A bright morning in Birmingham, plenty of expectation in the air ahead of key speeches on the economy, work, civil service reform, communities and local government.
Patrick and Helen attended The Centre for Social Justice fringe with John Glen MP, PPS to Eric Pickles and Housing Minister Brandon Lewis, on long-term investment in the housing market in order to support social mobility.
It was a busy morning for John Glen MP as he was in a lunchtime fringe held at the Birmingham Christian Centre on malnutrition and the impact of food poverty in the UK, where Clare represented CSAN. Alongside Mr Glen on the panel was chair Julia Manning, CEO of 2020health, Guy Mason of Morrisons, Adrian Curtis of The Trussell Trust and Patrick Butler, Social Policy Editor at The Guardian. During questions, CSAN stressed the importance of careful and considered language when talking about people receiving food aid and asked about the next steps from the APPG on hunger and food poverty following their summertime inquiry to which CSAN provided a response. Adrian Curtis thanked CSAN, for its “amazing work” saying that Caritas is an “amazing organisation”. Mr Glen then said that the APPG hopes to produce its response by the end of the calendar year.
The afternoon then saw the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Minister for Cabinet Office and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government take to the stage in the Symphony Hall. CSAN was particularly interested to hear Iain Duncan-Smith, who talked about the Government’s continued reforms to the welfare state which “will now mean it pays to work”. He declared that “no social justice can be about leaving people trapped in dependency”. Read CSAN’s response to the lowering of the benefit cap http://www.csan.org.uk/newsarticle/csan-reacts-lower-benefit-cap/#.VCqg9PldWSo.