Tagged: poverty assembly

Day 1: World café discussion #PovertyAssembly

Before lunch on the first day of the Poverty Assembly we will host a world café  style discussion covering the theme: What a Scotland Without Poverty Means to Me

World café style discussion to allow participants to discuss and debate about what a strategic, long-term vision of a Scotland without poverty would mean to them.

The world  café starts at 11.45 on Monday the 28th in Pollock Halls, University of Edinburgh.

If you’re not there you can follow the discussions live via Twitter on @PovertyAlliance and the hashtag #PovertyAssembly.

Day 1: Opening Plenary: Achieving a Poverty Free Scotland #PovertyAssembly

The first event of this year’s Poverty Assembly will be the open plenary where we have none other than first minister Alex Salmond joining us (still tbc) together with Louise Allan from Fife Gingerbread and Martin Boyle from Scottish Drugs Forum. Jim McCormick will chair.

Opening Plenary: Achieving a Poverty Free Scotland

The plenary starts at 10.15 on Monday the 28th in Pollock Halls, University of Edinburgh.

If you’re not there you can follow the discussions live via Twitter on @PovertyAlliance and the hashtag #PovertyAssembly.

#PovertyAssembly 2014 – A Scotland Without Poverty

The Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty has become one of the key forums for discussion and debate about the challenges and solutions to the problems of poverty in Scotland. Organised by the Poverty Alliance, Scotland’s anti-poverty network, the Assembly brings together people with direct experience of poverty, community and voluntary organisations, trade unions, faith groups, academics and research, alongside politicians and policy makers to discuss and debate how to make progress in the fight against poverty.

The fifth Assembly is being organised with the support of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and will feed into their UK Anti-Poverty Strategies research programme. Focused on JRF’s five anti-poverty themes the Assembly will build on previous years’ debates to consider what a Scotland Without Poverty would look like and how we may get there.

Attendees will be invited based on their knowledge or experience across the six themes and their involvement at previous Assemblies. It is intended that the Scottish Assembly is more than just an annual conference, but is about deepening our understanding of poverty over the longer term, identifying lasting solutions and promoting dialogue regarding the implementation of those solutions. The Assembly will take place over two days and use evidence sessions on each theme to consider underlying causes of poverty in Scotland and agree what needs to be done to move towards a Scotland without poverty. Participants will follow one theme through the three evidence sessions, discussing and debating the problems and the solutions, and finally identifying key priorities.

Read more about this year’s assembly here: A Scotland Without Poverty: 5th Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty, Pollock Halls, University of Edinburgh.

Follow us on Twitter @PovertyAlliance and use the hashtag #PovertyAssembly to join in the conversation.

 

Draft Schedule – 5th Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty #PovertyAssembly

A Scotland Without Poverty: 5th Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty
John McIntyre Conference Centre
Pollock Halls, University of Edinburgh
Monday, 28 April & Tuesday, 29 April 2014


The Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty has become one of the key forums for discussion and debate about the challenges and solutions to the problems of poverty in Scotland.  Organised by the Poverty Alliance, Scotland’s anti-poverty network, the Assembly brings together people with direct experience of poverty, community and voluntary organisations, trade unions, faith groups, academics and research, alongside politicians and policy makers to discuss and debate how to make progress in the fight against poverty.

The fifth Assembly is being organised with the support of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and will feed into their UK Anti-Poverty Strategies research programme.  Focused on JRF’s five anti-poverty themes the Assembly will build on previous years’ debates to consider what a Scotland Without Poverty would look like and how we may get there.


DAY 1 (Monday, 28 April 2014)

9.30 – 10.15:               Registration & Coffee

10.15 – 11.15:             Opening Plenary: Achieving a Poverty Free Scotland

  • Margaret Burgess MSP, Minister for Housing and Welfare, Scottish Government
  • Louise Allan, Community Activist: Fife Gingerbread
  • Martin Boyle Community Activist: Scottish Drugs Forum

11.15 – 11.45:             Coffee

11.45 – 12.45:             World café:  What a Scotland Without Poverty Means to Me

12.45 – 13.45:             Lunch

13.45 – 14.45:             Evidence Session 1: Identifying the Main Issues and Causes

  • To read more about the Evidence Session themes CLICK HERE
  • Evidence will be given by academics, civil society organisations and community activists
  • Discussion to identify main issues and causes on the particular theme focusing on priorities, what has changed in trends, what has persisted and the prospects beyond 2014).

14.45 – 15.15              Coffee

15.15 – 16.15:             Evidence Session 2: Identifying the Solutions

  • Further evidence given by policy-makers and others that outline current and potential responses to the relevant poverty issue.
  • Discussion to identify solutions (what are barriers, opportunities, impacts, connections to other policy areas etc.)

DAY 2

9.30 – 10.15:               Registration & Coffee

10.15 – 11.15:             Plenary: Political Panel: What Would a Scotland Without Poverty Look Like?

