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Member for Social Services attends British Irish Council Meeting to discuss child poverty 10 June 2008

Dudley Butt MLC, Member for Social Services recently represented the Island at The British-Irish Council (BIC) Social Inclusion group, which held its third Ministerial meeting at the Welsh Assembly Government, in the Senedd, Cardiff, Wales. The meeting focused on the challenges presented by child poverty, in particular that of lone parents, faced by all eight Member Administrations.

Mr. Butt said,

“The meeting considered a report that had been prepared by officers which identified concerns, issues and examples of best practice in tackling the problem of child poverty. The Isle of Man is relatively affluent with an active and diverse economy and full employment, but we recognise that there is a small but significant number in the community who are disadvantaged and we are determined to improve their situation and that of their children."

Mr. Butt added,

“In addition to generous programmes of benefits, I also reported to the council the significant progress of the Department in developing Integrated Children’s Services to deliver the outcomes of Staying Safe, Being Healthy, Enjoying and Achieving, Making a Positive Contribution and Prospering.”

David Gibson, Deputy Director for Social Services, who also attended the meeting, added,

“There is ongoing work focussing on child poverty on the Island that has benefited from our involvement in the British Irish Council. Hopefully, this will become a work stream as part of the Isle of Man Government’s Integrated Children’s Services approach.”

The British Irish Council (BIC) was established under the Strand Three Provisions of the Good Friday Agreement as a forum for its members to exchange information and discuss, consult and endeavour to reach agreement and co-operation on matters of mutual interest within their respective competencies. It comprises the administrations of Scotland, Wales, the UK Government, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

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