A meeting of the APPG took place on 25th June in Room C, 1 Parliament Street, on the subject of couple relationships, poverty and social justice. Presentations were given John Ashcroft (Research Director, Relationships Foundation), Kayte Lawton (Senior Research Fellow, IPPR) and by David Holmes (Chief Executive, Family Action).
The opening presentation from John Ashcroft highlighted the various ways in which couple relationships and family life are negatively impacted upon by stressors including the demands and expense of childcare and the relaxation of weekend trading laws. John's presentation noted that whereas much policy effort is expended upon making, for example, the economic climate conducive to small business, very little policy effort is given to ensuring that there is a general environment and climate which enables couple relationships and family life to prosper.
Kayte Lawton's presentation explored the Left's historic reluctance to engage with the area of relationships, but highlighted recent development in the Left's approach which demonstrates a new appetite for looking at this key aspect of social policy, as demonstrated by some of the recommendations contained in IPPR's recent Condition of Britain report.
David Holmes explored the effects of poverty on relationships before proceeding to speak about Family Action's work (in partnership with the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships) in relation to the current Parents as Partners programme.