Other colleagues: interviews

Below you will find interviews with David Piachaud and Frank Field who, though not involved in the Townsend study, were closely involved in poverty research or campaigns at that time.

Professor David Piachaud

David Piachaud worked on child poverty at the Department of Health and Social Security at the time of the study. After the publication of Townsend's book in 1979, Piachaud raised a number of criticism of the method which influenced subsequent surveys, notably the Breadline Britain survey of 1983 and, in turn, the Poverty and Social Exclusion surveys. He is now Professor of Social Policy at the LSE. His interview is in three parts:

  • Part 1: on his relationships with the Townsend work (7' 29")
  • Part 2: on his criticisms of Townsend's approach (16' 38")
  • Part 3: on why poverty wasn't abolished (11' 49")

Frank Field MP

Frank Field was Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) from 1969 to 1979.  In 1979 he became Labour MP for Birkenhead and has been closely involved in parliament on work on social security ever since. In 2015 he was appointed chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee. His interview is in three parts:

  • Part 1: on his role in CPAG (6' 12")
  • Part 2: on his rethinking of the causes of poverty (5' 10")
  • Part 3: on the sorts of interventions needed to help poor children (7' 23")
The interview with Zsuzsa Ferge to be posted shortly.
Attachment Size
David Piachaud-all parts.pdf 70.79 KB
Frank-Field-all-parts.pdf 62.85 KB

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