  • Jackie Baillie MSP
  • Patrick Harvie MSP
  • Willie Rennie MSP
  • John Mason MSP

                                               

11.15 – 11.45:             Coffee

11.45 – 12.45:             Evidence Session 3: Recommendations for Action

  • Discussion to identify key solutions and actions needed

12.45 – 13.45:             Lunch

13.45 – 14.45:             Plenary: Making Change Happen

  • Julia Unwin, Chief Executive, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Jackie Killeen, Director, Big Lottery Fund Scotland

14.45 – 15.15:             Coffee

15.15 – 16.15:             Decision Time: Identifying Priorities

  • Feedback from evidence sessions from facilitators – main issues, causes and actions required

16.15 – 16.30              Closing Comments: Peter Kelly, Director, the Poverty Alliance

16.30                           Close

PLEASE NOTE: This schedule might change.

Read more about this year’s assembly here: A Scotland Without Poverty: 5th Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty, Pollock Halls, University of Edinburgh.
Follow us on Twitter @PovertyAlliance and use the hashtag #PovertyAssembly to join in the conversation.

Time to Raise our Game to End Poverty

Guest blog post by Milind Kolhatkar – Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations’ Council.

Over two days last week I was privileged to join hundreds of people keen to tackle poverty at The Poverty Alliance’s third Poverty Assembly. Details – and plenty of multimedia – via YouTube and at PovertyAlliance.org and via #PovertyAssembly for those of a twitterary bent.

I was heartened and encouraged by what I saw and heard through the interactions between civil society organisations, politicians, commentators and real live activists – with a slew of social media staff and volunteers active across the two days.

Heartened, yes. Encouraged, most certainly. But still, I left the two days hungry for more change, more urgently. The old Politics, the old Economics have served society poorly. Though there is a discernible desire to make positive change with people, for people, the alternatives have gained too little traction.

We hear talk of the new consensual politics – but we see the old, oppositional tribalism.

We hear talk of the new, person-centred economy – but we see Governments – at every level – hoping to return to Business-As-Usual (and struggling Third Sector organisations vying amongst themselves to be the most Business-like!).

On day two of the #PovertyAssembly we were invited to make a pledge for the next year. I promised to speak out more strongly to End Poverty, and to Tweet more to #EndPoverty. Expect more. I hope many who were there pledged to be greedy for good, to want more, to expect better.

The time is right for an Economy that serves People, rather than People being slaves to the Economy.

The time is right for a Politics that relocate Power with the Many not the Few.

The time is right for a Society that turns its back on the destructive and divisive values of hyper-consumerism, and rather values Human Assets and the Core Economy – caring and life-enhancing, creative and joyful.

As this blog becomes our ‘go to’ space for action to End Poverty – for sharing, debating, encouraging and a little bit of giggling – I’ll be pleased to meet you here.

Changes to the welfare system could see child poverty at the same level it was over a decade ago

CONTROVERSIAL changes to the welfare system will “wind the clock back” by more than a decade in terms of child poverty levels, a think-tank adviser has warned.

Dr Jim McCormick, Scotland adviser with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said UK Government proposals aimed at simplifying the benefits system would put the country on track to miss child poverty alleviation targets.

Dr McCormick was appearing at the first meeting of Holyrood’s Welfare Reform Committee, set up to scrutinise the Welfare Reform Bill currently passing through Westminster.

The Bill will bring in a £26,000-a-year household benefits cap and set up the universal credit for benefits.

Charities, trade unions and public-sector organisations have warned the changes could lead to a rise in homelessness and child poverty, as well as have an adverse effect on disabled and vulnerable people.

Speaking during a round-table discussion at the committee, Dr McCormick said the benefits package being proposed by the UK Government would be “substantially poverty increasing”.

He said figures from work carried out for the foundation by the Institute for Fiscal Studies indicated that by 2020, the UK would be left with the “remarkable situation where we have the UK Government and the devolved administrations all signed up to the child poverty targets of a big reduction in child poverty, and yet we are on track to miss that target by two and half times”.

“We can talk about a mitigation, long-term prevention agenda for Scotland, but the big picture here is an increase in poverty which winds the clock back to the date when this Parliament began in 1999, in terms of child poverty levels,” he said.

“If nothing else changes, that’s the track we are on as a result of welfare reform.”

Dr McCormick was joined by representatives from other voluntary and public-sector organisations who all raised concerns about the adverse impact of the reforms.

Michael McClements, policy manager at council umbrella group Cosla, warned that services provided by local authorities would be put under increased pressure.

“Local authorities have already done some work and are looking at the impact on charging policies, and the expectation is that more people will require more services, but their ability to make payment for those services will be reduced,” he said.

