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Concerns over child poverty in Boscombe and Kinson

Over twenty per cent of children are living in a state of poverty across parts of Bournemouth, according to figures released by the Campaign to End Child Poverty.

The figures show that in Boscombe and Kinson council wards one in five children are exposed to poverty. The national average is one in six.

The overall average for Bournemouth is sixteen per cent down from nineteen per cent in 2012 but one per cent above the national average.

Boscombe West has the highest percentage of children living in poverty at 23 per cent although that has dropped from 31 per cent in recent years.

Councillor Jane Kelly, of Boscombe West ward, said: “Boscombe is one of the most socially deprived areas in the South West so unfortunately it will have more children in poverty. It is an important issue and we are fighting it.”

Councillor Kelly believes poverty has reduced in her ward through the Boscombe Regeneration Partnership, which is looking to improve the area.

“Through the partnership we have a group focused on child education, working with schools and children to improve and educate. It can be hard to find the problems because they’re not always visible. We work with children in schools and work backwards to see if there are other problems at home.”

The End Child Poverty campaign (ECP) believe that child poverty leads to social exclusion and creates further problems in education, employment, mental health and social interaction.

The new report looks to compare the close proximity of areas with high and low poverty statistics.

The council ward with the least percentage of children in poverty is East Southbourne and Tuckton where less than one in ten children are living below their means.

Chair of End Child Poverty, David Holmes said: “These figures reveal just how widely and deeply child poverty reaches into our communities, even those areas generally regarded as well off.

“Far too many children whose parents are struggling to make a living are suffering as a result and missing out on the essentials of a decent childhood that all young people should be entitled to. We can and must do better for our children.”