Poverty Commission membership revealed

Seven members appointed to new group to monitor progress on tackling poverty in Scotland

Friday 16th August 2019

The membership of a new group aiming to tackle poverty in Scotland has been revealed.

Seven appointments – including campaigners on poverty and tax justice, former healthcare staff, charity workers and a university expert – have been announced by the Scottish Government.

They will make up the Poverty and Inequality Commission, a new public body which will play a key role in advising ministers and review progress in reducing deprivation and inequality.

It replaced the former non-statutory commission, which ceased operating at the end of June.

Bill Scott, chair of the Commission, said the new members each bring a “unique combination of experience and skills”.

He added: “We are looking forward to working alongside Scottish Government, local authorities, the NHS, the third sector and businesses to achieve the shared goal of reducing poverty in Scotland. 

“Only when the evil of poverty has been eliminated will all of Scotland’s citizens be able to achieve the wellbeing and happiness that is their right.”

The new appointments include Linda Bamford, a former nurse who has worked in children’s, disability and equality rights, social justice anti-poverty campaigner Yvonne Blake and Alex Cobham, chief executive of the Tax Justice Network.

Other members include Lindsay Graham, a former community nurse who founded two charities for families affected by disability, chief executive of Queen Cross Housing Association Shona Stephen and Morag Treanor, professor of child and family inequalities at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

Douglas White, head of advocacy at the Carnegie UK Trust, has also been appointed, with an eighth member to be announced later this year.

Aileen Campbell, cabinet secretary for communities and local government, said tackling poverty and inequality is a “key priority” for the Scottish Government.

She said the Commission has been asked to scrutinise local child poverty action reports to consider what lessons can be learned from different approaches.

She added: “As this is a new duty for local areas, it is an opportunity to take stock of the work already underway across Scotland and to help increase its positive impacts.”