Child poverty hits Skegness wards

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CHILD poverty affects more than a third of young people living in Skegness’s two most deprived wards, a Lincolnshire County Council report claims.

St Clement’s and Scarbrough ward have both featured in the county’s worst 15 areas for child poverty since 2007, exposing them to a wide range of social, economic and health issues..

Assistant director of children’s services Debbie Barnes said: “Children that grow up in poverty are at greater risk than their peers of poor health, under achieving and exposure to crime.

“This can lead to their not achieving the qualifications they need to secure well paid employment, which then results in them not having the money to support their own family. This creates a cycle of poverty.

“The risk factors associated with living in poverty lead to a considerable strain on resources, with tax payers needing to fund ongoing public sector interventions including health, social care, the criminal justice system and benefit payments.”

Skegness Town Council was asked for its input in the county council’s latest consultation into child poverty which councillors discussed at the latest Direction and Strategy meeting.

Coun Mark Anderson said: “It’s getting worse not better so we need to scrutinise what the county council is doing to end child poverty.

“From a young age children are infected with so many issues in Skegness including drugs, poverty, and bad parenting.”

Many councillors shared Coun Anderson’s concerns but felt there was little they could achieve with the council’s ‘limited powers.’

However they did feel their understanding of local people and issues could help with decisions made at a higher level.

Coun Phil Kemp said: “We have the knowledge, so if we are at the forefront, we can help make these decisions.”

Coun Mark Smith felt that by encouraging better use of the children’s centre in Skegness they could help alleviate the problems of child poverty despite the limited resources at the town council’s disposal.

County-wide, the local authority’s approach to tackling child poverty is to seek multi-partnership initiatives to attract business investment and create employment opportunities.

It also aims to upskill the present and prospective workforce and provide easy access to useful information on how to develop career plans and manage their money well.