Seebohm Rowntree, poverty and Hastings

Over a hundred years ago quaker philanthropist Seebohm Rowntree published a ground breaking report on poverty in York. This key report challenged the idea that poverty was people’s individual fault and showed it was due to low wages. Importantly he defined poverty not just in terms of poor housing and bad nutrition but it meant never being able to buy a newspaper or ticket for a popular concert,inability to save or join a trade union,no money for bus or train fares,children could have no pocket money for “dolls, marbles, or sweets”. Nothing, he said, could be bought but that it was absolutely necessary for the maintenance of physical health. Unfortunately although this might be called history this is all too familiar an experience for many people in Hastings – and the whole country – today. What can we do about this locally?

On September 27th at the next General Committee meeting, Hastings & Rye members will discuss a proposal from Central branch to establish a Hastings anti-poverty Commission.Is this a good idea? What should it involve? Come along to the White Rock Theatre (Sussex Hall) (opposite the pier) at 7.30. All local Labour Party members welcome (though only branch delegates can vote.)