Latest child poverty figures reveal hot spots in Norfolk and Waveney
00:01 10 January 2012
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011
Worst five areas in the region for child poverty by local authorities
Norwich – 30pc
Great Yarmouth – 25pc
Waveney – 22pc
King’s Lynn and West Norfolk – 19pc
North Norfolk – 17pc
A new child poverty report exposing the UK’s most stricken areas has revealed parts of Norfolk has almost half of its children living in financial hardship.
The latest report from The Campaign to End Child Poverty, out today, named Norwich as the local authority worst affected in the region, with more than a quarter (30pc) of children affected.
And one area in Norfolk - Nelson in Great Yarmouth - is just 1pc away of half of its children living in poverty (49pc).
Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis, said more needs to be done to stop the numbers increasing.
He said: “I think [the figures] are a real testament to the legacy the last Government left us. They are also a really strong reminder of the work we have to do to improve these figures.
“In Great Yarmouth there is a wide range of figures in the different wards but we must make sure that these improve over the next few years.
“It will take time as industry standards will have to change. We need to get the work ethic rebuilt and improve people’s work skills - we must make sure we keep our foot on the pedal.”
Areas among the worst in the county for child poverty include Norwich’s Wensum (40pc), Mile Cross (39pc), Mancroft (37pc), University (36pc), Bowthorpe (35pc), Lakenham (34pc) and Crome (32pc).
Other places affected include Yarmouth’s Claydon (36pc), Southtown and Cobholm (33pc), Magdalen (33pc), Central and Northgate (32pc) and Yarmouth North (31pc), as well as Thetford-Abbey (31pc) and King’s Lynn’s North Lynn (41pc), South and West Lynn (33pc) and Fairstead (32pc).
Waveney’s Normanston (36pc) and Habour (36pc) wards also showed up as prominent areas of child deprivation.
Alison Thomas, cabinet member for children’s services at Norfolk County Council, said: “We know that living in poverty can hamper children and young people’s chances to achieve their potential, which is why we are working closely with our partners across the public and voluntary sector to identify families in need as early as possible and provide them with support and advice.
“As part of this work we continue to investing heavily in children’s centres to support parents at the earliest opportunity. The centres are focused on supporting the most vulnerable and that includes children who are living in poverty either financially, or through the opportunities available to them. Advice includes access to training, advice on parenting, employment and childcare.
“We have developed our own child poverty needs assessment and are focused on working alongside other agencies to tackle the range of social and economic issues that can affect children living in these circumstances.
“Schools also play an important part in raising the aspirations and achievements of pupils living in poverty and helping to break the cycle.”
The report used tax credit data to examine the proportion of children living in low income homes, also taking into account recent unemployment to estimate changes in the number of children who are sinking into poverty because their parents have lost their jobs.
Children were classed as in poverty if their family’s income fell below 60pc of the median average income.
At below 60pc of the average, families struggle to meet basic needs like food, heating, transport, clothing, school equipment and trips.
The report said: “The poverty line means that, after housing costs, all the household bills and family’s spending needs will need to be met by around £12 or less per family member per day.”