Rainham MP Jon Cruddas calls for action on child poverty in borough’s south
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The Labour MP for Rainham, Jon Cruddas, has called for action to tackle child poverty after shocking new figures showed the scale of deprivation across the borough.
About one in every four youngsters from Elm Park, South Hornchurch and Rainham and Wennington live in families struggling below the poverty line.
But South Havering’s wards are not the borough’s poorest.
In Heaton, one in three children live in poverty.
In comparison, for children living in Upminster the rate is one in 10, according to a report published by campaign group End Child Poverty.
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Mr Cruddas, who also represents Dagenham, said: “What these figures show is the need to ensure greater investment and economic opportunities in the south of the borough, to get better jobs and continued school improvements and investment in the skills of local people.
“For too long, people in the south of the borough have thought that they don’t get a fair deal and these figures show why simply cutting services and increasing the population – especially in building more flats – is not the answer.”
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The figures, which take into account the cost of housing, show the overall child poverty rate for Havering is 22 per cent.
London scores badly overall, with seven of the 10 local authority areas worst affected by the problem being in the capital.
In neighbouring Dagenham the proportion of children living in poverty is 36.6pc and in Redbridge it stands at 31pc.
Havering Council’s cabinet member for children and learning, Cllr Meg Davis, said: “Obviously we’re not happy with any child poverty – that’s a concern of the local authority.
“There are opportunities to develop that part of the borough because we do have a problem with increasing population in that part – there and in the north of the borough.”
She added: “Certainly, cuts in the council budget are not going to affect children in need. We’ll be making no cuts that affect vulnerable children in the borough.”