Five key takeaways from the Welsh Local Government Association Annual Conference
The cost-of-living crisis is a major challenge for our communities and is hitting the poorest in society particularly hard. The need for help with basics such as food, fuel and clothing has never been higher. We know that this is rightly a high priority amongst local governments in Wales. But council budgets are under severe pressure with rising demand, triggered by an ageing population and inflationary pressures, among other factors. This is against a backdrop of over a decade of austerity with more to come: BBC research has found that Welsh councils expect a combined shortfall of £394.8m over the next two years.
To discuss this challenge and what councils can do about it, the Wales Centre for Public Policy (WCPP) convened a panel at the Welsh Local Government Association Annual Conference on the 14th September 2023 where my colleague Dan Bristow, WCPP Director of Policy and Practice and I were joined by councillors Nia Wyn Jeffries (Gwynedd) and Lis Burnett (Vale of Glamorgan), and The Trussell Trust Lead for Wales, Jo Harry.
Here are our five key takeaways that emerged through the discussion:
To explore the issue of poverty stigma further, and to identify how WCPP and others can support public services to understand and tackle this, we are convening a workshop on the 10th November in Wrexham with policy-makers, practitioners and experts-by-experience. This will be delivered in partnership with the Co-production Network Wales and as part of the International Public Policy Observatory, UCL.
If you’re interested in engaging with this project, please email email@example.com