A Kent County Council report from February has revealed that 34.7% of children from Northgate ward, Canterbury, are from low income families. Kent Online has since revealed that this makes it the eighth worst area for poverty in the county, with higher rates of poverty than any of the London boroughs. Though eight of the ten highest wards of children from low income families are coastal areas, Northgate is one of the two exceptions. As a result, the Canterbury Society is hosting a meeting to discuss what action can be taken.
Rosie Duffield, M.P. for Canterbury, says: ‘The report from Kent County Council uncovers the shocking levels of poverty in the Canterbury district. After years of austerity, we need local jobs, paying the Real Living Wage, to push people out of poverty and raise living standards. It has long been known that child poverty exists on our doorstep, but with the recent revelations that this is worse than the London boroughs, we need to see swift action immediately. Time and time again, I hear from families who are struggling, who feel helpless in the face of an inhumane welfare system, further pushing them into the cycle of poverty.’
Alan Baldock, Councillor for Northgate Ward and Leader of the Labour Group, says: ‘I’ve lived in Northgate all my life. For too long, life has proven to be a struggle for so many families living in the area. I, along with the rest of the Labour Group, despair that nothing ever seems to get better. Time and time again, we see this and it is always the same, with poor housing and insecure employment blighting the lives of so many families.’
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