The End Child Poverty coalition has today published figures providing a new Child Poverty map of the UK. The figures reveal that more than half of all children in the UK’s very poorest areas are now growing up in poverty – compared to one in ten, in the areas with the lowest child poverty rates.
In Northfield 34% of children are living in poverty and four constituencies in Birmingham feature in the 25 areas with the highest levels of child poverty.
These figures should shame the Government. We are still one of the richest countries in the world but the increasing cost of living, stagnating wages and changes to the support available to families are having a big impact and the result is so many children growing up in poverty. Government policy choices have real effects and the Government must take urgent action to tackle these dreadful rates in child poverty.
Undoubtedly there is great concern regarding the impact that Carillion’s liquidation will have on people and businesses in the West Midlands. It is vital that an urgent assessment is conducted to assess the impact of Carillion’s liquation on our region. I have been in close contact with Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Jobs and Skills, Brett O’Reilly and to consider what steps can be put in place to minimise the impact on Birmingham City Council and service users.
I fully support Councillor O’Reilly’s request for Government assistance in co-ordinating a response to mitigate the impact on residents and the local economy. The Government have serious questions to answer about why it continued to award Carillion contracts even after it became clear that Carillion were in serious financial difficulty and must do all that it can to ensure that employees, taxpayers and pension fund members are protected.
This morning alongside the Northfield Labour team I visited the site of the new Northfield Pool and Leisure Centre for an update on progress at the site.
Once completed, the new facility will include a 25 metre / 6 lane swimming pool, a training / learner pool, wet and dry changing areas, a fitness suite, a dance studio and a community room.
Progress at the site is going well. It is scheduled for opening in the Spring and, from what I saw today, the new facility will be a great asset to our community.
In recent years, the rise in the number of local people requiring the support of food banks has been alarming and 2017 was no different.
During 2017, the B30 Food Bank based at Cotteridge Church provided food to 7501 people, including 4350 adults and 3151 children.
That would not of been possible without the incredible generosity of local people who donated 63,541kgs of food.
Government policy choices have real effects and have directly led to more and more people having to turn food banks to survive. Unless the Government change course this will continue to be the case in 2018 and local food banks will continue to depend on the generosity of local people.
The B30 Food Bank are currently running short of fruit juice, long life milk, macaroni cheese, jam, rice and instant potato. You can find out how you can donate to the B30 Food Bank here – https://b30.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/