved access to advice and advocacy services
- Addressing the barriers to employment
- Establishing a small grants fund to underpin and support
In September 2017 the Council also committed some £220,300 towards the development of the West Cumbria Credit Union to help those affected by door-step lending and pay-day lenders.