NO POOR SHOWINGS AT POVERTY ALLIANCE HUSTINGS

An observer who attended last night's Poverty Alliance hustings at the SYHA, Haddington Place, tells us the level of debate was high.

Questions and issues covered included:
  • the financing of local government;
  • central government measures to alleviate poverty versus local accountability;
  • the impact of poverty on children's health;
  • wellbeing and learning;
  • children's centres and support for early years;
  • school uniform grants;
  • working motherhood;
  • poverty-proofing government measures;
  • custodial sentencing and rehabilitation policy;
  • dealing with the root causes of poverty versus tinkering round the edges.
Broadly, there was cross party agreement on the living wage of £7.15.

Attending were: Sheila Low (Scottish Conservative), Malcolm Chisholm (Scottish Labour),  Alison Johnstone (Scottish Green), Shirley-Anne Somerville (Scottish National), Jacquie Bell (Scottish Liberal-Democrat), Ken O'Neill (Independent), Catriona Grant (Scottish Socialist Party). John Dickie (Head of Child Poverty Action Group, Scotland – pictured standing – chaired.)


'Some spoke better than others, no-one disgraced themselves,' commented our Labour-leaning correspondent, 'although the Tory, Sheila Low, seemed to focus on the role of schools and education, and a simple view of wealth creation, as the sole solutions to the problems.'

Whatever your party allegiance or non-aligned scepticism, Spurtle welcomes your Broughton election thoughts, irritations and observations.