Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan

This Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan is the first crucial step in our journey towards meeting the ambitious targets set out in the Child Poverty (Scotland)
Act 2017.

The Act is a landmark piece of legislation that clearly positions Scotland
as leading in the UK on tackling child poverty.

It is a clear statement of the Scottish Government’s intent to eradicate child poverty and this first Delivery Plan, covering the period 2018-22, will make a real difference to children’s lives.

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Income Supplement To Help Reduce Unacceptable Levels Of Poverty

Our new Income Supplement will help reduce unacceptable levels of poverty

By 03/04/18

There can be no greater responsibility for any government than ensuring that all young people get the best possible start in life.

It is totally unacceptable that, in a country as wealthy as the UK, any child should be living in poverty. But the latest figures show that, over the last three years, almost one in four children in Scotland were living below the poverty line, once housing costs are taken into consideration.

These aren’t just numbers on a page. Behind every figure lies a human story; a child whose living environment, education, health – their entire life chances – are being limited by poverty.

 

The SNP

@theSNP

📈 Tory cuts are pushing up poverty. Here’s what you need to know: https://www.snp.org/the_tory_cuts_that_are_pushing_up_poverty 

Of course, many of the key powers relating to tackling poverty remain reserved to Westminster. And with the Tory government currently engaged in the biggest assault on the welfare state since its creation, no one should be seriously surprised that figures show poverty to be rising.

As long as the Tory government continues down this path – which they seem intent on doing despite evidence of the damage they are doing – the Scottish Government will always be fighting poverty with one arm tied behind our backs.

But frustrating as this is for me, it does not excuse us in the Scottish Government from doing everything we can, with the powers and resources we do have, to tackle poverty and inequality.

On the contrary, it actually makes our actions doubly important – because without further action, we estimate that UK welfare cuts could see the number of kids living in poverty rise to more than one in three by the end of the next decade.

That is not acceptable and we are not prepared to just sit back and let it happen.

Of course, we already doing a lot to support families on low incomes by, for example, supporting the real Living Wage and through measures like free prescriptions, free school meals and the widely-praised Baby Box – and of course through our significant investments in social housing and expanding childcare.

And we’re already spending £100 million a year from the Scottish budget – money that could be spent on services such as schools and hospitals – mitigating some of the worst of the UK welfare cuts, like the Bedroom Tax.

Last year MSPs unanimously backed our ambitious Child Poverty Bill, committing us to eradicating child poverty by 2030.

And last week we published a new Child Poverty Delivery Plan – outlining the new actions we will take to ensure that we’re fully responding to the current challenges facing families.

A lot of work and engagement has gone into this plan. We established our own Poverty and Inequality Commission to ensure that we were getting the best possible expert advice – but crucially we have listened carefully to the views of people with direct experience of poverty themselves.

As a result of their input, we will be focusing on “priority families” which we know are most at risk of poverty – lone parents, families with a disabled adult or child, young mothers, minority ethnic families, families with a child less than a year old, and families with three or more children.

And we are proposing a range of actions to support them.

There is action to tackle the cost of living that families often struggle with.

On top of the existing steps I outlined above, we’re going to introduce new, more targeted measures – such as a guaranteed minimum payment for the School Clothing Grant, £1 million on new practical support for children facing food insecurity during the school holidays, and a new Financial Health Check service to ensure families are maximising their incomes.

There is action to support parents in the workplace – because we know that sustainable, well-paid work is the best long-term route out of poverty – so we will invest millions of pounds in intensive employment support for parents, building on their skills and helping to progress through their careers.

 

The SNP

@theSNP

Child poverty is unacceptable but it’s not inevitable.

Here’s our plan to end it. https://www.snp.org/tackling_child_poverty 

Our plan to tackle child poverty

We are determined to eradicate child poverty in Scotland. We have passed a new Child Poverty Act, published a new action plan and introduced a £50 million fund to step up our efforts.

snp.org

 But perhaps the most radical proposal is a new Income Supplement.

Clearly, maximising incomes is an effective tool in tackling poverty, and I have some sympathy with people who asked us to top up child benefit for everyone. However, doing so would mean that seven out of every ten pounds spent would in fact go to families who are not living in poverty.

We want to see a much more targeted approach, to maximise support for families who need it most.

The Income Supplement is an ambitious policy, and the detail is still to be developed fully – for example, we need to consider the level at which it will be set, who exactly should benefit and what the delivery mechanism will be, as well as crucial issues such as ensuring that the interactions with UK benefits is properly understood. Once it is fully up and running, it will go a long way to reducing the unacceptable levels of poverty.

I don’t pretend that tackling poverty is easy. I’ve been in politics long enough to know that there are no overnight solutions – no quick fixes to what are deep-seated problems.

But I’m absolutely determined that we do not take our eye off the ball for even one moment.

 

This article originally appeared in the Evening Times. 

