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New Poverty Action Plan now finalised – an update from Alan Knott, new PCC Council Officer resposible for Child Poverty

As the new Council Officer involved in tackling Child Poverty in Plymouth, this is my first contribution to PCiP’s blog. As you may already be aware, in Plymouth, one in five of our children are living in poverty. They are likely to remain in poverty and so will their children unless we address the fundamental causes that make thousands of our children have the worst start in life.

A new cross party working group has been set up within Plymouth City Council which now includes both the Private and Voluntary sector, together with other key influential local people.

The working group have already created a new action plan which was signed off by Plymouth City Council Cabinet in June 2019. The revised Action Plan 2019-22 takes the form of a Plan on a Page setting out 4 key themes (Education and Transitions, Health, Income and Employment and Partnerships). The themes have been derived from the Child Poverty Needs Assessment. Complementing the Plan on a Page is a focused Action Plan setting out priorities for each theme with the activities needed to deliver impact.

We’re already making a difference with 4 working group meetings planned in 2019/20 each one tackling a key theme. We met in July to look at Education and Transitions and heard some amazing work being done to streamline the free School Meal application process as well as providing a digital alternative.

We’re absolutely delighted that PCiP have joined the working group. This is a very significant step forward. When we started talking to Steve, it was obvious from the very first moment that the work that he and PCiP were doing was fundamental to tackling Child Poverty in Plymouth and joining forces with “The Council” was a no brainer! PCiP’s passion and energy is matched by their commitment and drive to addressing the fundamental causes of Child Poverty, and by joining together, the opportunities are endless. The new joint working arrangements have already started to pay dividends and we hope that this is the start of a long and fruitful relationship.