City of York Council – YFPA contributes to the review on Financial Inclusion.
This review by the Corporate and Scrutiny Management Committee (CSMC) included 4 strands* in its Financial Inclusion Scoping Report.
It went on to add food poverty to the issues they were covering, as described here:
Point 10. In November 2018 CSMC considered an update report which requested
that a 19 July Green Party Motion to Council on Food Poverty be added to the review
remit. This was agreed by the Committee so the following objective was
included in the review:
vi. To understand how the above issues are linked to apparently
increasing levels of food poverty in York, including work on the
the background to food poverty in York including any
available local statistics and how local measurement might
the current role of crisis support in York in mitigating food
a range of options for the Council and its partners to
improve the city wide response to food poverty in York.
York Food Poverty Alliance’s report in response to these questions can be read here – YFPA Report to CYC Scrutiny- Feb 2019 and you can watch the webcast of the council meeting where the review’s report is discussed – and where Jo Millner and Mary Pessari from Chill in the Community take part at the beginning, followed by YFPA’s Rosie Baker, speaking on behalf of alliance members and individuals experiencing poverty.
*The other 4 strands were:
i. The growing impact of Universal Credit is starting to be felt (and
reported by Citizens Advice York). Are processes ready and
ii. The low take up of council tax discretionary reduction scheme is a
concern. How is this being advertised / signposted to potential
iii. There is an increased demand on discretionary housing
iv. The various activities initiatives aimed at addressing the cause of
financial inclusion being funded by Financial Inclusion Steering
Group. How are these awarded and how are we measuring the
What will happen to our food supply if Brexit goes ahead? “We should prepare for a bumpy ride” says Food policy expert, Lindy Sharpe.
Whether you are for or against Brexit, it is important to think about its impact on the food system. We attended a York for Europe event on 21st November, focusing on how women would be affected by Brexit, and guess what? – access to food is one of the main areas that will affect women and children more than men. Expert on food policy, Rosalind Sharpe from City University, warned that
- Employs 13% of our workforce
- 75% of our land used for food
- 70% of our trade is in food
- Road trucks are 1/5 food
- It brings both pleasure & anxiety
- Women are overwhelmingly responsible for food in the household, often the “food champions”
- Women are often low-paid workers in the food industry, not earning a real living wage.
- Overall, more women are poor and one quarter of women have children to provide for.
☹ Risks towards environmental and food standards from new, non-EU trade deals: there is a report in today’s Guardian in which a US official is suggesting the need for the UK to align with US standards.
- To get the Agriculture Bill to make more reference to food and human health (Sustain).
- Persuading Government to recognise that vegetable production is important and deserves support (Food Foundation)
- Making the case that agricultural reform could be used as an opportunity to allow new, small-scale entrants into farming (Land Workers Alliance)
- Making the public aware of the risk to environmental and food standards from trade deals (Food Research Collaboration)
As part of Sustainable Food Cities, York Food Poverty Alliance is in touch with Sustain, who are coordinating Brexit-related food information for civil society groups, so do get in touch for updates on this crucial policy area, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Information links:
- Click to read our Blog containing all the updates from End Hunger UK campaign.
- The Food Insecurity Bill being debated in parliament on 23rd November 2018.
- Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN)’s work on mapping independent food banks across the country.
- End Hunger UK’s work on the measurement of food poverty. They have also collaboratively-produced a document called ‘Menu-to-end-hunger-uk’ which sets out ‘extremely practical’ recommendations as described here:
“Many of them could be implemented at relatively little cost, but would make a real and immediate difference – for example, funding local schemes so that children do not go hungry during the school holidays. Other recommendations will require more concerted and longer-term action to ensure that people are paid a decent wage and that there is an adequate safety net to support people during difficult times in their life, such as an illness or the breakdown of a relationship. If we are to eradicate food insecurity, then we must commit to these shared goals – and we need to start measuring the scale of the problem, so we can see the progress that is being made.” Rev Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester.