Village child poverty crisis is getting worse

HELPING HAND: The Rev David Oxtoby is helping to set up a foodbank in Sutton Bridge.
HELPING HAND: The Rev David Oxtoby is helping to set up a foodbank in Sutton Bridge.

There are fresh calls for action to tackle the growing child poverty crisis in Sutton Bridge.

Statistics from a national campaign group show that child poverty in South Holland’s most deprived ward grew from 22 per cent to 22.83 per during 2013.

The picture is even more bleak after housing costs are paid with a staggering 34.72 per cent of village children living below the breadline.

The End Child Poverty Campaign, which is backed by more than 100 charities, describes child poverty as “corrosive” and says poor children miss out on good housing and a proper diet – and are more likely to underachieve at school.

Sutton Bridge is likely to have its own foodbank by the end of this year, thanks to a committee led by vicar the Rev David Oxtoby, but that alone cannot prop up families living with an ongoing cash-crisis.

Parish councillor Phil Scarlett, who is helping to set up the foodbank, said: “These statistics on child poverty sadden me but they do not surprise me. We need business solutions and we need jobs in the area – we need jobs that are worth getting out of bed for.”

Fellow parish councillor Jenny Rowe asked for the issue to go on the parish council agenda so steps can be agreed to tackle the problem.