1. Pembrokeshire’s PSB is committed to improving the well-being of people and communities in Pembrokeshire through its Well-being Plan.  The Plan is currently at consultation stage.  Mitigating the impact of poverty, and improving the lives of those in poverty, is a central theme which runs through the priority work streams in the Plan. 

2. Given Pembrokeshire’s specific circumstances, the PSB has found it helpful to frame the issue of poverty through a lens of rurality and peripherality, and the impact these factors can often have on well-being.  Our Well-being Assessment, driven by engagement with residents and analysis of local data, explored some of these issues and concluded that while Pembrokeshire is not particularly deprived when viewed through traditional measures of determining poverty, our rurality creates inequities in many areas.  This is particularly evident in terms of proximity of services, transport provision, increased cost of fuel and utilities, and access to opportunity whether that be employment, education or training.

3.  Accordingly, the PSB has identified one of its key priorities to be ‘Tackling Rurality’ and it is through this work stream that it will re-examine traditional methods of service delivery and design more integrated and connected services to ensure people are not disadvantaged by where they choose to live.    

4. Other priority work streams which in time will contribute to the anti-poverty agenda include ‘Living and Working’ (which has a focus on skills, training and employability, and working with employers to make Pembrokeshire a more attractive and viable place for people to live and work) and ‘Resourceful Communities’ which is about strengthening the fabric of our communities at a time when services are being withdrawn and a general trend toward regionalisation creates opportunities for communities to become more resourceful, resilient and self-sustaining.

5. The PSB is also involved in the review of Communities First and options and priorities to take forward as part of the Legacy Fund.  The PSB has received ongoing updates from the review group and has oversight of progress.  A number of PSB members are also actively involved in the work of the review group.

6. Local anti-poverty work is also driven by partners in their own individual organisations and the PSB needs to ensure that it is aligned with this activity and involved so that it can add value to the work where appropriate.  An example of this is the work of the local authority and its commitment to developing an anti-poverty action plan led by an elected Member champion.  There is a seminar scheduled for the New Year to drive this work forward and PSB partners have been invited to attend to ensure that the PSB can contribute to this at a strategic level.

7. In terms of actual impact, it is far too early to say what the PSB’s influence will be with regards to poverty reduction.  It is clear however that addressing some of the issues associated with poverty feature heavily in the PSB’s Well-being Plan and the challenge for partners now is to deliver on these priorities through developing collaborative and integrated solutions and with an ongoing commitment to listening and involving the people of Pembrokeshire.