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Tendring Council pledge as child poverty rises
CHILD poverty is increasing at an unacceptable rate in Tendring, according to a councl leader.
Essex’s annual public health report reveals Tendring has the worst rate of child poverty in the county and it is still increasing at the highest rate.
The latest statistics show 23.5 per cent of children in the district are living in poverty, a rise of 2 per cent.
Neil Stock, leader of Tendring Council, said: “Poverty is a big issue and it is something we are concerned about.
“We are trying to do this by tackling extreme deprivation in the most deprived areas, such as Jaywick, Rush Green and Pier ward. In Tendring, we have pockets of deprivation, which skew the figures for the whole district, as there are some very affluent areas. But we are the worst in Essex overall and that is unacceptable.”
Tendring Council bosses approved a three-year health plan last year to tackle inequalities in the district.
It outlined issues such as child poverty, drug misuse, homelessness and fuel poverty.
“We hope to see some real progress in Jaywick with the quality of housing, but realistically it will take years rather than months to improve the situation.”
The report defines children as being in poverty if they are living in families in receipt of out-of-work benefits or tax credits, and whose income is less than 60 per cent of the national average.
The national average weekly pay is £487, according to a report earlier this month.
It would means children in families who are on benefits and earn less than £15,000 a year are classed as in poverty.
Helen Donohoe, director of public policy at charity Action for Children, said: “Severe poverty is a prison sentence which condemns children to mental and physical health problems, feelings of hopelessness, and long-term desperation. “Family breakdown, mental and physical health issues and unemployment are increasing.
“In order to help families break free from complex problems and deprivation, a multi-layered approach is needed, which includes early intervention, education and job opportunities.”