Frank Field at University of Huddersfield
A LEADING MP gave his remedies for poverty when he spoke in Huddersfield.
Labour MP Frank Field – famously prepared to “think the unthinkable” on welfare issues – was commissioned by Conservative PM David Cameron to compile a report on child poverty.
He told an audience at the University of Huddersfield, where he was delivering the 2012 Harold Wilson Lecture that he was initially reluctant but agreed to investigate the links between poverty and life chances. The report – entitled ‘The Foundation Years: preventing poor children becoming poor adults’ – was duly completed within the six-month deadline.
“I thought that the Prime Minister would clutch the report to his breast. But I don’t think he has even read it!”
There was a lack of political will to take the report’s conclusions on board, he told a packed audience at the University’s Firth Street Lecture Theatre. So he has decided to enact some of his findings at local level, in his Birkenhead constituency.
The main vehicle will be a Free School that will work closely with parents while mothers are still at the pregnancy stage, providing them with mentors.