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Campaign group shines light on child poverty in East Surrey
11:56am Wednesday 27th February 2013 in Local News
A campaign group has published figures revealing the extent of child poverty in the UK, including data for East Surrey.
The Campaign to End Child Poverty published the 2012 details last week in the form of a child poverty map of the whole of the UK, broken down into Parliamentary constituencies and local authority areas.
While the group acknowledged that poverty rates tend to be lower in the South-east compared to the national picture, it said there are still pockets of deprivation which need the attention of local authorities in places like Oxford, where, according to its figures, 25% of children are in poverty, and Thanet, where child poverty is running at 28%. The group said the issue is especially acute in the area of Hastings, East Sussex, where, with child poverty at 31%, the area has one of the highest rates in the UK.
In the Life area, the figures are less startling.
Going by local authority area, 10% of children in 2012 were in poverty in Mole Valley, 12% in Tandridge, and 13% in Reigate and Banstead.
Focusing on Parliamentary constituencies in the South-east, the figures stated that 13% of children in the East Surrey seat and the Reigate seat were in poverty last year.
When compared to the entire list of areas in the South-east covered by the figures, East Surrey rates in the middle to the lower end of the child poverty per centages scale.
Enver Solomon, chairman of the Campaign to End Child Poverty, which is made up of more than 150 organisations including children’s charities, child welfare organisations and social justice groups, said: “The child poverty map reveals the depth and breadth of child poverty across the country, showing the gross levels of inequality that children face in every region.
“Whilst the levels of deprivation in the South-east are not as high as other parts of the country, there are still far too many children whose parents are struggling to make a living and are having to go hungry and miss out on the essentials of a decent childhood that all young people should be entitled to.”
He said: “In the South-east of England, the huge disparities that exist across the region are becoming more entrenched and are now an enduring reality as many more children are set to become trapped in long-term poverty and disadvantage.
“Local authorities are having to deal with reduced budgets but they have critical decisions to make.”
He said: “ We’re calling on authorities to prioritise low income families in the decisions they make about local welfare spending, including spending on the new council tax benefit, and on protecting families hit by the bedroom tax. “This week we have written to local authority leaders with the most child poverty, asking them what they will do to tackle child poverty in their local area.”
He said: “The Government must also closely examine its current strategy for reducing poverty and consider what more it could do to ensure millions of children’s lives are not blighted by the corrosive impact that poverty has on their daily existence.’’