Warndon hit hardest by child poverty

By Rob George Thursday 21 February 2013 Updated: 22/02 08:44

OVER 900 children in Warndon and Gorse Hill live in low income families which are either below or near the poverty line, a new report has revealed.

More than one in three youngsters in the two wards are part of families who are struggling to live on 60 per cent or less of the average household income, according to the Campaign to End Child Poverty.

That is equivalent to about £119 a week for a single person with no children and £288 a week for a couple with two children under 14 once income tax, council tax and rent or mortgage payments have been deducted.

While the percentage and number of children living close to or in poverty in Warndon has fallen slightly, the actual number of children has fallen by just 12 to 532.

In Gorse Hill poverty has fallen slightly but 424 youngsters are still affected according to the figures while a further 470 youngsters live below or near the poverty line in Rainbow Hill.

All three areas have more than double the city’s overall figure of 14 per cent, with 2,976 children living either below or near to the poverty line in Worcester.

Coun Alan Amos, who represents the ward of Warndon and Gorse Hill on the county council, said: "It's completely depressing to see there has been no significant decrease in the number of children living in poverty in Warndon and Gorse Hill.

"Unless we make a serious effort to improve skills of young people and create more jobs then I am very sceptical whether we are ever going to see any improvement."

Worcester MP Robin Walker said: "I think it is appalling that anyone has to live in poverty. We have to constantly strive to help people out of that situation because I don’t think trapping people in welfare dependency is the answer.”

"There are a number of projects to help people in deprived areas of the city such as the Tolladine Mission which provides support to families facing difficulties.

"The Government is also in the process of changing the National Curriculum so people develop budgeting skills at school."

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