Councillors will hear about the continuing work to respond to tackling poverty across County Durham when they meet next week.

Members of Durham County Council’s Cabinet will hear about the work of the authority and its partners to help those affected through changes made as a result of the Government’s welfare reform programme and the challenges of continuing austerity.

More work is planned through an in-depth study into child poverty to further develop understanding of the issue in County Durham.

Councillors will be asked to give the go-ahead for the research to help develop further approaches to tackling poverty when they meet at the Glebe Centre, Murton, on Wednesday, 18 January.

Cllr Lucy Hovvels, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “Poverty can affect every area of a child’s development – social, educational and personal.

“Living in a poor household can reduce children’s expectations of their own lives and lead to a cycle where poverty is repeated from generation to generation.

“If we want to give children the best start in life, we need to target everything from health, education and employment to behaviour, finance, family and personal relationships.

“In order to do this, we need to carry out detailed analysis of the issue and come to a better understanding of how it affects the lives of families in County Durham.”

If it goes ahead, the research would include mapping service provision across the county in order to identify where new approaches and interventions are needed.

Furthermore, it is proposed that the council will continue its work as a member of the North East Child Poverty and also take up the opportunity to work with the North East Child Poverty Commission.

The report also highlights the pressure within the Discretionary Housing Payments budget in 2016/17 due to increasing demand for support from residents struggling with housing payment demands.

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