Action call for kids living in poverty

A shock report reveals more than one in five children live in poverty in two deprived areas of South Holland.

Sutton Bridge has 22 per cent of its children living below the breadline while Spalding St Paul’s has 21 per cent.

St Paul’s ward district councillor Andrew Miller has called on the Government to act – and promised to support any local organisation willing to pitch in and help residents.

Sutton Bridge district and parish councillor Michael Booth is also calling for action – particularly on job creation – to treat the root cause of poverty, unemployment.

The study from the End Child Poverty campaign shows the average number of children living in poverty in South Holland and The Deepings is 12 per cent.

There are wide variations across the district with Gedney next worst at 17 per cent and Deeping St James coming out best on seven per cent.

Holbeach and Holbeach Hurn both have 15 per cent of their children living in poverty.

There are big variations in the Spalding wards too with St Mary’s on 14 per cent, St John’s on 12 and Wygate on seven.

A child is considered to be living in poverty when family income is less than 60 per cent of the average.

The report says being poor damages childhood as families try to make ends meet by borrowing, cutting back on food, skipping meals and not replacing children’s outgrown shoes and winter coats.

Coun Booth said: “It’s terrible, isn’t it?”

He will raise the issue at the district and parish council – and is calling on the district to try to bring more jobs to the village industrial park.

A planned biomass power station is set to bring jobs, but Coun Booth said the jobs cannot come at any price and the plant must be proved to be safe.

Coun Miller said: “No child poverty is acceptable in this day and age in a so-called modern society.”