New analysis from Loughborough university, shows 40% of children in Leicester are living in Poverty. Many of these children live in families where at least one parent is working. In real terms that is 37,000 children living in households who are struggling or unable to meet basic needs, such as rent, gas, electricity and food. These figures have risen from 24,900 since 2014/15.
Looking further into child poverty figures nationally, Loughborough university staff found
That children from Black or other minority ethnic communities are more at risk of being in poverty than those with white ethnicity. It also found a clear correlation between children in receipt of disability living allowance and the rate of child poverty at a local level and that children in larger families are more likely to be experiencing poverty.
The issues behind these statistics are complex and varied and many of the drivers emanate from national issues and polices which impact on funding for welfare provision and council services, alongside the ongoing impact of soaring inflation and the impact that Brexit, Covid 19 and the war in Ukraine has had on the economy. At Leicestershire Cares, we are keen to partner with the public, community, and business sector to tackle local causes as well as offering support to those who are having to struggle to survive. We feel this should include , a city wide forum that brings, public, business and community sector together to identify key issues and develop joined up action plans. Whilst this would be subject to negotiation between the various parties, this might include:
- Looking at how we can offer affordable childcare so lone parents can work.
- Increasing provision of ESOL, as those who struggle communicating in English often prone to being exploited or cannot find work.
- Ensuring people are aware of and claiming benefits, and ensuring information is provided in appropriate language and style at the local level.
- Supporting and encouraging the roll out of a “living wage” across all sectors in the City but also seeking to understand and overcome barriers that might prevent local businesses from doing this, noting that 80% are small or medium.
- An end to silo working and far more joined up partnership work across public, community and business sector.
- Having child impact statements on spending and policy initiatives.
We appreciate this is a huge and complex issue and acknowledge the efforts made locally, by public, community, and business sector to tackle this issue. But we can do more, and a really important and essential starting point is by seeking to develop a joined up approach across, public, community and business sector, where we work together for the good of children, without ego, silo, or logo in a creative and agile wayKieran Breen CEO Leicestershire Cares
We are currently having discussions with key city council staff and Cllrs, including the Mayor , as well as the business and community sector and are hopeful that by working together we can make a difference.
More Info on research and city council response https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/leicesters-shame-child-poverty-hot-8497521
More info on child poverty https://cpag.org.uk/child-poverty
Our thoughts on wealth creation https://www.vulnerability360.org.uk/together-we-can-wealth-creation-and-community-development-by-kieran-breen/