The Lewisham Poverty Commission held its first meeting last week.
Lewisham is a great place to live, with a strong and vibrant community. But poverty still blights the lives of tens of thousands of people in Lewisham.
Tory austerity has hit Lewisham hard. Cuts to benefits – both for those in work on low pay, and for those unable to work – have made poverty far worse. The scrapping of housing benefit for 18 to 22 year olds is just the latest example. And their huge cuts to Lewisham Council's funding has limited what we're able to do in response. But despite this, we're determined to do what we can to tackle poverty in our community
The Lewisham Poverty Commission - set up by Lewisham Council - has brought together Lewisham Councillors, local stakeholders and national experts to examine the impact of poverty in the borough, and develop ideas to tackle poverty locally.
The Poverty Commission will seek out the views and experience of local residents, examine what Lewisham is currently doing to tackle poverty, and identify best practice from other councils. In the autumn the commission will publish a final report with recommendations for cutting poverty in Lewisham which will be presented to Mayor and Cabinet for consideration.
Councillor Joe Dromey, who is Chairing the Lewisham Poverty Commission said: 'Nobody should have to live in poverty. But despite living in one of the wealthiest cities in the world, tens of thousands of people in our community still live in poverty.
'Our Lewisham Poverty Commission will bring together local stakeholders and national experts to take a fresh look at the challenge of poverty in Lewisham. We'll be looking to develop innovative policy responses that can make a real difference, even in these difficult times.'
Councillor James Walsh added "Lewisham is committed to ensuring all of its residents, no matter their financial circumstances not only live, but thrive in our Borough. This work isn't just looking at today's problems and wringing our fists, but ensuring we're preparing and insulating our residents from the continued attacks of Tory Austerity".