Under the poverty line: More than a quarter of children in Brunswick are living below poverty line
MORE than a quarter of children in a south Leamington ward are living in poverty, new figures suggest.
Out of all the local authority wards in Warwickshire, Brunswick ward was found to have the third highest proportion - 27 per cent - of such children.
Conversely, the data, compiled by the End Child Poverty campaign, shows that Warwick district overall has nine per cent of children living in poverty, while the Warwick and Leamington constituency’s figure is 11 per cent.
This sits next to a percentage for the neighbouring Kenilworth and Southam constituency of five per cent - making it among the least deprived areas in England and Wales.
Reacting to the statistics, which were released by the campaign on Wednesday, Labour Warwick district councillor Alan Wilkinson, who represents the Brunswick ward, said: “Unfortunately, I am not surprised by these figures and things will get worse. The attack by the Government on the poorest families is politically motivated.
“I find it very difficult to understand why the poorest people in society are being singled out to pay things like increased rent.”
He said that the rent increase in Warwick District Council’s social housing is likely to going up by 3.6 per cent, adding: “If you look around the housing provision in Brunswick ward, you see some of the squalor in which people live.
“To think that we live in affluent Leamington Spa and we have figures like this is just horrendous.”
“In our council surgeries, we see people who are running out of food in the middle of the week. It’s just unbelievable and disgraceful.”
End Child Poverty, which is made up of more than 100 charities, collated the data by looking at local tax credit figures and regional trends in unemployment to estimate the number of low income families in each area.
Cllr Wilkinson said: “The district council needs a generic approach from all the agencies involved to tackle the problem by looking at social housing, getting away from landlords who exploit the lack of housing and creating proper sufficient childcare so young women with children can look for jobs.
“Child poverty damages children’s experiences of childhood and harms their future chances. If you want to deal with potential future problems of crime and lack of life opportunities, then every child needs to be able to at least start life with equal opportunities.
“You achieve that by them having stable up-bringings and a good diet. Poverty means bad diet, obesity and children being tired at school.”
The campaign’s figures showed that the constituency with the highest level of child poverty was Manchester Central (47 per cent), while the local authority with the highest level was Tower Hamlets in London (42 per cent). They also suggested that 69 council wards had more than half of its children living in poverty.
To see the figures in full, visit www.endchildpoverty.org.uk
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