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County ward in Herefordshire among UK's worst child poverty


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From the Hereford Times 19th January 2012

County ward in Herefordshire among UK's worst child poverty spot


MORE than 4,000 children and young people in the county are now categorised as growing up within the worst indicators of child poverty in the UK.


A report for Herefordshire Council's health and wellbeing board says child poverty is a significant issue for many local communities.


One ward - Golden Post- Newton Farm in south Hereford is confirmed as among the worst in the UK for unemployment or limited opportunities for work.


And two of the worst wards for child poverty in the county are in Leominster.


The board was told of strategies being drawn up between the county's economic, health and education sectors to tackle issues raised within five years.


All told, about 4,500 children in the county & the majority of them under 16 & are said by the report to be growing up in poverty.


The worst ward for overall deprivation is Golden Post- Newton Farm, which is also in the UK top 10 for employment deprivation.


Hereford's South Wye wards as a whole are said to have the highest level of young people not in education, employment or training.


The city's Central ward has an under-18 pregnancy rate running at nearly three times the county average. Leominster's Ridgemoor and Gateway wards also feature in child poverty lists.


The report makes a direct link between child poverty, historically low wages in the county and the number of part-time workers, particularly women.


Poor housing conditions & especially in the private rented sector and rural communities are identified as an issue too, the latter particularly lacking mains service infrastructure such as water, gas, and drainage.


The report cites the county's most recent housing condition survey that, in 2006, showed more than nine per cent of homes had serious hazards and more than 40 per cent failed the decent homes standard.


The waiting list for social housing in the county now tops 5,000.


In schools, the report finds a 30 per cent attainment gap emerging between pupils eligible for free school meals and those who aren't while one in 10 children in reception classes is categorised as obese.


Anyone got any idea why this is? Have these estates been neglected by the authorities for too many years? Many of the cities estates built over 40/50 years ago have had little in the way of facilities to improve the quality of life ie Youth club closed, church closed, and threat of loss of open space.

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