Child poverty report shock

One in five children in Fenland lives in poverty – this is the shocking figure released last week by the End Child Poverty campaign.

In an in-depth report, the campaign breaks down the picture of child poverty in this country by local authority and then by individual council ward.

In Fenland, the overall average figure stands at 21 per cent, up from last year’s 20 per cent, putting the district tenth from the top in the entire East of England.

The poverty line is classed as earning below 60 per cent of the average British household income. These are worked out before housing costs as they vary so much between locations.

Waterlees ward in Wisbech fared the worst, with 34 per cent of children – that’s one in three – below the poverty line. Waterlees was followed by Staithe ward with 29 per cent.

On average, the Wisbech figures state one in four children live in poverty, news that will not come as a huge surprise in a town that is setting up a permanent food bank.

March and Chatteris fared slightly better, with average figures of 19 per cent for March and 16 per cent for Chatteris.

March East ward had the highest figure in the town with 24 per cent, followed by March North at 17 per cent and March West at 16 per cent.

In Chatteris, Slade Lode ward saw the highest figure, with one in five children living below the poverty line (20 per cent) and The Mills was the lowest at 13 per cent.

Some of the villages also fared poorly, with 28 per cent of children in Parson Drove and Wisbech St Mary living in poverty and 26 per cent of children in Elm and Christchurch.

Doddington had one of the lowest figures, with just 11 per cent of children below the poverty line – around one in ten.

The End Child Poverty campaign is a coalition of over 100 charities “committed to ending child poverty in the UK”.