Groups and organisations across Fife are being asked to help with the work of the Fairer Fife Commission in its mission to improve how poverty is tackled across the Kingdom.
The independent Commission brings together senior figures from across public, private and voluntary sectors who will work over the course of this year to come up with some recommendations for change to Fife Council and its partners.
Now the Commission is asking groups, organisations and individuals to get involved in the fight against poverty by making views known and providing information and evidence.
Chair of the Commission is Chief Executive of the Carnegie UK Trust Martyn Evans. He is urging people to get involved in the call for evidence and have their say:
“We want to hear from anyone with an interest in, and experience of, alleviating poverty in Fife to inform our work.
“The views and evidence we receive will be analysed and fed into our work programme. Our final findings and recommendations will also take account of a range of other factors, including any other available information, research and evidence.
“Your views could make a real difference so please help us by getting involved.”
Fife Council Leader David Ross called for the Commission to be established last year in a bid to create a fairer Fife.
He explained why it’s important to get involved: “We set up the Fairer Fife Commission to give us an independent and objective view of what more me can do to tackle poverty in Fife.
“Poverty is a blight on our society and something we should be ashamed of in a modern developed economy.
“The Council is working hard to tackle the causes of poverty in Fife. That is why we are working with businesses to create apprenticeships and training opportunities for young people, building affordable housing, tackling fuel poverty and investing in education.
“There’s a limit to what the Council can do on its own, but we need to know we are doing all we can and understand what other agencies and levels of government should be doing to tackle poverty.
“That’s why we set up the Fairer Fife Commission and why we need people to talk about their experiences of poverty in Fife. It’s important that people help the Commission paint a picture of what’s happening right now so that we can try and improve for the future.
“The Commission will be looking across Scotland for evidence of what is working and what is not. The challenge we’ve set for the Commission is to look at all the things we are doing and make recommendations on how we can do it better.
“We need people to talk about their experiences of poverty in Fife. It’s important that people help the Commission paint a picture of what’s happening right now so that we can try and improve for the future.
“The Commission will be looking across Scotland for evidence of what is working and what is not. Poverty in our society is at unacceptable levels. And despite the work we’re doing with our partners to create jobs, attract inward investment and support people through welfare reforms, people are still suffering.
“We’re doing great work – but it’s not enough. The challenge we’ve set for the Commission is to look at all the things we are doing and make recommendations on how we can do it better.”
As well as gathering evidence over the coming months, the Commission is having themed meetings between now and November. Last month the focus was on ways of getting more Fifers into the world of work with discussion around issues including youth employment, low pay, and how partnership working is making a difference to creating more opportunities for people.
For more information on how to have your say and to access or download the call for evidence form go online.
Notes to Editors
The Commission will meet six times over the course of the year focussing on issues including financial capability, welfare advice, transport links, employability skills, childcare provision, early years, educational attainment, health inequalities, housing and homelessness and addressing stigma.
- Director of BT Scotland, Brendan Dick
- Director of the Glasgow Centre for Population and Health, Professor Carol Tannahill
- Director of One Parent Families Scotland, Satwat Rehman
- Director in Scotland of the Child Poverty Action Group, John Dickie
- Professor of Strategic Urban Management and Finance, Professor Duncan Maclennan
- Chair of the Scottish Health Council Committee, Pam Whittle CBE
- Global Research Policy Advisor, Oxfam GB, Dr Katherine Trebeck
- Director of Delivery, NHS Scotland, George Dodds
- Stakeholder Manager (Scotland), Working Links, Nicholas Young
- Dr Jim McCormick of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation will act as a special advisor to the Commission and Fife Council’s Chief Executive Steve Grimmond will attend Commission meetings.