Anti poverty cash goes to area committees

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The leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council confirmed this week that the local authority is “totally committed to tackling poverty”.

Council Leader Ronnie Nicholson said £350,000 had been allocated in the recent budget to fund anti-poverty projects across the region.

The money will be allocated through the area committees.

The quarter of a million pound sum is part of a larger discretionary grants budget of £911,000 that was agreed at Full Council on 28 February. The local anti-poverty funds are designed to assist people currently experiencing poverty, but also to help communities and individuals from falling into poverty.

The council is already funding school breakfast clubs and working with the Tackling Poverty Working Group The council support the Stranraer Furniture Project, an organisation which devises, delivers, reviews, evaluates and reports on training programmes for the benefit of long term unemployed people, and also supports employees with barriers to employment.

Castle Douglas Community Information and Technology Centre also received funding to provide a sustainable and community led outreach training programme across the Stewartry area. In an area which has the highest proportion of older people living within it while also being one of the lowest paid regions in Scotland, people who can’t afford the internet are supported get internet access and training at a network of Community Hubs across the Stewartry.

Ronnie Nicholson said: “Our Council is totally committed to tackling poverty in Dumfries and Galloway.

“We created the Anti-Poverty Strategy and it continues to drive us forward in relation to tackling the issues many people in the region face with regards to poverty.

“We are working with the Third Sector and many individuals and community groups from Whithorn to Langholm and everywhere in between to ensure that we are bridging the gap in relation to those who are suffering poverty. The applications that will go to Area Committees are a testimony to how far we’ve come, and a reminder of how much further our council needs to go. And we will. I look forward to seeing and hearing how the money from the local anti-poverty funds will be allocated in the areas.”

The Wigtown Area Committee is on Wednesday, March 29 and the Stewartry Area Committee on Wednesday, March 15.