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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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New bid to tackle poverty across Cumbria

Tackling poverty is the aim of a new strategy being drawn up for Cumbria.

Residents and local organisations are being urged to help shape the plans by taking part in a public consultation.

Cumbria County Council is behind the strategy, which also aims to help improve wider health and wellbeing.

Poverty, including child poverty, has long been a concern for county leaders.

Latest figures show that a third of all children in some parts of Carlisle are living in poverty.

Deprived parts of Allerdale and Copeland also face similar problems.

Increases in the cost of living, including energy bills and food prices, have added to the concerns, with more middle income families starting to feel the pinch.

The growing number of people turning to foodbanks for help is adding to concerns.

But it is hoped that drawing up a proactive anti-poverty strategy, to help those already in poverty and those at risk of falling into it, will help.

A Cumbria County Council spokesman said: “Poverty limits opportunities and prospects for young people, damages the quality of life for individuals and families and ultimately harms the long-term health of those in its grasp.

“The council’s Anti-Poverty Strategy sets out our priority actions for helping to support and lift people in Cumbria out of poverty and improve the lives of those on low incomes, so it’s a crucial part of the county’s drive to minimise poverty’s impact on our communities.

“Public feedback will be key to shaping the final document.”

The strategy is due to be published later this year and run until 2017. It will set out exactly how the council plans to provide services which will support those in need – including how best to support low to middle income households in work; how best to support children and families in poverty and how to work with communities to provide solutions to the challenges of poverty.

But the council is keen to hear the views of local people to ensure these services work. It also wants communities to put forward good examples of projects that have helped to tackle the issues in their areas.

To take part in the consultation go to www.haveyoursay.org.uk. It closes on March 17.

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