The number of York children trapped in poverty has risen to more than 10,000

Photograph: Luke Pennystan / Unsplash

More than 10,000 children are living in poverty in York, according to a national campaign.

And councillors say youngsters “need help now”.

Research by the End Child Poverty coalition says the number of children trapped in poverty in York has risen by 3 per cent since 2017 – with rates highest in wards Hull Road, Guildhall and Westfield.

Green councillor for Guildhall Denise Craghill said the news is a “huge concern”.

She added: “They reflect low wages, high housing costs and the impact of Government cuts to services and benefits. Many children in poverty in York are in working households.”

She said the Greens will “keep pushing for more action” to help struggling families and highlighted a Green party motion calling for action on food poverty.

Incredibly disappointing

Photograph: York Foodbank
The use of food banks in York has also surged by more than 25 per cent last year, a landmark report revealed in February.

Hull Road Labour councillor Michael Pavlovic said:

  • These children need help now.

    This is incredibly disappointing to see, though not hugely surprising unfortunately.

    We have the combined factors of low wages and insecure work, reductions to benefits and huge rents contributing to many families having to choose between feeding their children and paying their bills. That should never happen.

He added that he hopes the new Lib Dem/Green council leadership will focus on the issue.

Action needed

Cllr Andrew Waller
Lib Dem councillor for Westfield Andrew Waller said child poverty is an important issue and added community centre hubs have been an “integral part of the response”.

He said:

  • Also as a school governor I’m very keenly aware of the work of schools and the Local Area Teams to respond to this.

    Over the next administration we would want to see action being taken. It’s clearly an issue – even with the high levels of employment in York there are income levels that need support.

Amanda Hatton, director of children and communities at City of York Council, said: “This study shows that child poverty is a complex issue, with more than one factor influencing this.

“One child in poverty is one too many and we’re working across the city with partners to make sure support is in place across all wards through our work to build resilient communities.

“As part of our commitment to the city we are also working to strengthen the economy to better meet our residents’ needs.”