Shocking figures: Join us in the fight against poverty
Last updated at 20:52, Thursday, 09 August 2012
The Times & Star has teamed up with Allerdale council to fight against poverty in our area.
Six areas of Allerdale are among the 10 per cent most deprived areas nationally, according to the latest figures available.
A child growing up in Workington’s Moss Bay area can expect to live 20 years less than one living 30 miles away in rural Greystoke, near Penrith.
People are considered to be living in poverty if their income is less than 60 per cent of the median or middle income for an area, which is £387.70 per week gross for a full-time worker in Allerdale.
The Times & Star has now joined forces with Allerdale council to fight against the problem.
Reducing poverty is one of the key aims in the council plans.
To achieve that, the council aims to:
- raise awareness that poverty exists in Allerdale
- point people to the organisations that can help them with issues surrounding poverty
- promote economic development to help reduce unemployment.
Latest government figures available show that the Frostoms and Westfield North area of Workington is among the two per cent most deprived areas of the country.
It is closely followed by High Salterbeck and Brierydale in Workington in the top four per cent, and Ewanrigg in Maryport in the top five per cent.
Cockermouth East is in the top 37 per cent, ranking higher for deprivation than the Allerdale district overall.
Figures show that there is a 35.5 per cent difference between the highest and lowest levels of children living in poverty in the borough.
Moss Bay ward in Workington had the highest level of child poverty in the borough in 2009 – the last available figures – at 39.6 per cent.
In Ewanrigg, Maryport, that figure is 36.2 per cent, followed by 30.7 in Moorclose, 27.5 in Flimby, 25.3 in Ellenborough and 20.7 in St Michael’s.
Even in Cockermouth, which is seen by many as an affluent town, 13.3 per cent of children in All Saints ward were in poverty in 2009 with 8.1 per cent in Christchurch.
The area of lowest child poverty was Derwent Valley at 4.1 per cent.
According to latest figures, healthy life expectancy in Moss Bay is 61.6 years compared with an England average of 70.6 years.
In Ewanrigg healthy life expectancy is 64.7, with 66.9 in Netherhall, Maryport, and 67.5 in Flimby and Moorclose.
Meanwhile, 23.5 per cent of households in Allerdale are in fuel poverty, meaning that they have to spend more than 10 per cent of their net income on fuel to satisfactorily heat their homes.
Alan Smith, leader of Allerdale council, said: “As a UK citizen I am ashamed that we have this level of poverty in 2012 in a country that used to run an empire.
“As a lifelong socialist it has been instilled in me from a very early age that you look after vulnerable people.
“We are as a council committed to supporting vulnerable people in Allerdale.”
The council is working with partners including housing associations, debt advice services, health bodies and other organisations supporting people in poverty to look at what can be done to ease the problems and help people access support, beginning with two workshops this week.
The council will then draw up a strategy for tackling poverty, which it hopes to approve in the autumn.
The Times & Star will support that work with regular articles examining at some of the key issues surrounding poverty, from debt and other financial problems to its impacts on health and wellbeing, and revealing where and how people can get help to manage their situations.
- Have you overcome or reduced issues of poverty in your life?
Do you have a story to tell that could inspire other people to seek assistance from organisations that can help people get out of debt, increase their qualifications and skills or gain employment?
We’d like to hear from you. Call Sarah Nicholls on 01900 607631 or email here
First published at 19:19, Thursday, 09 August 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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