Community partnerships aimed at tackling poverty in Wales can only
succeed if the participants are senior enough to make funding
decisions, the Welsh assembly’s shadow education minister, Helen
Mary Jones, said last week.
She told delegates that, all too often, front-line social workers
were trying to work with communities to tackle poverty but their
lack of decision-making powers on funding strategies meant many
useful projects could not go ahead.
“My experience of social services partnerships in the past has very
often been that it will be a front-line worker involved in a child
care project who gets sent along, and unless they can get resources
and commitment from management, then it does not work,” Jones
“What happens then is that you risk raising expectations in a
deprived community and then dashing them.”
Jones also criticised the lack of long-term funding for many
projects aimed at ending poverty in Wales, describing the chances
of anti-poverty strategies in Wales being sustained by the deprived
communities themselves as “non-existent”.