4 September 2021
Please find attached letter for inclusion in your paper, from the Thirsk and Malton Labour Party:
Child Poverty in Thirsk & Malton Constituency
14 July 2021
Yes, Kevin Hollinrake it’s happening on your watch, children in your constituency are being left behind.
Despite national headlines that ‘..no child will be left behind..’ government data published last month shows that child poverty (using both absolute and relative measures) in our constituency continues to rise.
Between 2014-2020, child poverty rates increased from 12.5% to 16.3% (relative poverty) and absolute poverty rose from 12.8% to 13.7%. That means 365 more children in Thirsk & Malton are living in absolute poverty since Kevin Hollinrake became their MP.
The figures hide the reality for over 11,000 children and their families, who have seen support for those eligible for free school meals, Pupil Premium and ‘Catch Up’ funding under threat. The government’s response to widespread pressure from campaigners, such as Marcus Rashford, to feed eligible children during school holidays, was to provide funding of just £1.25 per hour linked to involvement in holiday club provision.
Most recently, schools have seen a reduction in Pupil Premium funding (worth approximately £1000 per eligible pupil, for example those on Free School Meals) after the government changed the way eligibility was calculated. In North Yorkshire, over 800 of the most vulnerable pupils will miss out this year because of this change.
The most recent child poverty figures do not show the picture during the pandemic, but we know that some of the our most vulnerable children will also lose out as the recently announced education Catch Up premium “does not come close to meeting the scale of the challenge”.
If Kevin Hollinrake is serious about getting a better deal for these children, can he tell us his plans to address child poverty in his constituency?