Putting poverty in the spotlight

BBC One is hosting a live debate tonight about poverty and other social issues arising from its lively 'observational documentary' series, The Scheme, which looks at "the dramatic and often emotional highs and lows of daily life for six families living in a large housing scheme in Kilmarnock."

Among those taking part are Poverty Truth Commission members John Carnochran (on the panel) and also Blair Green and Donna Barrowcliffe (in the audience).

The PTC is an initiative which has brought together decision-makers and people living with the reality of poverty in Scotland to make the case that there are no 'solutions' that by-pass those at the sharp end. Ordinary people need to be at the heart of policy- and change-making, not simply the recipients of supposed wisdom from 'on high'.

Although the series (shown in four parts, and now available for viewing on BBC iPlayer) focused on families and groups of residents on two estates in one particular area, the themes which came under the spotlight in The Scheme will resonate in communities. Likewise, the debate will be well worth watching.

For links and more information, go to the Poverty Truth Commission blog here: http://povertytruthcommission.blogspot.com/

Also on Ekklesia: 'Engaging the poor in anti-poverty policy making' - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/anti-poverty

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© Simon Barrow is co-director of Ekklesia, and is involved with the PTC Media Legacy Group.

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