Pockets of child poverty in Harrogate

tis  The town centre area of Harrogate aerial.  091109M1s.
tis The town centre area of Harrogate aerial. 091109M1s.

New figures have revealed small pockets of child poverty across the district, with estimates claiming up to a quarter of families in some areas of Harrogate are struggling.

The government’s social mobility and child poverty commission published its annual state of the nation report this week, which found that Yorkshire has the highest child poverty rate in the UK, though Harrogate had the lowest proportion of children living in low-income families, at just 8.3 per cent.

This report came days after charity, End Child Poverty, released figures which said that up to 14 per cent of children could be classed as living in child poverty after housing costs are taken into account.

These are estimates based on the area’s median income, which is likely to be higher in Harrogate than other areas.

The End Child Poverty now statistics show pockets of child poverty in the district. In Ripon Minster an estimated 13 to 20 per cent of children are said to be living in poverty, compared to between three and five per cent of children living in Pannal.

The figures claim that Granby ward has the highest level of child poverty in the area with an estimated 17 to 25 per cent of children said to be living in poverty.

Ward Coun John Fox (Lib Dem) said: “The problem with Harrogate is that people think everyone here is well off and prosperous but the fact is we still have the same problems as everywhere else and I believe it has gotten worse since 2010. At the end of the day there are 3,6000 children who are living in poverty, that is a challenge for the council.”

Coun Fox is chair of the Fairfax Community Centre management committee which works with families.

He said: “This year we ran a programme called grub, which people how to cook a range of budget recipes made from basic ingredients.”

MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Andrew Jones said: “It is right that we continue to tackle poverty and this takes many forms. Lifting people out of tax, supporting them back into work, delivering work-based apprenticeships and helping students get good qualifications are all good examples of things the Government is doing and will continue to do.

“I am pleased that this area has the lowest levels of child poverty in Yorkshire. However, poverty wherever it occurs, is a bad thing. It is also relative. Much of the poverty we speak of today is not what many of today’s grandparents would recognise from their own upbringing when social security was in its infancy and the range of services offered by our NHS was miniscule.”