Policy Forum for Wales

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244

Poverty and deprivation in Wales - next steps for welfare reform, employment strategies, and tackling child and fuel poverty

Morning, Tuesday, 14th July 2020

Online Conference


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will examine the policy priorities for tackling poverty and deprivation in Wales.

Areas for discussion include:

  • the key drivers and underlying causes of poverty,
  • next steps after the government’s child poverty review and fuel poverty plan,
  • roll-out of Universal Credit,
  • local and national employment strategies, and
  • how the Welsh and UK governments, and other key stakeholders, have reacted to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on those living in or in danger of falling into poverty.

The discussion in detail:

The COVID-19 crisis, with discussion on:

  • how the UK and Welsh Governments, and other key stakeholders, have reacted to attempt to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis:
    • on those currently living in poverty and
    • in preventing more people from falling into poverty.
  • issues such as:
    • job security and housing,
    • coordinating access to food and essential items in education settings, through local authorities, community groups, hubs, and elsewhere,
    • boosting future resilience in providing food as part of a crisis response,
    • the long-term implications of an increased demand on the welfare system,
    • what can be learned for the future from cross-sectoral work in response to the current emergency, and
    • the relationship between poverty and health outcomes, with the ONS recently finding that the most deprived areas of Wales had almost twice the mortality rate as the least deprived area, with relation to deaths involving COVID-19 in March and the beginning of April.

The fundamentals - understanding the key drivers of poverty, taking into account a range of geographical and demographic differences across Wales - with discussion expected on:

  • latest thinking on priorities for addressing the underlying causes of poverty and deprivation,
  • assessing developments in policy, best practice and delivery on a local level, and
  • setting goals and measuring progress - identifying desired positive outcomes for short, medium- and long-term models for supporting individuals and families.

Child poverty - looking at key issues, and the organisation of support - including:

  • progress on key challenges for alleviating the impact of poverty on education and attainment,
  • collaborative work that is being undertaken to address issues such as food poverty,
  • opportunities around early intervention, and examples of best practice in supporting disadvantaged families within the ongoing Families First and Flying Start programmes, and
  • prioritising work-streams and funding across public, third and private sectors.

Local, Welsh Government and Westminster strategies on employment and income, and how they are interrelating - with discussion expected on:

  • impact of UK Government plans for completing the rollout of Universal Credit,
  • national-level policy and initiatives to increase the rate of employment and productivity, and reduce inequalities,
  • community focused policy, looking at progress and next steps for investment and regeneration in communities in Wales,
  • developing skills and productivity locally, and supporting low-paid workers into higher-paid employment, and
  • developing secure and higher-paid employment for disadvantaged groups, including women and those balancing paid work with caring and other outside-work responsibilities.

Issues around housing, with discussion expected on:

  • improving the quality of accommodation - in particular with aspects such as energy efficiency,
  • addressing challenges presented to the private rented sector by low income security and in-work poverty, and
  • the role of landlords in working with local authorities and tenants.

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

The agenda:

  • Understanding the key drivers of poverty and supporting communities across Wales,
  • Identifying desired outcomes and measuring performance over time,
  • Addressing the underlying causes of poverty,
  • Tackling child poverty following the Welsh Government review,
  • Completing the roll-out of Universal Credit,
  • Key challenges for implementing the new fuel poverty plan,
  • Local and national employment strategies: higher-paid employment, developing income security and reducing in-work poverty, and
  • Policy priorities for tackling poverty in Wales.

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

This one’s no different. Places have been reserved by a range of officials from the Welsh Government, as well as from the DWP and MHCLG.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Rachel Cable

Head, Oxfam Cymru

Professor Chris Taylor

Academic Director, Cardiff University Social Science Research Park

Andrew Latto

Deputy Director, Devolution, Pensioner Benefits & Carer’s Allowance, Department for Work and Pensions

Mark Jeffs

Audit Manager, Wales Audit Office

Maureen Howell

Deputy Director, Prosperous Futures, Welsh Government

Rev Ruth Coombs

Head of Wales, Equality and Human Rights Commission

Ben Saltmarsh

Head, National Energy Action Cymru

Councillor Dimitri Batrouni

Monmouthshire County Council and Author, Tackling Poverty And Inequality Action Plan: Monmouthshire


Councillor Joy Jones

Anti-Poverty Champion, Powys County Council


Ellie Harwood

Wales Development Manager, Cost of the School Day, Child Poverty Action Group

Tim Thomas

Policy Officer, Residential Landlords Association Wales

Councillor Lynda Thorne

Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cardiff Council

Gwennan Hardy

Senior Policy Officer, Citizens Advice