15 September
WLC Logo Placeholder image

The West Lothian Community Planning Partnership Board recently backed the new Tackling Poverty Strategy which will run until 2028.

It replaces the successful Better Off: West Lothian Anti-Poverty Strategy, which generated over £151 million extra income for residents and met or exceeded all of the targets set during its five-year lifespan.

Other successes from the strategy included: providing help with support from debt advice practitioners to manage over £43 million of problem debt managed; supporting local residents to save over £2.3 million through advice on energy efficiency; and helping provide nearly 4,700 loans through affordable credit options, reducing the need for residents to use high cost credit options such as payday or doorstep lenders.

The revised Tackling Poverty Strategy takes a refreshed approach to the changing challenges caused by lack of sufficient income, with the council's Anti-poverty service continuing to work with partners across the council and others including Department of Work and Pensions, Social Security Scotland, local credit unions and West Lothian Food Network to help those most at risk.

Chair of the West Lothian Community Planning Partnership Board, Depute Leader of West Lothian Council Kirsteen Sullivan said: "The adoption of the new Tackling Poverty Strategy is an important step forward, as we aim to do all we can to mitigate the impact of poverty in West Lothian.

"The previous Better Off strategy made a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of local families, with the council and partners using all our powers at our disposal to support those in need. However, the council only has limited powers to support local families, with most of the levers for change being held at either UK or Scottish parliament level. 

"It is estimated that one in five children in West Lothian are still classed as living in poverty and the rising cost of living is expected to continue to rise. 

"Our dedicated staff at the Advice Shop and partners will continue to do all they can to support local families and make sure they can access all the support they are entitled to."

She added: "The updated Tackling Poverty Strategy considers feedback from a wide range of groups on how we can better help those affected by poverty. This included listening to the views of local residents and key stakeholders, such as the Experts by Experience lived experience panel who have first-hand knowledge in this area.

"I would urge anyone who wants to share their experience of living on a low income to get in touch with the Advice Shop to be part of the Experts by Experience panel to help shape future policies."

To contact the Advice Shop, please visit Advice Shop or call 01506 283 000.