Local Agenda 21 (LA21)
Poverty and LA21
8.1 Poverty has been a growing problem in the UK over the last twenty years with a threefold increase in the number of people living in poverty. The gulf between the living standards of the rich and poor is at its greatest in over fifty years. Poverty is an issue that is of concern to communities across Britain. Tameside is no exception and the growth of poverty has had serious consequences for the residents of this Borough. Our poorest communities tend to have the highest levels of poor health, have lower levels of educational achievement and experience unemployment rates which are nearly three times the average for Tameside. In excess of 22,000 (1:5) households in Tameside receive Income Support - a recognised indicator of poverty.
8.2 It is important that the issues addressed in other sections of this Action Plan are considered in the context of equity, social exclusion and poverty. Unless those communities and interests that are currently excluded are given a "voice" and the blight experienced by those who are living in poverty is removed, sustainability will be perceived by many as something of relevance to only the more affluent.
8.3 In Tameside all sectors of the community are committed to tackling the effects of poverty and social exclusion, and wherever possible the underlying causes. In 1989 the Council identified tackling poverty as a priority. Since that time the Council, voluntary organisations and the wider community have worked together to develop and implement an anti-poverty strategy for the Borough.
8.4 More recently the Council's focus has been upon developing a co-ordinated approach to social exclusion. This recognises that many problems such as unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, crime, poor housing, ill health and family breakdown are linked. Therefore this is at the heart of the Council's approach to both social exclusion and regeneration in the Borough.
8.5 The recognition of the need to address poverty and social exclusion as part of the LA21 process in Tameside, coincides with the start of the UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006) and a call from the anti-poverty lobby for a National Poverty Eradication Plan. The Council will play its part in campaigning to ensure communities and interests in Tameside have opportunities to influence future policies.
Community Safety and LA21
8.6 Just as a fair and equitable society is essential for a sustainable future, so too is an environment in which people are free from crime and the fear of crime. Since 1993, a highly localised multi-agency Community Safety Partnership - involving the Council, Police, Probation Service, voluntary sector and the local business community - has been working to combat crime, vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the Borough. The effectiveness of this approach and the broad range of crime prevention measures implemented as part of the Community Safety Strategy have helped to make Tameside a safer place for the whole community.
Community Safety Plan
8.7 In preparing the Community Safety Plan for Tameside required by Government during 1998, the Partnership recognises that crime prevention initiatives must be complemented with actions aimed at changing attitudes and behaviour, if there is to be a lasting reduction in the levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.
||Encourage greater inter-agency collaboration in tackling social exclusion in Tameside through the preparation of a social exclusion plan.
||TMBC, voluntary sector, community groups
||Campaign and lobby at local, regional and national level to raise awareness of poverty and social justice issues, and promote policies and practices that address these issues.
||TMBC, voluntary sector, Central Government, Forum Against Poverty, UK Coalition Against Poverty
||Construct a community profile for Tameside to inform and direct local work on poverty and social exclusion
||TMBC, other public and voluntary agencies, community groups
||Support the campaign for a "National Poverty Eradication Plan"
||UK Coalition Against Poverty, Central Government
||Develop and implement initiatives aimed at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour.
||TMBC, GMP, all sectors of the community
||Provide strategic direction for Tameside's Community Safety Partnership through the preparation of a Community Safety Plan.
||TMBC, GMP, all sectors of the community
||Regularly update the 'Crime Profile for Tameside' to ensure that resources continue to be targeted at those areas with the highest levels of crime.
||Undertake work with offenders and young people to influence attitudes and behaviour and divert them away from crime.
||TMBC, GMP, Probation Service