Poverty issue to be addressed

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POVERTY is on the increase in the Banbridge District, but the local Council have taken steps to discuss the issue.

A range of interested parties are being brought together to examine the issue of poverty at a special conference, entitled ‘Poverty in Banbridge District: Fact or Fiction?’.

It will take place on Tuesday, 19 March, at 9.30am in the Belmont Hotel and will look at poverty in a Northern Ireland context with Professor Mike Tomlinson from Queen’s University giving an overview of how poverty is measured and defined.

Fergus Cooper from Save The Children will examine the issue of child poverty and the impact poverty has on the youngest in our society.

The focus of the conference will then switch to local issues with a number of organisations giving first hand accounts of the extent of poverty in the district.

Robert Stockley, Community Development Officer with Banbridge District Council, explained the rationale behind the event. “Banbridge District is traditionally seen as a relatively affluent area. However, from talking to some local organisations working on the ground, it was becoming clear that increasingly this picture is changing. The idea behind this event is to try and get a clearer picture of the reality facing local people.

“This is not only a chance to see to what extent there is a problem with poverty in the district, but also to get an idea of what is being done to alleviate the issue and to identify gaps in provision.”

The event is targeted at organisations and individuals who have a local interest in the issue of poverty. For further details or to book a place contact Banbridge District Council Leisure and Development Department on 028 4066 0605.