Source

 

From 3 April Scotland’s new £96m devolved employment support schemes begin work.

How will the SNP Scottish Government use powers over employment support services?

In April 2017, new transitional employment support services, Work First Scotland and Work Able Scotland, were put in place ahead of the full roll-out next year. In the first six months, almost 3,500 people joined the new transitional employability services which support individuals with disabilities and health conditions.

Devolved, Powers, Sanctions
From 3 April Scotland’s new £96m devolved employment support schemes begin work.

An additional £20 million of funding for the services will ensure up to 4,800 disabled people and people with health conditions will receive help to get into work.

From April 2018 a new £96 million Fair Start Scotland will replace these temporary schemes, aiming to help at least 38,000 people find work. The scheme, like the transitional services, will be voluntary so participants will not face the threat of Tory benefit sanctions if they are using our services.

 

Full Song And Video Created For The Nancy Glen Campaign 

The Nancy Glen Campaign ~Just Giving

You can purchase the song on iTunes here or download from Amazon here. Here the Loch Fyne Pipe Band are playing during the creation of the video. All money raised from the sale of the song goes to the Nancy Glen Campaign to help the families of the lost fishermen.

Source: Full Song And Video Created For The Nancy Glen Campaign – Tarbert Online

Statement from Scottish Government

Statement on Nancy Glen

Published: 12 Feb 2018 15:30

Scottish Government to work with families.

The Scottish Government will work with salvage specialists and the families of the Nancy Glen crewmen to support efforts to retrieve the bodies of the missing fishermen, after the boat was lost in Loch Fyne last month, within sight of Tarbert, where the crew and their families lived.

Following the Marine Accident Investigation Board’s decision to leave the vessel in situ, the Scottish Government has now agreed to examine whether the vessel can be lifted from its position to enable recovery.

This would mean raising the vessel to a position just below the surface to allow divers to enter and operate as safely as possible.

The costs of any recovery would also be met by the Scottish Government.

Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“This has been a deeply distressing time for the families of Duncan MacDougall and Przemek Krawczyk.

“In these tragic and extremely exceptional circumstances, with the Nancy Glen having been lost within sight of the family homes and the wider community, it is only right that the Scottish Government intervenes and works with the families and salvage experts to search the vessel. The money raised through crowdfunding can go to the families rather than the recovery operation.

“A recovery operation will pose serious logistical challenges, and will need to be undertaken with the safety of divers and others involved uppermost in mind.

“This has been an upsetting time for all those involved, but we owe it to the families of the fishermen who were lost to mount this operation.

“And while there is no guarantee of a successful outcome, I hope our intervention will help bring some closure to the families and friends of Mr MacDougall and Mr Krawczyk.”

 

May warns Sturgeon publishing leaked Brexit analysis would harm UK’s “national interest”

DOWNING Street has urged Nicola Sturgeon to resist fully publishing Whitehall’s top secret analysis – which suggested Britain’s economy would slump after Brexit – warning it would jeopardise the UK’s “national interest” in the Brussels talks.

Michael Russell, the Scottish Government’s Brexit Minister, has written to David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, making clear that the First Minister believes the public has a right to know the full impact of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU on jobs and living standards.

“This is not our analysis and we do not see it as our responsibility to make arrangements on confidential handling. I want to be clear that if you send the analysis to us, we will make it public,” declared Mr Russell.

The UK Government has indicated that, together with MPs, the devolved administrations will receive the full draft analysis on a “confidential basis”.

Read Full Article: May warns Sturgeon publishing leaked Brexit analysis would harm UK’s “national interest”

Argyll and Bute celebrates Year of Young People

Argyll and Bute Council’s Youth Services Team has created a calendar full of activities and events to celebrate some of the reasons young people love living and growing up in Argyll and Bute, and to coincide with 2018 being the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People.

 

A consultation was carried out with 1,055 young people across the area, where they were given the opportunity to choose the top ten reasons they like Argyll and Bute.

 

The results were:

1 Safety;

2 Outdoors;

3 Easy to stay in touch;

4 Nature;

5 Quiet and peaceful;

6 Beautiful;

7 Freedom;

8 Sport/recreation;

9 Opportunities;

10 Easy to get involved.

An exciting programme of events was then developed with these in mind and includes a dance show, a photography project, a comedy and confidence workshop, a film festival, and lots more.

 

The events also coincide with the six key themes of the Year of Young People, which are: Culture, health and wellbeing, equality and discrimination, enterprise and regeneration, participation, and education.

 

The Council’s Policy Lead for Education  said; “The Year of Young People aims to inspire Scotland through its young people, celebrating their achievements, valuing the contribution they make to their communities, and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally.

 

“Here in Argyll and Bute we have young people to be proud of – young people who are great ambassadors for the area, and who work hard to make Argyll and Bute the wonderful place it is.

