EIGHTY-five people attended an ‘Action Against Poverty in South Lakeland’ event organised by local churches.

The conference, at St Thomas’s Church hall, was opened by Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron.

The keynote address was by Niall Cooper, of the national organisation Church Action on Poverty, and six workshops were held on the topics of Rural Poverty, People in Debt, Older People, Unemployment and Homelessness.

Tim Baynes, a member of the committee, said the event was ‘extremely successful’ and will lead to a number of action plans from local churches.

“The main issue we were discussing was food banks - people were scandalised that they should be necessary,” he said.

“They are prepared to go on giving food but in the long run we need to be able to get rid of them.”