TENDRING has one of the highest levels of child poverty in the region, new figures have revealed.

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According to a report published by the Campaign to End Child Poverty today, there are 7,192 (26%) children living in households with an income of £10,400 or less.

The figures place Tendring third worst in the east of England, after Norwich (30%) and Luton (27%).

It is well documented that Tendring has pockets of high deprivation, with Jaywick recently ranked the most deprived area in the country.

In addition it is thought that recent cuts to welfare and rising unemployment in the area have perpetuated the problem.

MP for Clacton, Douglas Carswell, said the problem requires “immediate action” and claimed there were three key things which need to be tackled to reduce the number of children living in poverty.

“The first are jobs and work, this is the single best cure for poverty,” he said. “Many single parent families this report is talking about are people that tell me again and again the problem is affordable child care.

“Until we tackle that it doesn’t matter how many jobs are available because it has to be worthwhile.

“The second, long-term solution, is to reduce the percentage of social housing. In the past the council built housing developments with up to 40% social housing. This needs to be brought down to 10% to 20%.”

He also said it was vital energy prices became more affordable and claims rising fuel bills were down to a drive towards “trendy renewable energy.”

He added: “It’s absolutely adsurd in 2013 we have created a situation where the interests of a group of London climate change intellectuals causes such high fuel prices which means mums in Clacton can’t heat their homes.”

A breakdown of figures in the district shows the highest concentrations of child poverty were in Rush Green, St Marys and Alton Park wards.

Elsewhere in Essex, the figures for Colchester were 18% and 16% in Braintree.

Linda Isaac, chief executive of Citizens Advice Bureau Tendring said: “The statistics don’t surprise me at all. We have areas with high levels of deprivation living in great poverty.

“We are seeing a steady increase in the number of clients, particularly families, in view of welfare reforms.

“We would urge people to seek support. We offer a financial capabilities service which helps families maximise their income and reduce expenditure.

“One of the biggest problems is unemployment. At a recent Tendring District Council meeting, it emerged there were 3,000 unemployed people applying for 500 jobs.

“The biggest problem is fuel poverty. What do you do, do you heat or eat? Many families are having to face that decision.”

“I welcome the report. It’s important we keep highlighting this problem and work together to resolve this problem.”

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