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"This is very much about building on the work we already do": Plans agreed to tackle child poverty in the Borough

24 June 2022
Hi res version of the SBC logo - white on blue

Hi res version of the SBC logo - white on blue

Increasing the take-up of free school meals and providing improved access to laptops are among new plans to help tackle child poverty in the Borough.

The plans were agreed by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet yesterday (June 23) and are the result of a Scrutiny Review of Child Poverty carried out by the Council's Children and Young People Select Committee.

Other actions agreed include setting up a community support schemes in partnership with Catalyst, which represents the Borough's voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, and creating a family poverty profile to ensure support is targeted where it is most needed.

Councillor Lisa Evans, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "The context of this report is one in which we have 37 per cent of children in the North East living in poverty.

"The North East also experienced the biggest increase in child poverty of anywhere in the UK in the five years leading to the pandemic.

"We already do a lot of work to support children and families in poverty and this review has identified some great new avenues for ensuring support is getting to those who need it.

"This is very much about building on the work we already do.

"We're planning to make use of the 'A Fairer Stockton-on-Tees' framework to make sure the support offered to families is the best it can be.

"And we also want to make sure as many people as possible can access our range of energy-saving schemes, which is hugely important right now with the rising cost of living."

The report also noted the Council's Holidays Are Fun (HAF) programme as another way to ensure the Borough's children are active and healthy.

Approximately 6,000 children have already benefitted from HAF, which offers free activities and meals for eligible young people aged five to 16 during school holidays.

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