The ILG hosts and supports the North East Child Poverty Commission. The North East Child Poverty Commission is a stakeholder group that believes that all children in the North East of England shoud have an equal chance in life. The Commission, which includes senior representatives from public, private and voluntary sectors, aims to be an effective lobbying, influencing and campaigning group that can help to build public support for actions that improve the lives of poor children living in the North East.
The aim of the North East Child Poverty Commission is to provide a strong regional voice to raise awareness of the issue of child poverty in the North East and to work collaboratively to tackle the problem. To do this, it:
- Engages and lobbies representatives from the public, private and voluntary sectors to tackle child poverty in the North East.
- Campaigns locally, regionally and nationally to raise awareness amongst politicians and policy makers of the effects of child poverty in the region.
- Champions, co-ordinates and monitors a Regional Child Poverty Action Plan and provides advice, support and challenge to the regional co-ordinator on child poverty.
- Involves children, young people and their families with direct experience of living in poverty in its work.
Further information on the Commission's membership and activities is available on its website: www.nechildpoverty.org.uk.
Child poverty is defined as children living in households whose income is less than 60% of the median national income. This is currently £264 per week per household. Children living in poverty lack many of the opportunities and experiences of their peers, which puts them at greater risk of poor outcomes in later life. Poverty damages the lives of children, making it more likely that they will be poor in adult life. This issue is regarded as a key policy concern across all the main political parties. The North East suffers from high levels of child poverty, with over one in four children in the region growing up in poverty. This poverty is present across the region in both urban and rural areas, with much higher levels in some disadvantaged areas.
Details about the nature and extent of child poverty in the North East is available on the Commission's website at: www.nechildpoverty.org.uk/data.
The Child Poverty Act (2010) enshrined in law the previous Labour administration's committment to eradicate child poverty by 2020. The Coalition government has maintained this commitment and published its updated strategy to achieve this aim, Child Poverty Strategy 2014-17 in September 2014. Government is held to account in delivering this strategy by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.
The work of the North East Child Poverty Commission is currently funded by Durham University Business School and the Millfield House Foundation.