Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram launched the new Standing Action Group on Poverty and Life Chances today (Wednesday 27th November 2019) to address the scourge of child poverty in the Liverpool City Region.
Figures published in May, by End Child Poverty, show that 31% of children living in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral are growing up in poverty.
Living in poverty is defined as households (adjusted to account for household size,) earning less than 60% of the median income (currently £29,400).
The new standing action group replaces the Child Poverty and Life Chances Commission, which has worked for the last decade highlighting the hardship facing communities across our city region and taking action to improve the life chances of our children.
It will now be part of Combined Authority working closely with The Fairness and Social Justice Advisory Board (FASJAB) to ensure that we continue to improve the life chances of our children and young people and work towards eradicating child poverty from the Liverpool City Region.
The inaugural meeting of the new group took place at the Feelgood Factory Community Centre in Netherton in Sefton which works with local people improve their health, well-being and quality of life.
Speaking at the group’s inaugural meeting, Steve Rotheram, said:
“It is an absolute disgrace that almost a third of children in our city region are growing up in poverty. Nearly a decade of austerity has stripped away so many of the vital services and safety nets that help us tackle the problems that many face.
“As Mayor, I won’t sit idly by while our kids are suffering. I want this group to work with our communities to help turn the tide on poverty and ensure that our young people get the opportunities they deserve.
“I’m building a fair and inclusive city region, where no one is left behind – certainly not our young people.”
The Standing Action Group on Poverty and Life Chances will now agree their priorities and areas of work. The group is made up of politicians, practitioners, academics, trade unionists and faith leaders from across the six boroughs of the Liverpool City Region.
Rev Canon Dr. Ellen Loudon, Chair of the Standing Action Group on Poverty and Life Chances and the LCR Mayoral Adviser for Voluntary and Community Sector said:
“This group is needed now more than ever. No child should be living in poverty in this country in the 21st Century and we will be focused on taking action to ensure that fundamental changes are made so that children and young people have the life chances and opportunities that they should. ”