Poverty Truth Commissions Annual Virtual Conference

It’s sometimes the Simple Things…..

I had the pleasure of joining 50 Poverty Truth Commissions this week at their Annual Virtual Conference. It was uplifting to see so many on differing stages of their development, from Suffolk to Sheffield and from Bournemouth to Gateshead. It reinforced to me personally just how important Commissions can be as one mechanism for any discussion on Poverty (there are many others of course). The Commissions talked about the challenges they face and the often small successes they have had over the past 12 months. I particularly liked the Gateshead Poverty Truth Commission’s campaign to ‘Leave the Carpet Alone’….

Evidently in Gateshead, the Housing Department regularly remove carpet from completed tenancies and dispose, prior to any new tenant moving in. A harmless enough act you would think, except the Commission demonstrated that new tenants (some of whom are the most vulnerable in society) often did not have enough income to replace them. Apparently one tenant spent 5 years on concrete before having enough funds to buy new carpets. Thus the ‘Leave the Carpet Alone’ campaign was launched, and now serviceable carpets remain in situ for new tenants. They can choose to use or dispose, but the choice is theirs…..

It’s a simple reform of Policy which supports the most in need. Poverty Truth Commissions are not always about sweeping reform: Sometimes it’s the simplest things that count for many.

Notes: My apologies if some of the detail has been misinterpreted. It was a virtual recount of the facts and my interpretation is not meant to cause offence.


Russell Rolph – VIN CEO