Dr Jim McCormick will be opening the #PovertyAssembly 2012 at 10.30am today. Remember you can join in the debate via the hashtag and by following the live video stream over at http://bit.ly/povertyassembly

5 ways you can be part of #PovertyAssembly 2012

Image from 1st Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty

The 3rd Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty takes place Thu 15th March and Fri 16th March 2012. This year we’re keen that everyone gets a chance to take part in the discussions and debates, here’s 5 ways you can get involved…

  1. Follow us on Twitter @PovertyAlliance and use the hashtag #PovertyAssembly to join in the conversation. You can even ask questions direct to panel members for the debates happening at 11.30am on 15th March and 11.40am & 2.15pm on 16th March.
  2. Watch the main speakers and debates via our live video stream.
  3. Turn up in person. Tickets are all gone I’m afraid, hopefully some of you were lucky enough to grab one.
  4. Talk to our social reporters. We’ve got a great team of volunteers tooled up with audio recorders and handheld video cameras, ready to speak to attendees over the two days. All this content will get uploaded immediately and will be available after the event on our YouTube and SoundCloud channels.
  5. All of the above. Whether you’re turning up in person or following the event on line we’d like everyone to get truly involved in the #PovertyAssembly 2012 – it’s your event.

Major Conference Debates New Solutions to Scottish Poverty

Leading policy-makers, commentators and charities are joining forces to explore new solutions to poverty and inequality in Scotland. With the economy flat-lining, youth unemployment increasing, fuel poverty rocketing and more and more families hit by debt and low income, there has never been a greater need for new, alternative approaches.

On the 15th and 16th of March community and voluntary groups, people experiencing poverty, policy makers and politicians will gather in Glasgow for the third annual Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty. They will debate the problems Scotland faces, and plan the practical actions that will help tackle poverty now and in the future.

Organized by the Poverty Alliance, the anti-poverty network in Scotland, the Assembly will not only to raise awareness about the reality of poverty in Scotland, but also create opportunities for genuine dialogue between communities facing poverty, and policy makers and politicians that are responsible for addressing it.

Among the issues which will be debated are:

Child poverty: is expected to increase in Scotland over the next three years, but recent figures show that half of local authorities in Scotland have wards where more than 30% of children live in low income households.

Welfare reform: the new system is expected to take £500million out of the pockets of disabled people in Scotland every year from 2013. What are the alternatives to further benefit cuts and increased compulsion in the system?

Alternative economic models: Income inequality has continued to increase in Scotland, and despite high unemployment we still work some of the longest hours in Europe. How do we get a better balance between economic growth and economic fairness?

Fuel poverty: Price increases could push another 170,000 Scottish households into fuel poverty, taking the total to near 1 million. What more can we do to address the problem both locally and nationally?

Sustainable communities: Many communities in Scotland have been blighted by lack of investment and lack of jobs resulting in decline. How do we create socially and economically sustainable communities?

Alongside community representatives from across Scotland there will be a wide range of speakers including Owen Jones, the author of ‘Chavs’, Philip Blond, one of the key thinkers behind the Big Society, Anna Coote Head of Social Policy at the New Economics Foundation, and Judith Robertson, Head of Oxfam Scotland and Ghazala Hakeem a community activist with the Poverty Truth Commission.

On the second day the Assembly will hear contributions from a range of local and national politicians including Michael Matheson MSP, the Scottish Minister for Public Health.

Peter Kelly, Director of Poverty Alliance, said: “Whether it is bankers’ bonuses, rising fuel bills, or cuts to public services, there is widespread discontent with the direction our society is moving.”

“Behind the headlines about bonuses or so-called ‘welfare cheats’ the fact is that inequality and poverty will increase in Scotland over the next few years. This Assembly is an opportunity for all those concerned, including those with direct experience, to come together to find practical alternatives to the policies that are currently failing us.”

Philip Blond, Director of the think-tank Respublica, and author of Red Tory said: “We desperately need to rethink our approaches to poverty, spending billions on small payments to supplement income has not moved anyone out of poverty, we need to focus on assets, culture and education if we are really to save the poor from their lot.”

Anna Coote, Head of Social Policy at the New Economic Foundation, said: “It is time to transform our welfare system from one based on a scarcity of economic resources to one based on an abundance of human resources. “We can do this by tapping into the wealth of human assets that are embedded in everyday lives and relationships. But it will only work if everyone is able to participate and contribute on equal terms.”

Owen Jones, author and journalist, added: “Austerity threatens to plunge hundreds of thousands of people into poverty and hardship. If the welfare bill is to be reduced, rather than kicking people at the bottom, the focus must be on tackling a three-fold crisis: housing, jobs, and low wages.”

Judith Robertson, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “Oxfam fights poverty around the world and on our doorstep. There is no excuse for poverty in Scotland. The country is richer than ever before, but inequality is increasing. That shows that our economy isn’t working. We need to create a new economy together that promotes fairness and equal opportunities, and one that meets people’s real priorities.”

“Part of that is about giving communities real power to make change. Part of it is about helping businesses create real work. And a big part of it is about making sure social support like state benefits are easily-accessible and at a level that gives the most vulnerable people in our society real protection.”

Ghazala Hakeem from the Poverty Truth Commission said: “The Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty is a real opportunity to challenge the acceptance of poverty that seems to exist in our society. It is also a chance for those directly affected by poverty to have their voices heard, which must be the basis for real change.”