The number of children living in poverty in Preston has fallen according to a new report.Advertisement
The statistics from End Child Poverty show the numbers have reduced from 36% in 2017/2018 to 32.6% in 2020/21.
Preston City Council introduced several policies including the promotion of the real living wage, facilitating the delivery of new affordable housing and an inclusive local economy have all helped to reduce poverty in the area.
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Leader for Preston City Council, Councillor Matthew Brown, said: “I am delighted to see this considerable reduction in child poverty in our area, these new figures are incredibly encouraging. In comparison with similar deindustrialised areas in Lancashire. Preston’s performance is generally better which is a fantastic achievement.
“I believe that this difference is due to Preston City Council prioritising and implementing policies that align with our community wealth-building initiative.
“In 2012 Preston City Council was the first in the north of England to become an accredited living wage employer and continues to work with other anchor organisations and employers to help them understand the benefits of paying their staff the Real Living Wage.
“Our emphasis and delivery of new affordable homes alongside economic collaborations and measures to address food poverty have also helped this improvement.
“Our commitment to community wealth building and to address deprivation in the city through our Fairness for You priority is assisting our local community in real time but we still have more work to do. As an authority, we back the recent call from the Centre for Cities for government support to reduce inequalities, especially during this cost of living crisis.”
Preston City Council is a nationally accredited Living Wage Employer and is the best by workplace out of 14 local authority areas in Lancashire for those receiving the real living wage.
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Through the Council’s affordable homes planning policy, Making Homes from Houses empty homes project working in partnership with Community Gateway and Homes England, and ambitious development plans by several housing associations, the number of affordable homes being built in Preston has increased substantially over recent years.
Councillor Nweed Khan, cabinet member for Communities and Social Justice, said: “When times are hard, people on low incomes are always affected more due to the ‘poverty premium’ so it is vital that we work closely with faith and community groups providing essential services and support to all sectors of the community in need.
“Preston City Council helps provide a wraparound service through our food hubs and pantries to ensure that no one goes without. I strongly believe that it is every human’s right to have dignity, agency and power over their lives.
“There are many services within the council that can help people who are struggling with financial inclusion. Such as the household support fund designed to assist families who are facing poverty and financial hardship.
“We have several holiday markets running over the summer vacation so that children who are on free school meals will receive food parcels. Details of these services can be found on our Help in Preston website.”
Anyone who requires financial assistance can access the council’s advice services online, over the phone or by visiting the town hall on Lancaster Road.
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