- A Plan for Fife
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While poverty is about people not having the income needed to thrive in their lives, in practice this also drives a range of related issues which, in themselves, can perpetuate the poverty cycle. Lack of funds, difficulties in accessing services, and other issues can lead to crisis, where people need short-term help. However, solutions need to take a longer term, preventative approach.
Poverty appeared to be already increasing in Fife before the Covid-19 pandemic occurred, and its impact is likely to increase poverty levels further. Issues related to poverty are long term and areas of deprivation are closely associated with former mining communities. The mid-Fife area is particularly affected, but not exclusively so, and it is not always easy to clearly define geographic boundaries due to the fact that in-work poverty, debt and fuel poverty are not restricted to traditionally defined deprived communities. We have estimated that most of our effort to address poverty in Fife is directed at dealing with crisis, which could have been prevented. Easier access to, and better design of, services could be a major factor in reducing crisis and helping people move out of poverty. Action to address climate change should also focus on minimising its potential impacts in terms of energy and transport poverty, as well as vulnerability to extreme weather.
Make it easier to access services through a no wrong door approach
Challenge stigma and attitudes that can prevent people from accessing the services they need
Community wealth building approaches can help to break the poverty spiral
Better intelligence to proactively reach people in need, with a focus on prevention rather than just responding to crisis
Help people maximise income and remove cost barriers to participation
Sustainable approaches to basics such as food security and welfare provision
Develop environmental and cultural strategies for Fife to support community health and wellbeing