Council bosses back charity bid to reduce poverty in Hartlepool

A new bid is being planned to combat child poverty in Hartlepool
A new bid is being planned to combat child poverty in Hartlepool

Council bosses have backed a new partnership aiming to reduce child and family poverty in the area.

Hartlepool Borough Council children’s service committee unanimously approved a plan for officers to work with a charitable foundation on a social plan as part of a national bid to battle poverty.

Earlier this year it was revealed 34.13% of children in Hartlepool were classed as living in poverty, rising from 32% in 2015.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) - with the support of the council - applied to the Big Lottery Fund and Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s ‘Place Based Social Action’ programme for cash to pay for the project.

The Foundation has been successful in the first round and are now one of 20 areas in England to be chosen to develop a social action plan.

If successful, funding would be made available to help children and families in need in the area.

Decisions on the exact projects where the money would be spent will be made when the cash is approved.

Healthwatch Hartlepool representative on the committee Ruby Marshall said: “I’m very happy to support this, it’s very worthwhile.”

Since 2016, Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust has made a commitment to help solve poverty in Hartlepool.

Danielle Swainston, assistant director, children and families services, said: “We’ve been working with Joseph Rowntree Foundation a while now and done a number of activities with them.

“This bid can only be done as a partnership approach and has got to be a community based model.

“Something like this in terms of the financial circumstances can otherwise be very difficult.”

So far JRF has worked closely with the council to support children and families in Hartlepool including setting up the action lab, stronger neighbourhood and housing heroes campaigns.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service