22nd March 2016

Last week, Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, convened the first meeting of the Motherwell and Wishaw Poverty Action Network.

The network has been established by Marion Fellows to link together public representatives, organisations, churches and charities from the community that aim to combat poverty directly or tackle its indirect effects.

The first meeting allowed members to share expertise and awareness of services available to members of the community and also determine the group’s long term objectives.

MSP Clare Adamson and North Lanarkshire councillors were in attendance. Other members of the network incude the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Routes to Work, Lanarkshire Links as well as public bodies such as North Lanarkshire Council’s Welfare Rights team.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“Poverty is a large challenge that we as a nation face and tackling it is at the forefront of the SNP’s agenda in Holyrood and Westminster.

From London, I have voted against the Tory’s austerity agenda which has cut welfare and our public services forcing more people into unemployment and pushing others further into the poverty cycle.

However, as well as fighting poverty in our parliaments, we must also fight it in our communities at a local level with local action. That is why I set up a local forum to bring together local stakeholders who work hard fighting poverty in the local community.

Members of the network focus on a variety of issues from getting people back into work; fighting benefit sanctions; supplying food parcels and baby essentials; providing legal advice; and even addressing the effects of poverty, such as mental health.

The first meeting has brought together organisations from the community to establish the Poverty Action Network which aims to get people back into work and eliminate poverty in our communities.

I know that Motherwell and Wishaw has a strong sense of community and loyalty to one another and I’m confident this will show as the group works to tackle poverty.”

Clare Adamson MSP said:

“The Poverty Action Network event was very useful and informative, with great ideas from inspirational organisations working against poverty in our community.”

Martine Nolan of Saint Vincent de Paul’s Church said:

“Thank you to Marion Fellows for such an enlightening event. Marion’s commitment to help her constituents is evident in her work.

The idea to facilitate better relationships between local support organisations and charities will enable all parties to provide better support to the community of Motherwell and Wishaw.”