One year on: Are we winning the fight against poverty in York?

Laura Hagues, project manager, checks the stock at the York Food Bank in Acomb

The front page of The Press when the poverty-free York campaign was launched last year

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by , News editor

MUCH more action is needed if York's anti-poverty vision is to be realised and crucial targets hit, new figures suggest.

A year ago today City of York Council's cabinet approved a vision for a "poverty-free York", building on work by various organisations, including The Press.

New figures show that, at the half-way point, progress has been made on some measures but not on others.

The council believes the aim of reducing the pay gap between the average and the lowest quarter of earners has been hit, but the number of eligible children receiving free school meals has increased only from 73.9 to 74.9 per cent, and has fallen in secondary schools, meaning only major and rapid change will enable the two-year target of 100 per cent to be hit.

Verifiable figures against some targets are unavailable, although the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance has reduced by 35 per cent already, against a 40 per cent three-year target, and new data from the Office of National Statistics later this week should clarify progress elsewhere.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation's chief executive Julia Unwin, who guest-edited a special edition of The Press a year ago today, said the work so far should be applauded but more work was needed. She called on York to live up to its historic achievements in pioneering reform and social change.

Kersten England, council chief executive, said: "It is clear we have made progress in one of the first objectives, which is people being in work, and I firmly believe work and good work will eradicate a lot of poverty. But many household incomes are in decline - one in five people do not earn the Living Wage and I think we have much much more work to do.

"We can also point to evidence of good work on bringing down the cost of living, and supporting people really struggling with finances - but there are some really big challenges: wages, housing, the cost of living, childcare and transport costs to a lesser extent."

Steve Hughes, managing editor of The Press, said: "A year on from the adoption of the poverty-free vision, it is clear progress has been made – but more action is needed. The Press remains committed to this vision, and we look forward to working with others in the city to help those who are struggling most. This is vital work for York, and it is important than the momentum and drive of a year ago is not lost.”

The York Poverty Action Group, which drew up the targets adopted by the cabinet last July, included City of York Council, The Press, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, church representatives, the NHS, the Citizens Advice Bureau, the South Yorkshire Credit Union and the York Economic Partnership.

 

Mixed progress

THERE has been mixed progress against last July’s targets, with some good news, some continuing problems, and some as yet unmeasured progress

AIM: Five per cent more of York’s workforce in work than national average. New statistics this week should gauge progress, says the council.

AIM: 40 per cent reduction in unemployment over three years. There has been a 35 per cent reduction so far.

AIM: 1,000 new private sector jobs a year. Precise figures are unavailable, says the council. The arrival of John Lewis and Hiscox have been positives.

AIM: 50 more Living Wage employers a year. The Living Wage Coalition has been established but confirmed new recruits have fallen short of the target. The council says an overall count is difficult.

AIM: Reduce the pay gap between the median and the lowest quarter of earners by one per cent. The council believes this may have been met but is awaiting official figures.

AIM: Increase financial education in schools by 50 per cent in two years and give ten per cent more money advice. York Citizens Advice Bureau says demand for money and debt advice has soared, but the amount of provision has remained the same since last year. Between the first quarters of this year and last, the number of people accessing money and debt advice has barely changed. York CAB is leading on an Advice York review.

AIM: 100 per cent take-up of free school meals by eligible children. The figure has increased from 73.9 per cent to 74.9 per cent, and has actually fallen slightly in secondaries.

AIM: Reduce the cost of living. The York Financial Assistance Scheme has helped 1,700 people and the energy-switching scheme helped 200. All eligible two-year-olds have free childcare, ahead of the 80 per cent national target.

AIM: Two fewer rough sleepers. The number has increased from eight to nine.

AIM: 100 businesses giving to local charities. Proposals are being drawn up, but there is no quantifiable success yet. Individual projects by local charities and York Harvest last year have made a small contribution.


Also:
Julia Unwin - Progress has been made - but there is much more to do>>

Comments (19)

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11:14am Wed 16 Jul 14

Dave Ruddock says...

Spelling, editor, spelling .
council , to many (If, Buts, Figures unavailable), why publish an half answered progress list, (Just my thoughts)
That is the Office of National Statistics, the Guess work office .
Spelling, editor, spelling . council , to many (If, Buts, Figures unavailable), why publish an half answered progress list, (Just my thoughts) That is the Office of National Statistics, the Guess work office . Dave Ruddock
  • Score: 5

12:04pm Wed 16 Jul 14

piaggio1 says...

