tackling poverty

We’re tackling poverty!

A new tackling poverty strategy will be shared with councillors next week. The plan looks at the whole issue of poverty, its causes and the long and short term solutions.

tackling poverty

Cabinet members Cllr Viv Kendrick and Cllr Cathy Scott explain more about the plan below:

Cllr Kendrick said:

“The issue is huge, and if it is not properly tacked in a co-ordinated way, it becomes the ticking time bomb that we cannot afford to have to deal with in the future.

“Some of the solutions that will make a difference are as simple as making sure people know what they are entitled to. Others require a longer term change that is not in our own hands, and will need us to campaign for changes in legislation.”

The strategy looks at the practical help available for those who are currently suffering and – importantly – for those who are at risk of falling into difficulties.

Cllr Scott said:

“It concentrates mainly on the things we can influence and do as a local authority, and the most important part of it is the action plan

“We know household budgets are under massive pressure and any sudden changes to income or benefits can have a huge impact. We also know that many people in low to middle income bands are struggling with their finances. This is not about people who could be accused of not wanting to work – more than half of people experiencing poverty now live in working households.

“The figures are shocking. One in three households in Kirklees is in poverty – including 18,000 children – and a quarter of adults in the district say they worry about money.”

How are we tackling poverty?

  • Developing a new credit union
  • Helping people receive the money they are entitled to.
  • Paying all council staff at least the living wage.

In the longer term we will be addressing the causes of poverty – by supporting people with education, employment, parenting and understanding basic finance.

Cllr Kendrick said:

“We are well aware that this is not an easy task, but if we can agree, as a whole council, policies that prevent people sliding into trouble while putting in place the building blocks that improve life chances, we will make steps towards escaping poverty in a sustainable way.”

The tackling poverty strategy will be discussed at full council on Wednesday 23 March.

Kirklees Involvement Network meet the Mayor


A group of local people recently had the chance to find out what it was like to be a councillor and attend a council meeting.

The group who are part of the Kirklees Involvement Network spent an hour and a half in the council chamber where they met Cllr Viv Kendrick, our cabinet member for adult social care and listened to the Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr Paul Kane share his experiences of being a mayor and a councillor.

In the council chamber they sat in the councillors seats and tried out the microphones, and used the voting system to answer questions in a fun quiz.

Afterwards they visited the Mayors Parlour and hospitality room before enjoying refreshments in the Town Hall Reception room.

Our Mayor Cllr Paul Kane said:

It was a pleasure to meet such an enthusiastic group of people and to be able to share my experiences with them. We had a great time together with some great questions being asked”

The group had a unique opportunity to experience what it is like to take part in a council meeting. A lot of decisions that affect them and people across Kirklees are made in those seats, I hope they found the session both fun and interesting.”

What is Kirklees Involvement Network?

Kirklees Involvement Network is a self-advocacy group for people with a learning disability. It helps people to have their say and be involved in making decisions. 5 KIN members sit on the Learning Disability Partnership Board. The group itself has around 80 members and they meets every 6 weeks to discuss the issues that affect them.

It's never ok

Domestic abuse campaign wins national public relations award

We’ve won a prestigious award for our  Domestic Abuse ‘It’s Never Ok’ campaign.

The campaign addressed some of the guises of domestic abuse and aimed to empower people to take action and speak out.

It was aimed at 16-25 year olds, and expertly timed campaign to run between Christmas 2014 and early New Year – a period which sees an increase in domestic incidents.

We wanted to educate young people and highlight unacceptable behaviour toward men, women, and same sex couples; as well as signposting to them organisations that offer confidential support.

The multi-agency, multi-channel campaign took months of planning, testing and vital insight from partners at Kirklees Council, Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing; Health Services; The University of Huddersfield; Kirklees College; Police, Probation Services; Lifeline and Pennine Domestic Violence Group etc.

A fully integrated offline-online communications campaign was developed which included digital, outdoor media, social media marketing, press and media and focus groups to reach the target groups.

Results of campaign

  • Over 4,500 visits to: www.kirklees.gov.uk/itsneverok
  • 500,000 people watched our four bespoke film clips through Facebook.
  • 1,000 people called Pennine Domestic Violence Group’s confidential helpline  – an 8% increase on the same period the previous year.

Other campaigns shortlisted for the Chartered Institute of PR (CIPR) Excellence Award Category ‘Public Sector Campaign’award included the Tour de Yorkshire Grand Depart, and the opening of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Cllr Viv Kendrick, Kirklees Council, Cabinet Member for prevention, and vulnerable adults said:

 “Domestic abuse has a hidden face. It is an extremely sensitive subject that often goes unspoken. We wanted to spread the word and raise awareness of the impact of domestic abuse and how quickly issues can escalate and get out of hand. We encourage anyone affected by domestic abuse to speak out and to give those who may not realise they are victims of abuse the opportunity to stop, think and ask for support”.

“A huge amount of partnership work went into this campaign. Winning this award is a huge accolade as competition was fierce. It is testament to all the hard work and passion of those involved from a range of agencies.  I am personally very proud of the benchmarks we have set and the learning we can share with others – and more importantly by the numbers of people who picked up the phone to make the call for confidential help.”

The council is also up for another award – UK Public Sector Communications Award Category ‘Integrated Campaign of the Year.  The winners will be announced in July.

Anyone who needs advice on domestic abuse or who would like to see the campaign materials can visit the Its Never OK Website.


pathways course

Pathways photography exhibition at Cafe Ollo

Enjoy some art with your coffee at Cafe Ollo in Huddersfield.

You are invited to a free exhibition preview at Cafe Ollo in the Media Centre,  Huddersfield from 7.30pm on Friday 5 June.

In addition to some beautiful photographic images there will also be music from bands including the ‘Hoot Guitar Orchestra’ and ‘Band of Jays’.

Who are Pathways?

Pathways, which is jointly run by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Kirklees Council, provides a range of creative opportunities for people with mental health problems in order to help them recover.

One of the opportunities on offer was a 20 week photography course, which aimed to encourage the group to come together and learn from one another’s interests and skills.

Leah Brown, group facilitator at Pathways said: “The photography group encourages members to see life differently and capture shots that they find unique or interesting. We’ve seen some really great photographs being taken by people attending the sessions.

“The group gives people the chance to try something new whilst meeting new people. Seeing their work displayed at a special exhibition which is open to the public, their family and friends is a great confidence boost and achievement.”

Can’t make the launch?

Don’t worry! Following the exhibition, the work will be on show at the café for three months.

You will also be able to buy the photographs for £15 each with money raised going to the group members and also to benefit future photography groups at Pathways.

Cllr Viv Kendrick, Cabinet member for Health, Wellbeing and Communities said: “Services like Pathways provide valuable opportunities for people with mental health problems to express themselves in a creative way, meet new people and help aid their recovery. I would like to congratulate the people who took part in this group – I am sure that their photographs will be enjoyed by many people visiting the café.”

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of mental health, learning disability and community services to local people in Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.

To find out more about the Trust visit www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk