Case Study- South Tyneside, ‘Commission on Tackling Poverty in South Tyneside’, Final Report and Recommendations

Posted on 02/11/2023 by Megan Ingle.

At the recent North East Scrutiny Joint Officer/Member Network, Scrutiny and Democracy Support Officer, Jonathan Lunness from South Tyneside, presented a report on the ‘Commission on Tackling Poverty in South Tyneside: Final Report and Recommendations (June 22). This report, was shared as part of the regional networks’ standing agenda item on best practice and serves as a prime illustration of effective scrutiny in local government

This particular report is a comprehensive scrutiny of poverty-related issues in South Tyneside, with a primary focus on identifying challenges, exploring solutions, and making recommendations to improve the well-being of residents.

You can read their full report here here.

Here are some key components that make this report an example of good scrutiny:

  1. Purposeful Scrutiny: The report starts with a clear purpose – addressing poverty within the region. It underlines the importance of scrutiny in solving pressing, ongoing, issues.
  2. Thorough Evidence Gathering: A systematic approach is taken to gather evidence from various sources, including witness testimonies and partners. This ensures that the recommendations are founded on solid, robust information.
  3. Building on Past Efforts: A review of previous recommendations showcases the commitment to continuous scrutiny. This isn’t just a one-off, it’s part of an ongoing process to track progress and consider further actions.
  4. Ongoing Commitment: The report doesn’t stop at the initial problem. It delves into additional areas of scrutiny, such as the Sustainable Food Plan, Access to Transport, and Skills Strategy. This reflects an ongoing effort to examine and address poverty-related challenges.
  5. Summarising Key Findings: The report offers concise conclusions that highlight the importance of addressing poverty through initiatives like a Sustainable Food Plan, improved transportation, and consistent career advice in schools.
  6. Detailed Recommendations: A set of detailed recommendations emerge as a direct outcome of the scrutiny. These encompass various aspects of poverty-related issues, demonstrating a proactive approach to addressing the challenges faced by residents.
  7. Collaboration: The report acknowledges the need for coordinated efforts to tackle poverty, such as appointing a Member Champion and establishing the South Tyneside Poverty Group.
  8. Action-Oriented: The report calls for concrete actions in response to the recommendations. It emphasises a commitment to turning scrutiny findings into practical solutions to benefit the community.

This report offers a thorough examination of poverty in South Tyneside, consistently addressing a variety of issues and crafting practical recommendations. It stands as an effective example of local government scrutiny and highlights how scrutiny can be a catalyst for positive change at the local level.