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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Fifth of children living in poverty

THOUSANDS of Copeland’s children are living in poverty, shocking figures have revealed.

At a local conference held to tackle child poverty, disturbing statistics showed the area to have 2,515 youngsters living in households with income under £12,000.

Figures also released this week, by the national Campaign to End Child Poverty, say that nearly a fifth of Copeland children (18 per cent) are living in poverty.

These include Sandwith ward, where 41 per cent of children are in poverty, Mirehouse (34 per cent) and Cleator Moor South (28 per cent). These compare with 47 per cent for the country’s worst affected constituency, Manchester Central.

Broken down into individual wards, the Campaign also reveals the economic disparity in Copeland, with areas such as Arlecdon, Hillcrest, St Bees and Seascale all having below five per cent of children in poverty.

Last Friday, a conference at Lakes College, including local MPs Jamie Reed and Sir Tony Cunningham, discussed child poverty and looked at the impact of the new welfare changes on families.

In Copeland, the conference stated, 4,300 households have income less than £10,000, 6,700 households are in fuel poverty, 1,635 claim Job Seekers Allowance and 5,700 households claim tax credits.

Willie Slavin, chair of the West Cumbria Child Poverty Action Group, said: “The conference went on to examine the local situation in workshops looking at supporting workless people, positive activity (particularly supporting young people), tackling debt and financial exclusion and ensuring equality.

“The feedback from these workshops will be analysed, collated and published, together with an action plan to which participants were invited to commit. The group is committed to publishing a report with a high degree of urgency.’’

The Campaign to End Child Poverty is made up of more than 150 organisations nationwide. Chairman Enver Solomon said: “Far too many children, whose parents are struggling to make a living, are having to go hungry and miss out on the essentials of a decent childhood that all young people should be entitled to.

“The huge disparities across the country have become more entrenched and are now an enduring reality as many more children are set to become trapped in long term poverty and disadvantage.

“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 in the local authorities with the most child poverty, asking them what they will do to tackle child poverty in their local area.”

PERCENTAGE OF COPELAND CHILDREN IN POVERTY (BY WARD).

Arlecdon, 5 per cent. Beckermet, 14 per cent. Bootle, 9 per cent.Bransty, 7 per cent. Cleator Moor (North), 21 per cent. Cleator Moor (South), 28 per cent. Distington, 24 per cent. Egremont (N), 21 per cent. Egremont (S), 14 per cent. Ennerdale, 6 per cent. Frizington, 22 per cent. Gosforth, 7 per cent. Harbour, 13 per cent. Haverigg, 9 per cent. Hensingham, 18 per cent. Hillcrest, below 5 per cent. Holborn Hill, 21 per cent. Kells, 16 per cent. Millom Without, 9 per cent. Mirehouse, 34 per cent. Moresby, 11 per cent. Newtown, 23 per cent. St Bees, below 5 per cent. Sandwith (Greenbank/Kells/Woodhouse), 41 per cent. Seascale, under 5 per cent.

Have your say

Thankyou for your comment John.
. When using plural in this context the word 'the' is applicable (social norms}
. The declining rate of our society in general, at all 'levels', is evidenced every day in what we see, or choose to see, equally, what we choose not to see
. No matter what individuals circumstances are, you (genericly speaking) are responsible for your actions and attitudes
. Many people have 'made it' solely because of their life choices, possibly through the recognition that there could be something better, a more rewarding way of life
. Choice is something we all have and no-one can take that away from us

It is sad that a large number of parents choose to use language in front of their young off-spring that ten years ago would have been met with indignation by the greater majority of people. However, today that is not the case. On that particular day the parents were shouting their conversation AT each other so it was difficult to ignore. I am not a crusader. Too many people are too accepting of the decline in our society because that is their choice. Water flows downhill because it is the path of least resistance.
Choices.
My original comment was written in the hope that my words would strike a chord or two so that, perhaps, the cycle would be broken for some.

Posted by Bern Birbeck on 9 March 2013 at 15:33

@Bern Birbeck it seems to me you have a very general perpective that draws very specific conclusions. Unfortunately yes, it is A (not THE) social norm for some of the poorer families to swear and smoke in front of their children but I don't think you should feel it as your responsibility as a social samaritan to intervene and remind them off their un-christian ways.

To remind you, this is a working class town with working class attitudes and behaviours. The reason I have a gripe about this is because I used to be one of the %34 in poverty as a child in a working class family, a family that sweared and smoked in front of my and my siblings. I now lead a successful life as an engineer.

Posted by John on 7 March 2013 at 12:19

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