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Review of child poverty to get under way

Posted on 21st October, 2014 by Lincoln Against Poverty

The effects of child poverty in Lincoln will form the next phase of a city council-led review.

The first of the three meetings being held by City of Lincoln Council’s Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee takes place tonight (Tuesday) and will look at the cost of feeding and clothing children,

Figures in a report to the meeting have shown 23.8 per cent of children live in low income families, accounting for 4,490 children. The rate across England is 20.1 per cent.

National research published by Santander has revealed the average cost for families per child in preparation for a new term is £240, an increase of seven per cent from 2013. The findings also showed the average cost of keeping a child in school is £50 per child per week, which included every day costs such as packed lunches, bus fares, school trips and after-school activities. Many children from low income families receive free school meals and many schools provide a range of support which is not taken into account in the figures.

Councillor Karen Lee, Chair of the Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee, said: “We first looked at child poverty last summer as part of our wider review of poverty in the city. However, we found it to be such a complex and wide-ranging topic that we decided we needed to work with partners in more depth to look at how we can work together further to address the issues.”

The next meeting to look at child poverty will be held on November 11 and will consider the wider issues of the subject, while the meeting on December 16 will look at ways to engage with hard-to-reach households who may be suffering from the effects of poverty.

The city council has been working with partners to help mitigate the short to medium term effects of poverty since July 2013 when a full review was held. This culminated in the Lincoln Poverty Conference in February and an Anti-Poverty Strategy being published earlier this year.

A new website, www.lincolnagainstpoverty.co.uk, has been created to provide information on the review and the work that’s being carried out as well as a list of services and places people can go to if they need help.

Lincoln Against Poverty has also joined Twitter and can be found by using @lincolnvpoverty