Bristol has highest child poverty figures in south west
A QUARTER of all children in Bristol live in poverty, a new report claims.
More children in the city live in poverty than any other part of the South West, with Torbay at 22 per cent, Plymouth at 21 per cent and Gloucester at 19 per cent.
A child in poverty is defined as a child living in a household where the income is below 60 per cent of the average household income, which stands at £359 a week after tax and housing costs have been removed.
The figure is adjusted for the number of children in the household.
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Peter Townsend, of the Child Poverty Action Group, said: "Individuals, families and groups in the population can be said to be in poverty when they lack the resources to obtain the types of diet, participate in the activities, and have the living conditions and amenities which are customary, or are at least encouraged and approved, in the societies in which they belong."
The new statistics are from pressure group The Campaign to End Child Poverty.
In North Somerset 14 per cent of children were classed as being in poverty, while for South Gloucestershire the figure was 11 per cent and in Bath & North East Somerset it was 12 per cent.
When given by constituency Bristol South has an even higher level of deprivation, with 29 per cent of children living in poverty.
Bristol City Council has produced a Bristol Child Poverty Strategy, which has identified that child poverty is not evenly distributed across the city, with Lawrence Hill having almost 2,300 children (60 per cent) in poverty, putting it in the bottom percentile of all wards nationally.
The plan also says an "unusually high proportion" of children in poverty (75.5 per cent) live in lone parent families, compared with 67.4 per cent in other comparable cities.
Alastair Watson, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "For a wealthy and prosperous city Bristol still has too many children who live in conditions that could blight their life chances.
"The council has led work to bring together all agencies and authorities who work with children and families to examine the issue and put strategies in place."
"This covers practical measures such as help with access to childcare to get parents back into employment; supporting parents to access adult learning to progress to better paid jobs and giving benefits and debt advice."