Action to tackle child poverty in West Lothian

New and planned activity to address child poverty in West Lothian has been set out.

By Kevin Quinn
Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 3:00 pm

Latest child poverty estimates indicate that around one quarter of children in West Lothian experienced poverty in 2019/20. This is the largest proportion of children living in relatively poverty since 2014/15 and represents a 3.3 per cent increase in the five year period between 2015-2020.

A new Local Child Poverty Action Report (LCPAR) for West Lothian has been published which sets out the scale of the challenges to reduce child poverty in West Lothian.

NHS Lothian, West Lothian Council and members of the Child Poverty Reference Group and Community Planning Partnership Anti-Poverty Task Force have worked to co-produce the report.

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A new Local Child Poverty Action Report (LCPAR) for West Lothian has been published which sets out the scale of the challenges to reduce child poverty in West Lothian. Photographer-Ian Georgeson.

West Lothian Council leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick, said: “Tackling child poverty is a shared responsibility and in West Lothian, this responsibility sits with a collective group of organisations under the West Lothian Anti-Poverty Strategy.”

He added: “The scale of the challenge to reduce poverty at a local level should not be underestimated, especially as funding available to local authorities is limited. The fact is many of the most effective long-term interventions for alleviating child poverty sit with national government, most notably in Westminster. However, we can’t focus on what we can’t control, the council is focusing on what we can do to improve the life chances for young people in West Lothian and all agencies must work together to make progress.

"Ultimately, we are investing in work that will hopefully reduce poverty in West Lothian, including child poverty.

“The LCPAR highlights local measures, undertaken in partnership, between the council, NHS Lothian and a range of community planning partners to contribute towards the overall aim of mitigating the impact of poverty on families and young people.

“It is important to note that the most recent estimate covers a period of time that is pre-pandemic and cannot account for the financial impact of the pandemic. This highlights the scale of the problems that local people are facing.

“The plan sets out that there is a strong focus on intervention and practical approaches that will impact on reducing child poverty across West Lothian and which specifically reflect the impact of post- pandemic recovery and the cost of living crisis on people that are vulnerable.”