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Nearly 1 in 4 children in Holyrood area live in poverty
7:00pm Wednesday 6th March 2013 in News
NEARLY one in four children in an area of Chard is being raised in poverty, according to shocking new figures.
A report by the Campaign to End Child Poverty reveals 23% of children in Chard Holyrood district council ward are living below the breadline – nearly double the 12% figure given for the whole of South Somerset.
Other areas in Chard are above the average rate are Avishayes at 17%, Combe and Jocelyn at 16% and Crimchard at 13%.
The figure for child poverty in Ilminster matched that of South Somerset as a whole at 12% with Crewkerne at 13%.
While acknowledging that the South West does not rank among the poorest areas of the country, the charity, which bases its data on the Govern-ment’s official definition of poverty, said “huge disparities still remain across the region”.
South Somerset district had the lowest percentage of any across the county. Other districts saw West Somerset with 17%, Sedgemoor with 16% and Taunton Deane and Mendip with 13%.
The news has sparked comment among users of our website at www.chardandilminster|news.co.uk .
BlueHazell wrote: “With fuel prices going through the roof and house energy costs going up and up, together with the general rise in food costs and with real wages being cut by inflation, things can only get worse.
“There is now a real fear taking over in the workplace with people so desperate to hold on to whatever job they have, just to pay the bills and attempt to have food on the table.”
But Orchardman wrote: “Not too sure what today’s definition of poverty is – no flat screen TV, no games console, can’t afford a McDonald’s?
“Can’t say I’ve seen many children around Chard or Ilminster with no shoes and ragged clothes etc.”
Somerset County Council said it was working “tirelessly” with the Somerset Children and Young People’s Trust to provide the best start for the most vulnerable youngsters, but leading charity Barnardo’s said the report highlights “vicious cy-cles of debt” experienced by many families.
Chief executive Anne Marie Carrie said: “The Government must act now to end child poverty by providing practical help for people who need it most.”
o WHAT do you think? Write to us via email at newsdesk@|chardandilminsternews.co.uk