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REACTION TO BLAIR SOCIAL EXCLUSION SPEECH

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Responding to the PM's speech today on poverty and social exclusion (see ...

Responding to the PM's speech today on poverty and social exclusion (see LGCnet), Adam Sampson, director of Shelter, said:

'The prime minister has stressed the importance of early intervention to lift children out of poverty but he has overlooked one of the most effective preventative measures that can be implemented here and now - to make sure every child has a safe and secure home.

'Housing inequality is a key driver of social exclusion, perpetuating the cycle of poverty from one generation to the next. The government must commit to building more social rented homes in the next comprehensive spending review if they seriously want to offer these children the chance of a brighter future.'

Action on social exclusion welcome - Turning Point

Turning Point chief executive Victor Adebowale said:

'We welcome the prime minister's emphasis on tackling problems early on - before they get worse. This means helping families when children are born to give them the support they need to make great parents. This should apply to all families, including those affected by alcohol misuse and we welcome the prime minister's recognition of the need to help this vulnerable group today, following Turning Point's Bottling it Up campaign aimed at more support for children of alcohol misusing parents.

'But the language being used in this debate is crucial - children from deprived backgrounds must not be stigmatised as a nuisance to society.

'The prime minister is right to focus on closer working between different agencies, including the voluntary sector. Effective solutions to tackle social exclusion and support people with complex needs will rest on new approaches, providing tailored health and social care services for individuals and communities.

'What is really needed is 'Connected Care': truly joined up services so that people do not have to knock on the doors of several agencies to get help. Local communities should be supported to design and deliver services that they actually want to use. If the government fails to realise the need to radically change the way local services are planned and provided, then the very people the government seeks to help will still be left behind.'

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