Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows convened the first meeting of the Motherwell and Wishaw Poverty Action Network last week.
The network has been established by Mrs Fellows to link together public representatives, organisations, churches and charities from the community that aim to combat poverty directly or tackle its indirect effects.
The first meeting was attended by organisations like Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Routes to Work, Lanarkshire Links and St Vincent de Paul Society, public bodies such as North Lanarkshire Council’s Welfare Rights team and politicians including Central Scotland list MSP Clare Adamson and North Lanarkshire councillors.
The event allowed members to share expertise and awareness of services available to members of the community and also determine the group’s long term objectives.
Mrs Fellows said: “Poverty is a large challenge that we as a nation face and tackling it is at the forefront of the SNP’s agenda in Holyrood and Westminster.
“From London, I have voted against the Tory’s austerity agenda which has cut welfare and our public services forcing more people into unemployment and pushing others further into the poverty cycle.
“However, as well as fighting poverty in our parliaments, we must also fight it in our communities at a local level with local action.
“I know that Motherwell and Wishaw has a strong sense of community and loyalty to one another and I’m confident this will show as the group works to tackle poverty.”
Martine Nolan, from the St Vincent de Paul Society, added: “The idea to facilitate better relationships between local support organisations and charities will enable all parties to provide better support to the community of Motherwell and Wishaw.”