Report reveals one in five children in Tendring are living in poverty
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A strategy to deal with child poverty and young people outside of education and employment in Tendring is to be overhauled after new figures revealed one in five children in parts of the district come from deprived households.
Tendring District Council’s Cabinet will re-examine its Children and Young People’s Strategy on Friday to help “break the cycles of poverty, remove barriers to work and reduce inequalities”.
At its meeting later this week, the cabinet will hear how one in five children in Tendring live in income-deprived households, with poverty most prevalent in Jaywick, West Clacton (including Golf Green, Rush Green and Pier Wards) and West Harwich.
According to the report, issues range from chaotic families/lifestyles, poor mental health, lack of access to services, and a poor diet.
Council leader Mick Page said the authority took child poverty “very seriously” and worked with its partners to tackle the problems behind it.
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“These include housing, employment opportunities and low educational attainment,” he said.
He said the council was putting together a major scheme for Jaywick which would bring about “fundamental change” for housing and regeneration.
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Unlike many districts, Mr Page said Tendring employed a full-time member of staff to support ongoing work with families in the area.
The new strategy aims to combat the issue of child poverty by providing a grant to the Citizens Advice Bureau, building and training more community, faith, youth and voluntary organisations and requiring empty homes be let for accommodation.
The strategy will also tackle “NEETS” – 17-to-19-year-olds not in education, employment or training.
The cabinet will hear that Tendring has one of the highest levels of NEETS in Essex – a third higher than the county average.
Mr Page said an education and skills committee had been set-up and was working with schools and the University of Essex in a bid to raise young people’s aspirations, which he said was already showing positive results.
“We recognise health as a key issue which affects our young people and leads to disparity,” he said. “We are therefore employing a full-time person to work to support health and wellbeing for our residents.”
Finally, the strategy sets out ways the council can redouble its efforts at safeguarding young people, including the teaching of staff about the different forms of abuse a child could suffer, and how they can respond appropriately to concerns reported.
Mr Page added: “We are aware that our Children and Young People’s Strategy expires next year which is why we are now looking to refresh it and make sure that it is fit for the job.”