Thursday, 18 November 2010

What's happened to the Liverpool Poverty Commission?

Some time ago the City Council agreed to set up a Liverpool Poverty Commission.  The idea was to look at issues of poverty and to make concrete recommendations (not just to the City Council).  The membership was to be drawn from a range of sectors, including business, the voluntary sector, academia, politics etc.

In my exec member role I worked on getting the membership sorted out.  We found a Chair we had a list of members and a draft programme of potential meetings.

Then the election intervened.

Since then I have literally heard nothing about what is going on with this Commission (although my name still appears on the list of members on the Council website)  This is despite the Council actually agreeing back in July to ask the Commission to do some work!

Last night, at the finance and resources committee, I submitted a motion about this trying to see if this Commission is going to start work or not.  The text of the motion is below.  Obviously I haven't had an answer yet (it would be unreasonable to expect one so quickly) but I'll update when I know more

Motion by Councillor Paula Keaveney - Poverty Commission

Motion by Councillor Paula Keaveney -

This committee notes the decision of Full Council in July on VAT and the implications of a rise in the rate.

The Council motion included the following amendment (proposed by Cllrs Paula Keaveney and Paul Clein)

The addition of the following paragraph at the end, “Further Council calls upon the Liverpool Poverty Commission to bring forward details of how the rise in VAT could affect different vulnerable people and communities across the city by the 10th November 2010.

Committee notes that not only was the required report back not made, but the Liverpool Poverty Commission (which itself was set up following a Council motion) has yet to meet.

This committee deeply regrets the failure of the administration to convene a meeting of the Commission as requested by Full Council and calls on the relevant Cabinet members to ensure that the Commission meets and that the opposition members of the Commission are kept informed as to progress in convening an initial meeting.

Committee believes that if a decision has been taken not to proceed with the Commission, the administration should have reported this back to the Commission members and to all elected members. The committee therefore calls on the relevant Cabinet members to make clear in writing their intentions around this piece of work.

UPDATE: This Commission now shows signs of starting to meet in the New Year.  Will blog again when there are dates and themes confirmed

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