A cross party working group should be developed to tackle poverty in Pembrokeshire a committee is set to recommend.

Councillors attended seminar last month on the impact of poverty in the county which included a presentation by Dr Victoria Winkler from the Bevan Foundation.

She found that Pembrokeshire’s economy includes significant amounts of low pay and seasonal jobs as well as high levels of self-employment.

A report on Dr Winker’s findings will be brought to the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday (March 15).

Adding to financial impacts in Pembrokeshire are the high living costs, with house prices found to be seven times the median income and rental costs are high.

The seminar highlighted the impact on school performance linked with free school meals. Dr Winkler found that attainment at GCSE level for those eligible for free meals is 30% compared to 61% for those not eligible.

Tackling Poverty Champion, Cllr Rhys Sinnett, gathered ideas and next steps from the seminar and found there was cross party interest in tackling the impact of poverty in Pembrokeshire.

The scrutiny committee will vote on whether a recommendation be made to cabinet to establish a working group to ensure services delivery actively addresses the causes and solutions of poverty.

A report for discussion states that some initial ideas from the seminar include: “A conference on income maximisation and employment support initiatives, establishing a corporate working group, listening to those experiencing poverty and producing materials with information and initiatives for money saving and income maximisation.”