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Manchester Tops Child Poverty

End Child Poverty campaign finds "gross levels of inequality" across the country

Published on February 20th 2013.

Manchester Tops Child Poverty

THE END Child Poverty campaign, has found "gross levels of inequality" across Britain.

The distance from Manchester Central to Hallam is a little over thirty miles as the crow flies but seemingly a world away in terms of child poverty.

The campaign group has found more evidence (as if it were needed) of a North South divide, but also, increasingly, a division between inner cities and county areas.

The information comes from researchers for the End Child Poverty campaign group - a body consisting of more than 100 charities. The key criteria in working out the figures were local tax credit data and regional trends in worklessness. By bringing these together the number of low income families in each area was worked out.

Thus 47% of children in the Manchester Central parliamentary constituency live in households earning less than 60% of median income. Narrowing the viewpoint to council wards delivers figures in some Manchester Central wards of over 50% of children in families earning less than 60% of the median. 

The poorest constituencies are (the figures were collected last year):

  • 47% Manchester Central
  • 43% Belfast West
  • 43% Glasgow North East
  • 42% Birmingham Ladywood
  • 42% Bethnal Green and Bow
  • 42% Liverpool Riverside
  • 41% Poplar and Limehouse
  • 40% Middlesbrough
  • 38% Blackley and Broughton
  • 38% Newcastle upon Tyne Central

The least poor constituencies are: 

  • Under 5% Sheffield Hallam
  • 5% Kenilworth and Southam
  • 5% South Northamptonshire
  • 5% Haltemprice and Howden
  • 5% Rushcliffe
  • 6% Wimbledon
  • 6% Skipton and Ripon
  • 6% Stone
  • 6% Beckenham
  • 6% South Leicestershire

The distance from Manchester Central to Hallam is a little over thirty miles as the crow flies but seemingly a world away in terms of child poverty. 

One of the messages from the report is that, as stated on the BBC, 'being poor damages childhood and harms children's future prospects. The effects of poverty on UK children's wellbeing (are) parents cutting back on food (61%), skipping meals (26%), not replacing children's outgrown shoes (19%) and winter coats (14%), missing school trips (19%) and having to borrow to make ends meet (80%).' 

Manchester Central is becoming a beacon for bad stats. In the November 2012 by-election that returned Lucy Powell as MP, a mere 18% of the electorate turned out - the lowest in a by-election since World War II.

Perhaps if we dig down the child poverty figures and the low turnout are related: indicating a lack of hope across the constituency.

Meanwhile Manchester City Council have issued us with this.

Councillor Afzal Khan, Executive Member, Children's Services, Manchester City Council, said: "One child or family living in poverty is one too many, and we are determined to change this. 

"Our four year plan, set out in our Family Poverty Strategy, will see us doing everything we can to identify the problems families might be having early on. Helping them to improve their lifestyles, and helping them into work. 

"At the heart of our plan is improving access to things like employment and training and debt advice. Also supporting schools to help further improve pupil attainment, to improve the life chances for young people, and creating the kind of housing and open spaces in which families and their children can thrive. 

"Government cuts mean that we're limited in some of the things we can do, but we will continue to lobby for a fairer deal for all our families and children. 

"We're absolutely determined to do as much as we can to find a way out of poverty for the thousands of families in our city who are, even now, struggling to make ends meet."

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousFebruary 20th 2013.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg asserted this week that successive Tory and Labour governments had choked off the potential of northern cities in favour of the financial services industry – and that putting it right would require further efforts to restore local control, including investment-raising powers and the freedom to spend the extra cash according to local priorities.
So what was Manchester council leader Sir Richard Leese’s response to that? Well according to Trinity Mirror’s Chadderton Morning News, he said :- “Nick Clegg misses the mark yet again. Northern cities, especially Manchester, have far from withered. Over the last decade we have built a new modern economy and are once again a DYNAMIC international city.” Yeah, try telling that to the citizens of Manchester Central and Blackley Mr Leese!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
SoapysudsFebruary 20th 2013.

Well pointed out anonymous, Leese has led this City down the path of low employment and low wages. Whilst trying to promote Manchester as a financial and legal centre to rival London, and failed miserably in the process.

Duke FameFebruary 21st 2013.

Anon, you are lying, Clegg said no such thing.

Manchester has had to find it's new role in the economy as it's industry has not kept up with the competition. Sadly, it hasn't done it well enough.

PaxFebruary 20th 2013.

Anon. Clegg was right we need lots more power re-directed back to the cities. But Leese was also right, we've not withered.

Another TimFebruary 20th 2013.

Clegg has a nerve, considering his Judas party has been entirely complicit in starving the big northern cities, cutting grants unfairly. It's almost as if the Tories wanted to give the labour strongholds a bloody nose, since they know they can't win here anyway.

And of course Leese has to say that Manchester hasn't withered. But these kids are living in poverty, the screw is still turning, and there's nothing he can do about it.

Our local councillor argued that on a limited budget he has to prioritise care services for children, the homeless, the elderly over our local library which is due to close. But the library isn't just about books - it's a focal point for the community with sessions for kids, and the elderly, and somewhere to get some peace for studies and so on.

Duke FameFebruary 21st 2013.

The minimum wage legislation has not help the area of traditional industry. A look at the balance of trade since min wage tells a story despite the (albeit phony) boom in the min naughties.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 26th 2013.

More evidence, less dogma please Duke Fame.

Amazingly, fully three years into their term, the Tories are to appoint a Chief Social Scientist to help with policy.


I wonder how long this chap will last in amongst the anti-intellectual dogma of a right wing administration.

Duke FameMarch 10th 2013.

Anonymous, my post was only 4 lines, the evidence wasn't hidden, try "A LOOK AT THE BALANCE OF TRADE SINCE MIN WAGE TELLS A STORY".

I must admit to be tickled by your insistence of an " anti-intellectual dogma", are you really claiming an intellectual higher ground?. I have to laugh at the Guardian attacking the coalition on the basis of being too ideological given it's own ridiculous political stance.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 10th 2013.

That's an assertion Duke. A ludicrous one at that.

As for the stuff about intellectuals, Cameron himself used his party conference speech last year to deride his political opponents as "intellectuals". You couldn't make it up. www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/…/peech_n_1953762.html…

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