Tackling child poverty locally – whose responsibility?

Today sees the publication of our first ‘Working Paper’ which looks at whose responsibility it is to tackle child poverty locally.

Local authorities and their partners are central to efforts to tackle poverty, and have been for many years. In the preface to South Riding, written in 1935, Winifred Holtby remarked that local government was ‘in essence the first line of defence thrown up by the community against our common enemies’ and identified poverty as the first of these enemies. In the 1990s, researchers noted that a growing number of local authorities were actively engaged in anti-poverty work with local citizens, many as part of a formal corporate strategic commitment to this’ (Alcock et al. 1999). More recently, the local duties in the Child Poverty Act (2010) have required all local authorities to co-operate with partners to reduce child poverty and to prepare a Child Poverty Needs Assessment and a Child Poverty Strategy for its area and the government at the time argued that ending child poverty was ‘everybody’s business’ . The Coalition government emphasis on localism and decentralisation led to non–statutory guidance being issued in support of the local duties and this allowed local authorities to develop child poverty work in different ways and with different approaches.

The paper draws on evidence from reviews of current child poverty work and from work in the 1980s and 1990s which explored ‘anti-poverty’ work taking place in local autorities. The working paper can be accessed by clicking the link below.

NECPC Working Paper 1

If anyone would like any more information regarding the Working Paper, please do not hesitate to contact me.

There will be more to come….

Best wishes,


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