Photos by Clare Jephcott
A warm thank you to the 100+ people who attended our AGM at Resource for London on Holloway Road and contributed to it being a successful event.
Cllr Richard Watts, the Leader of Islington Council, spoke about the challenges the local authority faces as it awaits news about its future funding from national Government. He highlighted the importance of the Advice Sector and the vital work it undertakes for residents of the borough.
Carolina Gottardo, the Director of the Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS) spoke about the specific challenges the Latin American Community face in London, and the problems that women from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Backgrounds face more generally. She praised IPR’s recently-launched new project working with BAME community organisations based in Islington, which assists people with welfare benefits and debt issues.
Emily Thornberry, the MP for Islington South and Finsbury, and Shadow Minister of State for Employment, spoke of the very real impact on the lives of many constituents as a result of the various welfare reforms over recent years. The Benefits Cap, Local Housing Allowance changes, Benefit Sanctions, Disability Benefits changes and numerous other welfare reforms are having devastating effects on many of the poorest residents of the borough.
Jeremy Corbyn MP had been scheduled to speak, but was unfortunately unable to do so in the final instance. He did however, send a video message, with his apologies, which was broadcast to the meeting, and very well received. He highlighted the positive outcomes that IPR has achieved for residents of his Islington North constituency, enabling many to access their full entitlement of benefits. He made clear his opposition to the Government’s proposed cuts in relation to working tax credits, which will adversely affect so many families on low incomes. The Welfare Reform Bill will have many further implications on the poorest in society, and he stressed the need for a Welfare system that supports people when they need it. The message from Jeremy Corbyn ended by stating that we should “be able to live in a society where poverty is a distant memory, not the sad reality for so many”.