 

“It is fantastic that we will be hosting a whole range of events to celebrate them, their achievements, and why Argyll and Bute is great place to live, work and learn.”

 

The Year of Young People Plan for Argyll and Bute will be officially launched at the Argyll and Bute Awards in Helensburgh on 31 January 2018.

full list of events in Argyll and Bute,

Oban Common Good Fund

The Oban Common Good Fund was set up in 1913 when Miss Janet Sinclair bequeathed her properties in Stafford Street and Dalriach Road to the Oban Town Council “for the Common good of the Burgh of Oban and its inhabitants”.

Read more here!

She specified that “£200 was to be distributed among the “deserving poor” This bequest was to carry out the wishes of her late brother John Sinclair an Oban Merchant who had died in 1910.

The Oban Common Good Fund was held by Oban Town Council until 1975 when it was inherited by Argyll and Bute District Council. At the last reorganisation of local government in 1996, Argyll & Bute Council took over administration of the fund. Members whose wards include any part of the former Burgh act as Trustees of the Fund, and in terms of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1994 when considering Common Good Fund applications they must ‘have regard to the interests of the inhabitants of the area to which the common good related prior to 16th May 1975’ – i.e. in this case Oban.

In 1982 the Common Good properties in Stafford Street were sold. It is the interest from these investments which is available to the Trustees to disburse. The invested capital cannot be spent. The Fund meets on a quarterly basis, and over the past 8 years have dispersed grants totalling nearly £250,000 to a wide variety of local organisations.
The Trustees of the Fund meet to conduct fund business on four occasions per year (February, May, August and November) and the deadline for receipt of applications is 15th January, April, July and October respectively. The Trustees have been strengthened by two members of the community, the Chair of the Community Council and a representative from the local church community.

Each Application is scrutinised on its own merits and a decision reached and recorded.

Argyll and Bute Council now publishes the minutes and decisions of the Fund on its website, and you can access these via the following link minutes and agendas of the Oban Common Good Fund meetings. Minutes of Common Good Fund meetings are also routinely tabled at Area Committee meetings for noting.

The value of the Fund currently stands at just over £1million, and the available income varies with the financial market and rises and falls accordingly.

Visit Argyll and Bute Council link for full details and to apply.

Application forms can be downloaded here!

Argyll and Bute Council – Realising our potential together

Source: Oban Common Good Fund

Campbeltown Picture House Cultural Hub – vote now in the Aviva Community Fund

Campbeltown is one of the most remote towns in Scotland and has been rated as one of the fragile small towns in Scotland. The Picture House has been for decades the town’s only regular, week-on-week, source of culture and entertainment. Its restoration and reopening will be a major landmark in the gradual regeneration of the town, The restored Picture House will become a vibrant centre for film. It will focus especially on children and young people, families, and older people to offer a wide range of experiences and opportunities for participation.

The Picture House is one of the first purpose built cinemas in Scotland, opening in 1913 at a boom time for one of Scotland’s most remote towns on the beautiful but isolated Kintyre peninsula. The Grade-A listed building is unique and survives today as a rare space, largely unaltered from the 1935 re-modelling. Over the years since the Picture House was originally built Campbeltown has suffered a severe economic downturn, but now a significant programme of renewal is under way.

The Picture House itself is undergoing a £3.5m refit, and soon this magnificent building will open its doors to the cinema goers again. The Picture House will become a key cultural, entertainment and social focus for Campbeltown and Kintyre, working with all sections of the community, from schools to cinema audiences to people with a diverse range of interests. The Campbeltown community will have a vital resource, accessible to everyone and which enhances the attractiveness of Kintyre as a place to live, work and visit.

The project:
CPH needs audio visual equipment to assist with live stage performances. In the past The Picture House was used as a venue for the Mull of Kintyre Music Festival, now in its 25th year. The use of our venue will greatly increase their opportunity to attract big names in future years. Prior to the start of the restoration Mull Theatre brought their touring production to CPH, which was hugely successful, and we plan to hold more events like this upon reopening.
Scottish Opera also have touring groups; we have plans for a collaboration with Glasgow Film Festival, as well as special events including our own Film Festival in April. These would require specialist equipment to enable film Q&A’s, master classes as well as live music and event cinema. None of these things are currently accessible to the local population.

Read more…..

Campbeltown Picture House Cultural Hub – vote for us now in the Aviva Community Fund

Source: Campbeltown Picture House Cultural Hub – vote for us now in the Aviva Community Fund

Keep up to date with all the news at http://www.campbeltownpicturehouse.co.uk/

and follow the progress on Facebook

Helensburgh & Lomond Foodbank Food Needed Nov-Dec 2017

Please share this and help by donating what you can to ensure ample stocks of supplies are available for the Winter months ahead. Thank you

Source: Helensburgh & Lomond Foodbank Food Needed Nov-Dec 2017