Edinburgh College’s Principal Annette Bruton has been appointed to head up the new East Lothian Poverty Commission. East Lothian Council has set up the commission to take a strategic overview of the scale, scope and nature of poverty in East Lothian. The commission will make recommendations to East Lothian Partnership and the council to enable a strategic and coordinated approach in tackling poverty and breaking the cycle of deprivation.
It will examine evidence from local organisations and local people about their experiences of the impact of poverty in East Lothian and what local action might be taken to improve the situation of our most vulnerable citizens.
In welcoming Annette’s appointment, East Lothian Council Leader Councillor Willie Innes said: “I am extremely pleased that Annette has agreed to Chair the Poverty Commission. She has a great deal of experience and knowledge and a personal commitment to East Lothian that will be valuable to the commission. The commission will bring a new perspective and a greater understanding of the problem of poverty and the cycle of deprivation in East Lothian. We know that poverty is a scourge on our society. I am determined that, with the commission’s help, the council, its partners and East Lothian’s communities will put in place measures that will both mitigate the worst impacts of poverty and give people the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.”
Annette said: “I was very pleased to be invited to chair this important group. I was born and grew up in East Lothian. Pencaitland Primary School and Ross High School gave me an excellent start in life and I owe them a debt of gratitude. Reducing the effects of poverty has been at the heart of my professional life and I am hopeful that this commission can help the council and its partners work to give people better life chances.”
The commission will hold its first meeting at the start of February and it is expected to report to the council by the summer. It will:
- draw on evidence from published data and reports on poverty, inequality and deprivation in East Lothian
- take evidence from interested parties across East Lothian, particularly from people who have experienced or are experiencing poverty
- review what is working elsewhere to tackle the causes and impact of poverty
- prepare a report that details the causes, impact and nature of poverty in East Lothian.
- recommend actions that the Council and the East Lothian Partnership could take to mitigate the impact of poverty and break the cycle of poverty.