Well the so called clowncil are.nt showing any signs of poverty !!!!!
They and their buddies are spendin our tax money pretty fast.......
Well the so called clowncil are.nt showing any signs of poverty !!!!! They and their buddies are spendin our tax money pretty fast....... piaggio1
  • Score: -12

12:40pm Wed 16 Jul 14

wildthing666 says...

The downturn in JSA claimants could be due to families been sanctioned in effect that gives them less money so more entitlement to free meals and housing benefit.
The downturn in JSA claimants could be due to families been sanctioned in effect that gives them less money so more entitlement to free meals and housing benefit. wildthing666
  • Score: 6

12:51pm Wed 16 Jul 14

asd says...

Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works.
Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works. asd
  • Score: 17

2:18pm Wed 16 Jul 14

eeoodares says...

asd wrote:
Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works.
What is the alternative?
[quote][p][bold]asd[/bold] wrote: Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works.[/p][/quote]What is the alternative? eeoodares
  • Score: -2

2:43pm Wed 16 Jul 14

old_selebian says...

Apart from print stories about poverty with a "Stamp out poverty campaign" logo in the paper. Can someone at the Press explain exactly what the Press has done to address "poverty" since launching it's "campaign"?
The quote below from the editor is full of platitudes, it doesn't say anything about what the Press has actually done about it,

Steve Hughes, managing editor of The Press, said: "A year on from the adoption of the poverty-free vision, it is clear progress has been made – but more action is needed. The Press remains committed to this vision, and we look forward to working with others in the city to help those who are struggling most. This is vital work for York, and it is important than the momentum and drive of a year ago is not lost.”
Apart from print stories about poverty with a "Stamp out poverty campaign" logo in the paper. Can someone at the Press explain exactly what the Press has done to address "poverty" since launching it's "campaign"? The quote below from the editor is full of platitudes, it doesn't say anything about what the Press has actually done about it, Steve Hughes, managing editor of The Press, said: "A year on from the adoption of the poverty-free vision, it is clear progress has been made – but more action is needed. The Press remains committed to this vision, and we look forward to working with others in the city to help those who are struggling most. This is vital work for York, and it is important than the momentum and drive of a year ago is not lost.” old_selebian
  • Score: 11

2:50pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Punkster says...

eeoodares wrote:
asd wrote:
Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works.
What is the alternative?
Wow, didn't you miss out on school! Communism might just be the answer to your question.
[quote][p][bold]eeoodares[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]asd[/bold] wrote: Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works.[/p][/quote]What is the alternative?[/p][/quote]Wow, didn't you miss out on school! Communism might just be the answer to your question. Punkster
  • Score: -9

2:59pm Wed 16 Jul 14

piaggio1 says...

Dint help moving all the printing jobs over to bradford.but i take it things like this are er forgotten.????
Dint help moving all the printing jobs over to bradford.but i take it things like this are er forgotten.???? piaggio1
  • Score: 7

3:04pm Wed 16 Jul 14

NoNewsIsGoodNews says...

£42 million a year is an obscene amount of money to achieve virtually nothing.
Call me crazy, but how about just dividing it up every year and giving it directly to the people most in need?
£42 million a year is an obscene amount of money to achieve virtually nothing. Call me crazy, but how about just dividing it up every year and giving it directly to the people most in need? NoNewsIsGoodNews
  • Score: 16

4:59pm Wed 16 Jul 14

nearlyman says...

Punkster wrote:
eeoodares wrote:
asd wrote:
Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works.
What is the alternative?
Wow, didn't you miss out on school! Communism might just be the answer to your question.
Apparently it is you who missed out at school. Did you not learn about rhetorical questions ? If not, look up the definition and write it out ten times !!
[quote][p][bold]Punkster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eeoodares[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]asd[/bold] wrote: Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works.[/p][/quote]What is the alternative?[/p][/quote]Wow, didn't you miss out on school! Communism might just be the answer to your question.[/p][/quote]Apparently it is you who missed out at school. Did you not learn about rhetorical questions ? If not, look up the definition and write it out ten times !! nearlyman
  • Score: 5

5:03pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Meirion M says...

asd wrote:
Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works.
agree with asd.

