Rethinking Poverty: Greater Manchester Can Lead the Way
Tom Skinner, Director of Greater Manchester Poverty Action
We had a fantastic time at our Rethinking Poverty event last week, and I want to thank everyone who helped to make it run so smoothly, all of our wonderful speakers, and everyone who attended and contributed to the discussions. You can read a report of the event on the website, which concludes that “All of the speakers, and the audience who asked questions, complemented each other well and we explored many challenging questions and innovative approaches through the afternoon. It really was an event in which we rethought how to address poverty here, and how Greater Manchester can lead the way in the UK.” Here I share my personal reflections from the night.
Children and young people are not just the future, they are now. They bring fresh perspectives and ideas, hope in abundance, and they see things with a clarity that is so valuable in a complex world. You can find the two videos that Young Manchester made in the report on the next page – please do watch them and share widely as they deserve to be seen by many people.
Barry Knight, author of the Rethinking Poverty book around which our event was based, is definitely on to something. His book poses questions as much as it provides answers, and I believe he is asking the right questions. Beatrice Webb laid down the intellectual foundations of the welfare state more than 30 years before it was implemented – we will strive to ensure that it does not take so long for Barry’s vision to be realised. You can read more comprehensive reviews and responses from the likes of Gerry Salole, Chief Executive of the European Foundation Centre, and Greater Manchester’s own Kate Green MP, or even better, buy the book and see for yourself!
Despite the challenges facing Greater Manchester, we can and must be ambitious in developing a vision of a good society here without poverty, and working towards it. We have some great leaders and public servants, a varied, determined and engaged third sector, many businesses who want to be part of the solution, and most importantly, millions of people with incredible passion and potential. Greater Manchester Poverty Action will help unlock this potential through encouraging cross-sector and cross-boundary collaboration for years to come, with your help…