Cheshire West and Chester Council Launches Poverty Emergency Online Hub

17 March 2021

A new online resource that will help people in west Cheshire find out more about poverty in the borough has been launched through the Council’s website.

The Poverty Emergency Online Hub provides information on how the Council and its partners are tacking the issue in the borough. It also signposts people to what support is on offer and how they can get involved. 

Last October, Cheshire West and Chester Council became one of the first local authorities in the country to declare a Poverty Emergency.
A key part of this is to use the voices of people with lived experience of poverty to help shape the borough’s response. 

Seven other councils have now formally declared a Poverty Emergency and the new hub will allow them to come together and showcase innovation and good practice.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Champion for Poverty and Inequality, Cllr Mandy Clare has overseen the development of the hub.

She said: “The Poverty Emergency declaration broadens the emphasis out from telling the truth about personal experiences that result from poverty, to include telling the truth about why poverty happens. 

“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic we have seen poorer communities bearing a greater impact and where we have been able to better appreciate the true value of all of our essential workers, we have an opportunity to start a much bigger conversation about poverty. We want to see poverty tackled as an equalities issue and an issue primarily of inadequate income, rather than as an issue that assumes personal mistakes or behaviours as the root cause. We also want to ensure that low-income communities have access to community education, information, support and resources to begin to build back fairer. All of our progress will be updated on this new hub.”

Welcoming the move, Community Inspirer Antony, who co-chairs the Poverty Truth Advisory Board, said: “As volunteer Community Inspirers we learned how poverty has affected us all, from cradle to grave, in different ways from our education, health, our wealth, our home and the environment around us. Together we can influence change and help to improve the services delivered from Cheshire West and Chester and its partners. Putting people with lived experience of poverty at the forefront of decision making, forming relationships and truly listening made us equals. It has helped many of us to feel empowered, more confident, included and valued."

Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cllr Louise Gittins, added: “As a council, we are committed to tackling poverty in all its forms. We believe that people across West Cheshire should have the same access to opportunities regardless of their background or circumstances. People who are living with poverty should be at the heart of this process. We want to use their knowledge and experience to shape our plans for the future. The new Poverty Emergency Online Hub will help us to do this by bringing people and organisations together to share their knowledge.”

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