Hartlepool MP Mike Hill says families deserve more after shock figures revealed that almost half of children in some areas of Hartlepool live in poverty.
In the Victora and Manor House wards in Hartlepool, 43% of children live in poverty, followed closely by Jesmond at 41% and Headland and Harbour at 40%.
The figures, described as ‘alarming’ by Hartlepool’s MP Mike Hill, have been compiled by the End Child Poverty campaign.
It comes after Hartlepool Borough Council called for action to tackle the problem after it was revealed that child poverty across the town has increased to 34.13%.
Mr Hill said: “It is totally unacceptable that in the world’s fifth largest economy that our kids and their families are going hungry.
“In Hartlepool we now have second and third generations of household unemployment and some of the most deprived wards in the country, coupled with the unenviable record of having the highest level of unemployment in the UK.
“These are the true victims of the Government’s austerity agenda, which has been catastrophic for ordinary people and continues to be the case with Universal Credit.
“Initiatives like the council’s Holiday Hunger Scheme try to make a difference, and show real humanity on the part of local elected members, but the truth is that children’s social care budgets are stretched to the point of busting and we are heading for a real crisis if underfunding is not addressed.
“No child in this day and age should go hungry. It is a blight on our reputation as a caring nation that they are doing so.
“Hartlepool’s kids and their families deserve a damned site better, and I will be pressing the Government to do something about it.”
The figures define poverty as households with less than 60% of the average UK household income.
Hartlepool Borough Council is currently reviewing its child and family poverty strategy.
Examples of work in Hartlepool to tackle child poverty include the Council Tax reduction scheme aimed at low income working families, free school uniforms, Holiday Hunger funding and adult education programmes to help people into employment.
And the Hartlepool Food Network sees fresh food that would otherwise go to waste collected from supermarkets and redistributed.
Coun Brenda Harrison described the situation as “a disgrace”.
The shocking levels of poverty facing Hartlepool communities.
The breakdown in each council ward showing the number of children living in poverty and the percentage.
Burn Valley 628 34.90%
De Bruce 781 37.26%
Fens and Rossmere 388 25.64%
Foggy Furze 708 39.09%
Hart 250 11.89%
Headland and Harbour 619 40.75%
Jesmond 849 41.43%
Manor House 1,302 43.48%
Rural West 159 13.11%
Seaton 505 27.69%
Victoria 845 43.00%