In 1942, the government published a landmark document that became known as the Beveridge Report. It set out proposals for widespread reforms to tackle society’s ‘five giant evils’ – want, disease, ignorance, idleness and squalor – through a new system of social welfare. These proposals led to the creation of the welfare state.
Taking the first of the evils as its theme, my 2019 Annual Report as Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire looks at poverty (want): the part it plays in creating health inequalities; and its impact on the lives of people in some areas of the county.
Taking inspiration from the Ripon Workhouse Museum, the report examines the perceptions and reality of poverty through a historical context, from the days of the workhouse through the birth and growth of the welfare state to the present day, identifying areas of North Yorkshire where the negative aspects of poverty are most evident. It goes on to highlight the support that public services offer to protect people from the worst effects of poverty.
The report makes targeted recommendations about actions to be taken to tackle poverty for those people and communities in need in North Yorkshire, using the principle of underpinning national policies by working with professional partners; the voluntary sector; communities and individuals. These recommendation are summarised below.
Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire
The Executive Summary can be read below. The full report can be found here.