MORE than 50,000 children in west London are living in poverty at a cost of £524million to the economy.
According to national charity Child Poverty Action Group, Ealing has 17,838 children below the poverty line, while there are 12,526 in Hounslow, 10,490 in Westminster, 8,365 in Hammersmith & Fulham, and 4,467 in Kensington and Chelsea.
The group classes poverty as a lone parent with two children earning less than £13,765 a year (£264 a week), or a couple with two children earning less than £18,615 a year (£357 a week). The figures are adjusted according to the number of children.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Helen Binmore, said: “Hammersmith & Fulham is an incredibly polarised and diverse borough of economic contrast, where around one in five households earns more than £60,000, yet one in five earns less than £20,000. However, there has been real progress and between 2006 and 2010 there were 11.5 per cent fewer children living in poverty in the borough.
“We work closely with families offering early help and support packages to address a range of issues, bringing together services from the council, the primary care trust and specialist voluntary groups alongside our network of popular children’s centres, that are well placed to also offer support to our more vulnerable families.”
Kensington and Chelsea Council said it is doing ‘a huge amount’ to try and reuce the effects of child poverty, calling it a ‘key priority’.
A spokesman said: “Because the real solution is getting families into work, we are enabling a wide range of employment and training initiatives. In addition we are delivering several programmes to help children and families thrive.
“These include our pioneering work with troubled families, our good schools and excellent children’s centres, our massive school renewal and building programme, and our huge range of summer activities and youth services.”