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Nearly one in five children in St Austell live in poverty

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: June 29, 2011

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NEARLY ONE in five children in the St Austell area are living below the poverty line, new figures have revealed.

The End Child Poverty campaign group releases the statistics for the St Austell and Clay Country areas this week.

According to the stats, 18.2 per cent of children in the town were in poverty – compared to the Cornwall average of 18.6 pre cent.

Crinnis (Carlyon Bay, Duporth and Tregrehan) boasted the lowest statistic at just 9 per cent but Treverbyn was the hardest hit ward with 24 per cent. This means 298 out of 1,266 children there are estimated to be living in poverty, defined by relative low household income and material deprivation.

The resounding opinion among local councillors was that house prices could be responsible for the significant variation in figures across the St Austell area.

Christopher Rowe, Cornwall councillor for Penwithick and Treverbyn Parish councillor, said: "Penwithick has the highest percentage of social housing possibly in the Clay Country area and Penwithick Park is along the cheapest set of houses.

"Social behaviour is our biggest problem on social housing estates and we are always going to have problems with it. With the police getting less and less (funding), we are getting more and more problems.

"We run a youth club, have football pitches and allotments. There is very little more we can do.

"I just hope as they get older we can breed it out of them."

St Austell Bay Cornwall Councillor John Oxenham attributed Crinnis's comparatively low figures to the high cost of property and lack of social housing.

"There might well be a lower than average number of children living here too, as we have a higher-than-average number of older residents and retired residents," he continued.

Figures showed there are only 301 children living in the Crinnis area, and 26 of them are living in poverty.

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  • josdave  |  June 30 2011, 8:54AM

    The problem with the benefits system is that it is based on a one size fits all. It is abused to such an extent that those who deserve it are tarred together with the idle ones who do not want to work. My brothers' son-in-law has never worked since he left school and yet he has all the gadgets, goes to Argyle away games which I cannot afford to do, etc. If the ones taking advantage of the system were weeded out there would be much more to go around to those who deserve it.

  • homerjay  |  June 29 2011, 11:04PM

    Big Ger, I think that tax credits are an excellent incentive for those seeking employment and I feel sorry for those who have not been lucky enough as yet. However, there are those that have no intention of working and may have 'secured' larger benefits. Whilst I fully support the care for the vulnerable and disabled there's the question of those who make themselves unemployable.

  • Big_Ger  |  June 29 2011, 9:51PM

    There should be some differentiation on those working to provide for a family but earning low wages, and those who are benefit dependent. By raising the prospects and income of those on low wages we can encourage those on benefits to opt into the workforce. As Homerjay states, often this poverty is exacerbated by credit based spending on frippery, and there is more incentive to buy the latest adult and children's home based amusements, than there is to get out of the "poverty trap" and provide a better life.

  • homerjay  |  June 29 2011, 7:35PM

    50 years ago poverty would be defined as kids missing meals or the parents not being able to afford the school uniform and the kid being ridiculed at school by teachers. Thankfully that type of poverty is mainly eradicated. I agree that it's often poverty by choice, fags /drink/car/sky/plasma/drugs/phone contract/video games and you can't legislate for that. It's often poverty by poor parenting, kids left to their own devices and aint it ironic that many parents that have all the time in the world but none to share with their children.

  • nick113  |  June 29 2011, 7:05PM

    @josdave. Yes, the problem is that "Poverty" is defined as being relative to average earnings, so that if everyone suddenly earned twice as much the number in "Poverty" would be unchanged! As you say, there are some deserving people among this section of society, but much of it is a result of the dependency culture.

  • josdave  |  June 29 2011, 3:41PM

    I wonder how many of the parents of these children have a mobile phone, smoke or drink or go on holiday and drive a car. All these things are not essential but take up quite a large amount of expenditure. Those in real poverty have my sympathy but these figures do not show the true picture as they are purely based on income and not on how that income is spent.

  • street4  |  June 29 2011, 2:47PM

    Social Mobility Channel http://tinyurl.com/6c7a5ac Want a better life

  • kittow2001  |  June 29 2011, 2:02PM

    We have this disgraceful set of affairs - which this government and consecutive have closed their ears to - and what gets top spotlight http://tinyurl.com/5wvguwf

  • diogenes23  |  June 29 2011, 11:38AM

    Meanwhile the 'Duke' of Cornwall continues a life of luxury and self indulgence at our expense.

  • Cornishblog  |  June 29 2011, 11:22AM

    What the....? Christopher Rowe said: "I just hope as they get older we can breed it out of them." He is talkaing about socially deprived area's, social issues and then says this... Am I the only one that thinks there is something unbelievably wrong with that? Aside from the complete lack of imagination... saying: "We run a youth club, have football pitches and allotments. There is very little more we can do." Really? For Real?