Social groups at ‘watershed’ town meeting

A meeting of Social Issues in South Lincolnshire group at the Market House, Long Sutton, with (from left) Father Jonathan Sibley, district and parish councillor Michael Booth, Martin Wilson, John Marshall and PC John Richardson.
A meeting of Social Issues in South Lincolnshire group at the Market House, Long Sutton, with (from left) Father Jonathan Sibley, district and parish councillor Michael Booth, Martin Wilson, John Marshall and PC John Richardson.
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Organisations trying to tackle poverty in South Holland are to discuss the impact of welfare changes at a meeting in Long Sutton next week.

Representatives from Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Age UK, as well as church leaders and councillors, have been invited to the meeting at The Market House, Market Street, between 10am and 1pm.

The meeting is organised by Social Issues in South Lincolnshire and speakers will include Church Action on Poverty director Niall Cooper and Glen Garrod, assistant director of Lincolnshire Social Services.

Effects and consequences of the Government’s welfare reforms which took effect on April 1 will be discussed, including the introduction of universal credit to replace jobseekers’ allowance, income support and housing benefit.

Father Jonathan Sibley, coordinator of Social Issues in South Lincolnshire, said: “It was decided that the welfare reforms which came in from April had thrown up all kinds of social issues and problems that need to be addressed.

“During the meeting, Glen Garrod will set out in more detail the actual needs of people in south Lincolnshire as far as Lincolnshire Social Services is concerned.

“We will be given raw data on social needs in south Lincolnsire and we felt that Glen and his team were the best people to do that so we can decide how to respond.”

Since its launch two years ago, work by Social Issues in South Lincolnshire has played a part in creating three foodbank centres in Spalding, Long Sutton and Holbeach, community lunches, Spalding Street Pastors and a new youth club which opened in Long Sutton last week.

Its work was also mentioned in a Church of England report on social action published in July.

Mr Sibley said: “We’ve created an open forum where many different agencies that care for society in this area can meet and share information.”