Capitalism is here to stay in the West. We have to live with it, sadly.
Poverty, or at least, those who claim poverty need to do something about instead of whining. As Norman Tebbit once said, "On your bike" and find a job.
Too many people in this country mean about jobs, and don not try to get a job or fight for a job.
Benefits help no-one.
[quote][p][bold]asd[/bold] wrote: Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works.[/p][/quote]agree with asd. Capitalism is here to stay in the West. We have to live with it, sadly. Poverty, or at least, those who claim poverty need to do something about instead of whining. As Norman Tebbit once said, "On your bike" and find a job. Too many people in this country mean about jobs, and don not try to get a job or fight for a job. Benefits help no-one. Meirion M
  • Score: 1

5:20pm Wed 16 Jul 14

meme says...

so were there no poor people in Communist countries?
from what I see and hear communist states that have changed to capitalist seem much better off and happier...there is poverty in all systems and always will be. That's the nature of life but I would say poverty in York is a relative term. Is anyone starving/not got a roof over their head they may be poor but try being poor in India /Sudan or Nepal of Afghanistan ..that's poverty in the true sense
The only way out of poverty is to strive and work and fight for your self belief....people cannot rely on others to sort it out for them
so were there no poor people in Communist countries? from what I see and hear communist states that have changed to capitalist seem much better off and happier...there is poverty in all systems and always will be. That's the nature of life but I would say poverty in York is a relative term. Is anyone starving/not got a roof over their head [involuntarily] they may be poor but try being poor in India /Sudan or Nepal of Afghanistan ..that's poverty in the true sense The only way out of poverty is to strive and work and fight for your self belief....people cannot rely on others to sort it out for them meme
  • Score: 4

5:41pm Wed 16 Jul 14

ColdAsChristmas says...

Plenty of poverty in York and the growing population will bring even more.

But on the other hand, we have got £600,000 of 20 mph signs. Such a shame these can't be eaten!
Plenty of poverty in York and the growing population will bring even more. But on the other hand, we have got £600,000 of 20 mph signs. Such a shame these can't be eaten! ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: -32

10:52pm Wed 16 Jul 14

York City Blues says...

ColdAsChristmas wrote:
Plenty of poverty in York and the growing population will bring even more.

But on the other hand, we have got £600,000 of 20 mph signs. Such a shame these can't be eaten!
Edible road signs what a fantastic idea !

Look out for this in the next manifesto.
[quote][p][bold]ColdAsChristmas[/bold] wrote: Plenty of poverty in York and the growing population will bring even more. But on the other hand, we have got £600,000 of 20 mph signs. Such a shame these can't be eaten![/p][/quote]Edible road signs what a fantastic idea ! Look out for this in the next manifesto. York City Blues
  • Score: 3

7:35am Thu 17 Jul 14

Tug job says...

Dave Ruddock wrote:
Spelling, editor, spelling .
council , to many (If, Buts, Figures unavailable), why publish an half answered progress list, (Just my thoughts)
That is the Office of National Statistics, the Guess work office .
Grammar, Dave, grammar - yours really is atrocious. Do you work for York Press?
[quote][p][bold]Dave Ruddock[/bold] wrote: Spelling, editor, spelling . council , to many (If, Buts, Figures unavailable), why publish an half answered progress list, (Just my thoughts) That is the Office of National Statistics, the Guess work office .[/p][/quote]Grammar, Dave, grammar - yours really is atrocious. Do you work for York Press? Tug job
  • Score: 0

7:37am Thu 17 Jul 14

Tug job says...

Dave Ruddock wrote:
Spelling, editor, spelling .
council , to many (If, Buts, Figures unavailable), why publish an half answered progress list, (Just my thoughts)
That is the Office of National Statistics, the Guess work office .
Grammar, Dave, grammar - yours really is atrocious. Do you work for York Press?
[quote][p][bold]Dave Ruddock[/bold] wrote: Spelling, editor, spelling . council , to many (If, Buts, Figures unavailable), why publish an half answered progress list, (Just my thoughts) That is the Office of National Statistics, the Guess work office .[/p][/quote]Grammar, Dave, grammar - yours really is atrocious. Do you work for York Press? Tug job
  • Score: -1

8:35am Thu 17 Jul 14

CaroleBaines says...

Meirion M wrote:
asd wrote:
Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works.
agree with asd.

