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Friday, 17 October 2008

Calls made for local improvements on child poverty.

Plaid Cymru’s Penri James has called for urgent action to eradicate child poverty after the release of statistics showing that 47 per cent of Ceredigion children live in low-income families.
While the numbers of families living at or below the poverty line in Ceredigion was slightly lower than the Welsh average of 59 per cent, certain areas were significantly higher. In the Cardigan – Teifi ward, 77 per cent of families are classed as having low incomes, closely followed with the Aberystwyth – Central ward with 74 per cent.

The Campaign to End Child Poverty, the organisation which obtained the figures, organised a rally in London to mount further pressure on Gordon Brown and the Westminster Government to commit the resources required to put an end to child poverty.

Commenting on the statistics, Penri James said:

“While I believe that it’s reassuring that child poverty figures in Ceredigion’s Communities First areas are at or below the Welsh average, I do believe that more needs to be done to address this issue in other areas of the county which aren’t covered by this successful scheme.

“In light of these newly-published statistics, it is important that Ceredigion County Council and the Assembly Government reappraise the Communities First areas to see whether all areas of multiple deprivation, including high child poverty levels, are covered and open to additional funding.

“It’s estimated that an additional £3 billion must be made available to so that the Westminster government to meet its own targets on child poverty. I therefore hope that Gordon Brown will listen to the case presented by the Campaign to End Child Poverty and ensure that his government increases funding to tackle this problem”.

Plaid Cymru’s County Councillor for the Cardigan – Teifi ward, Catrin Miles, added:

“It’s hardly surprising that Cardigan’s Teifi ward has the highest rate of child poverty in Ceredigion. Relevant statistics have consistently shown that this area is one of the most deprived in the county but to date little has been done to address this issue. I will therefore be raising this matter with Council officials to see what action can be taken to deal with this situation”.

The figures quoted were obtained by the Campaign to End Child Poverty. The main data covers August 2006. However, ward breakdowns are for August 2005. The data cover all children eligible for Child Benefit, including 16 and 17 year olds still in full-time education.

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