Harold Hill areas revealed to have highest numbers of children living in poverty in Havering

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:16 24 May 2019

Nearly a third of children in Havering are living in poverty, new figures reveal. Photo: Ian West/PA Images

Nearly a third of children in Havering are living in poverty, new figures reveal. Photo: Ian West/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

Nearly a third of the children in Havering are living in poverty according to new figures from a children’s welfare organisation.

According to figures from End Child Poverty (ECP), 26 per cent of children in the borough are living in poverty.

Households were deemed to be living in poverty if their household income was less than 60pc of the median average, and poverty rates were calculated on an after housing costs basis.

Many London boroughs had high poverty rates such as Tower Hamlets and Newham with poverty rates of 57pc and 52pc respectively.

The figures also provide a breakdown of poverty rates in each ward in the London boroughs.

While Havering has the fourth lowest rate of child poverty in London, wards such as Gooshays (37pc) and Heaton (39pc) were recorded with high child poverty rates for 2017/18.

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Tele Lawal, Labour councillor for Heaton, told the Recorder: "Due to years of Conservative austerity, we are seeing the highest level of child poverty in my area. Over 30pc is far too high, and we now need a multi-agency approach to reduce it.

"I hope this is a wake-up call to our local Conservative councillors, who recently voted to reduce Council Tax Support for the most vulnerable hard-working families in Havering.

"Politicians need to understand that certain decisions have a negative impact on people's lives."

But Havering's cabinet member for education, children and families, Councillor Robert Benham, said: "As the borough with the highest increase of families and children in London, along with accepting more child asylum seekers, Havering Council is committed to tackling child poverty.

"We recognise the association between child poverty and poorer education and health, such as readiness for school and higher rates of obesity.

"Supporting development is therefore key for children's progress and in protecting them from the cycle of poverty between generations."

He continued: "To address this we are taking action to ensure families access free childcare places, receive timely and relevant support through our Early Help programme, and take up schemes such as Healthy Start.

"We have also introduced innovative new programmes to build community capacity and to tackle the issue of children going hungry during school holidays."

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