A third of north Norfolk’s children live in poverty, new data shows
Children across the country and beyond will fondly remember their holidays in north Norfolk: sandy beaches, sunny skies and beautiful scenery.
But this idyllic picture does not reflect the lives of children who stay in the district when the summer is over, as new data reveals that near a third of the region's children live in poverty.
Figures released by End Child Poverty today showed that 27.4% of young people in the district live in child poverty, above the national's average of 26.9%.
Norman Lamb is the MP for North Noroflk, which homes more than three and a half thousand children living in poverty.
He said: 'These figures are seriously concerning. Something is really wrong with the way our country is run if the UK, one of the wealthiest in the world, can't ensure the well-being of a quarter of its children.
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'The Government needs to seriously consider how it is prioritising its spending, and the effect that is having on future generations.'
Children's charity Barnardo's defines child poverty as having £13 or less a day per person, to pay for all household bills and necessities.
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David Potten, the acting CEO of Norfolk Citizens' Advice (NCA) shed some light on why parents in north Norfolk are struggling:
'We help about 661 people in North Norfolk struggling with benefits and credits issues, including child benefits. 'Of these people, 25% have children dependent on them, which would have a knock-on effect.'
On top of this, 42% of north Norfolk people who contact the NCA consider themselves physically or mentally disabled, the highest figure in the county.
Mr Potten added: 'This makes it even more difficult for people to understand the benefits and credit system.'
North Norfolk comes in behind Great Yarmouth, where approximately 32% of children are living in poverty.
Lara Nicole, Outreach Manager for Norfolk's OPEN Youth Trust said: 'Sadly these statistics are nothing new and why it's so important for us as a youth charity to help bridge the gap and provide activities for young people at low cost or free, however we can only do with this the support of funding.
'In North Norfolk, we are lucky to have support of youth clubs like Sheringham Youth Zone, without this the knock-on effect of the health and wellbeing of young people from deprived areas would be even worse.'
Councillor Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of North Norfolk District Council, said: 'The council works hard across a range of disciplines – for instance housing, economic and business development, planning policy and health and wellbeing – to raise the standards of living of all age groups in the district.'