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Opinion: Don't risk chance to tackle child poverty

PUBLISHED: 15:39 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:39 21 May 2019

Community Links life president Kevin Jenkins is calling for a Newham child Poverty Summit.

Community Links life president Kevin Jenkins is calling for a Newham child Poverty Summit.

Kevin Jenkins

The latest figures from The End of Child Poverty Coalition, indicating that the numbers of children living in poverty in Newham has increased to 51.8 per cent of the child population, are just devastating and can no longer be accepted.

The figures, which take into account housing costs too, give a more accurate assessment of need and also reveal that already impoverished areas like Newham, are seeing the greatest rises in child poverty.

Sadly the Newham figures are a damning indictment on the promised future positive legacy for our children which the regeneration of our area, kick started by the Olympics back in 2012, was to bring.

The regeneration is moving at pace, with new accommodation and new jobs coming online, every month.

The acres of previously dormant land across Newham is being transformed and soon there will be no more vacant land left to fuel the regeneration but for 51.8pc of Newham's children - more than ever before, their legacy is living each day in poverty and experiencing ongoing limited life chances.

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The much heralded, once in a generation opportunity to make a sustained difference for Newham and east London generally is fading fast and soon all the land that was to be used to generate change will be gone too.

We must respond now.

Clearly, there is a major role for government to take in halting and turning this around, however surely locally, our MPs, mayor, council, statutory and volunteering agencies - health, academic and business, can come together to work in unison with the blighted families themselves to begin to turn this around.

A Newham Child Poverty Summit establishing a plan and a rolling conference to implement, monitor and ensure progress is needed now.

For 51.8pc of Newham children, their legacy clock is still ticking.

Interested in attending an exploratory End Child Poverty in Newham brainstorm? Send contact details to kevin@theaaazone.com

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