West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission to showcase its success at national conference

West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission (WCPTC) has been invited to the Local Government Association's annual conference in Birmingham to showcase the innovative work it has achieved over the past 18 months. The West Cheshire PTC was only the fourth in the country to be set up - and is the only one to be led and administered by a Local Authority, Cheshire West and Chester Council. The WCPTC has achieved so much and other local authorities are wanting to hear about its success.

The Council's aim for the WCPTC was to tackle and try to eradicate the root causes of poverty. The commission differs from the norm in that it ensures that people with first-hand experience are at the heart of how the borough thinks and acts in tackling poverty and inequality.

This forward thinking approach has enabled residents within the borough, now called Community Inspirers, to fully engage in the whole process and play an equal part in the decision making process.

Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Councillor Samantha Dixon, adds: "Our work is relevant to all Councils wanting to address inequalities and deepen understanding of the emotive and difficult sides of poverty. By involving those with lived experience, we can support better decision-making by the leaders across the public sector, voluntary sector and business community; we can greatly improve our relationships with residents - and improve the lives of everyone we represent. We want to share our work and success with other local authorities so they can help reduce poverty within their borough, having an impact not only locally but also on a national scale.”

Chair of the WCPTC, Lord Lieutenant David Briggs, MBE, KStJ adds: "The impact on our Community Inspirers over the past 18 months has been transformational. Their confidence has increased immensely and they have all grown and developed as individuals, with several securing permanent, paid work or voluntary work."

The commission has had an impact on all the organisations who have been involved in the process. The Community Inspirers have worked together with organisations to improve service processes, making service websites more accessible and easy to navigate, as well as revising the letters sent to residents to make them more reader-friendly. The Community Inspirers have also had their voices heard at the House of Commons, when they spoke about their experience of Welfare Reform to MPs and suggested possible solutions.

Representatives from the West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission will be attending the Local Government's Association's conference on 3 July in Birmingham to showcase their cutting-edge work at one of the workshops in the Innovation Zone.

More information can be found on the West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission website.

The second West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission is due to launch early 2019. If you have experienced poverty within the borough and would like to share your story or you are a local leader or influencer who would like to support change, then please get in contact by emailing:

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