Capitalism is here to stay in the West. We have to live with it, sadly.
Poverty, or at least, those who claim poverty need to do something about instead of whining. As Norman Tebbit once said, "On your bike" and find a job.
Too many people in this country mean about jobs, and don not try to get a job or fight for a job.
Benefits help no-one.
Agree to certain extent, but then if you look at our lives now, a lot of the comforts we have are the result not of governments, but of technological progress. That progress, is largely driven by capitalism and companies striving to out-do each other.
What we need is responsible capitalism, backed my some mutualism, not the hedge-fund, over-leaveraging stuff we are seeing at the moment.
Nice to have a thread without name calling and the 'the Council are all Marxists' brigade. More please, I used to enjoy these forums once upon a time but they appear to have been taken over. Which is a shame.
[quote][p][bold]Meirion M[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]asd[/bold] wrote: Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works.[/p][/quote]agree with asd. Capitalism is here to stay in the West. We have to live with it, sadly. Poverty, or at least, those who claim poverty need to do something about instead of whining. As Norman Tebbit once said, "On your bike" and find a job. Too many people in this country mean about jobs, and don not try to get a job or fight for a job. Benefits help no-one.[/p][/quote]Agree to certain extent, but then if you look at our lives now, a lot of the comforts we have are the result not of governments, but of technological progress. That progress, is largely driven by capitalism and companies striving to out-do each other. What we need is responsible capitalism, backed my some mutualism, not the hedge-fund, over-leaveraging stuff we are seeing at the moment. Nice to have a thread without name calling and the 'the Council are all Marxists' brigade. More please, I used to enjoy these forums once upon a time but they appear to have been taken over. Which is a shame. CaroleBaines
  • Score: 4

1:11pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Pinza-C55 says...

Punkster wrote:
eeoodares wrote:
asd wrote:
Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works.
What is the alternative?
Wow, didn't you miss out on school! Communism might just be the answer to your question.
Or Socialism.
[quote][p][bold]Punkster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eeoodares[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]asd[/bold] wrote: Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works.[/p][/quote]What is the alternative?[/p][/quote]Wow, didn't you miss out on school! Communism might just be the answer to your question.[/p][/quote]Or Socialism. Pinza-C55
  • Score: 0

4:54pm Thu 17 Jul 14

deckhanddave says...

Pinza-C55 wrote:
Punkster wrote:
eeoodares wrote:
asd wrote:
Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works.
What is the alternative?
Wow, didn't you miss out on school! Communism might just be the answer to your question.
Or Socialism.
Anarchy? When you hit rock bottom you can only go up. Thinking back over the years, when I left school there were jobs, apprentices and an Evening Press special for school leavers. Rowntree, Terry's, Gansolite, Vickers, Armstrong's, Adams Hydraulics, Carriage works, and more. All sadly gone bar Rowntree. So opportunities for the young are far and few now. Then, when you had a job, you could pay your bills and have the odd holiday with the kids. Now you are lucky if you have a part time job. Many people have two or three. Most families don't earn enough wages even if they work full time and have to rely on benefit top ups. Much of this makes a mockery of the figures that we keep getting fed. More in unemployment? Yes but most in part time or minimum wage and having to be topped up by benefits so still costing tax payers. here society is stigmatising those on benefits yet now we accept without question that employers can pay poor wages and the tax payer will top them up. At that, they are still well below that needed to have a 'life' so they struggle on. What do the powers that be do? Hand out platitudes and say more needs to be done then go home to their middle class existence. Sigh!
[quote][p][bold]Pinza-C55[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Punkster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eeoodares[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]asd[/bold] wrote: Unless they change Capitalism, you will always get poor people, its the nature of the beast, sorry but that how it works.[/p][/quote]What is the alternative?[/p][/quote]Wow, didn't you miss out on school! Communism might just be the answer to your question.[/p][/quote]Or Socialism.[/p][/quote]Anarchy? When you hit rock bottom you can only go up. Thinking back over the years, when I left school there were jobs, apprentices and an Evening Press special for school leavers. Rowntree, Terry's, Gansolite, Vickers, Armstrong's, Adams Hydraulics, Carriage works, and more. All sadly gone bar Rowntree. So opportunities for the young are far and few now. Then, when you had a job, you could pay your bills and have the odd holiday with the kids. Now you are lucky if you have a part time job. Many people have two or three. Most families don't earn enough wages even if they work full time and have to rely on benefit top ups. Much of this makes a mockery of the figures that we keep getting fed. More in unemployment? Yes but most in part time or minimum wage and having to be topped up by benefits so still costing tax payers. here society is stigmatising those on benefits yet now we accept without question that employers can pay poor wages and the tax payer will top them up. At that, they are still well below that needed to have a 'life' so they struggle on. What do the powers that be do? Hand out platitudes and say more needs to be done then go home to their middle class existence. Sigh! deckhanddave
  • Score: 0

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