Written byOliver Fry
Dr Simon Griffiths, Senior Lecturer in Politics at Goldsmiths, University of London has joined a group of experts to examine how local institutions can get better at understanding and combating poverty in Lewisham.
The Poverty Commission, convened by the Borough of Lewisham, will seek out the views and experience of local residents, examine what Lewisham is currently doing to tackle poverty, and identify best practice from other councils. This summer it will organise a summit to listen to the views of partners and community leaders, and a final report with recommendations for cutting poverty in Lewisham will be published in the autumn.
The Commission, chaired by Councillor Joe Dromey, also includes representatives from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Trust for London, Child Poverty Action Group, Lewisham Citizens, New Local Government Network, Lewisham cabinet members and backbench councillors.
Dr Simon Griffiths said:
"I was really pleased to be invited to be a Commissioner. It is a great opportunity to apply some of the best academic research on poverty, lots of which is carried out across Goldsmiths' various departments, to help solve the practical problems that face many people in the local area.
"It also reflects how seriously we take our responsibilities at Goldsmiths to work with the local community. The Commission is going to provide an important challenge to help find solutions to difficult problems."
In a Lewisham Council statement, Councillor Joe Dromey, Cabinet Member for Policy and Performance said:
"Lewisham is a great place to live, with a strong and vibrant community. But poverty still blights the lives of tens of thousands of our residents, holding them back, and preventing them from achieving their potential.
"We'll be looking to develop innovative policy responses that can make a real difference, even in these difficult times."
The first meeting of the Poverty Commission was held on 27 February 2017.