Tackling Child Poverty in Nottingham

Children are the most vulnerable group in our society and living in poverty has very negative impacts on children’s health, wellbeing and attainment. I want the best for all children in Nottingham and that is why Nottingham Labour councillors are committed to continuing to address child poverty and strive to make Nottingham a city where all children can achieve their full potential.

There 42,000 children in Nottingham living in families where no adults work or where household income is low.   Many children living in poverty are in working households, where insecure work, stagnant wages and insufficient pay is creating a growing crisis of in work poverty. Many Nottingham households have been pushed below the breadline by changes to welfare, which should act as a safety net, but is failing many Nottingham families, and cuts to vital public services.

COVID has heightened these challenges with the Child Poverty Action Group reporting that 2 out of 5 families have said that they fell into financial hardship during the pandemic. It has also highlighted inequalities with some children having the space, technology and Wi-Fi connectivity to continue their studies from home, while less well-off families struggled with children lacking access to learning and space to study.

The Council has already done lots of work to reduce child poverty in Nottingham; from our commitments to increase the number of children attending good or outstanding schools, to the work of Small Steps Big Changes and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. There is also a well-established network of social eating projects, food banks and meal provision for those in our city that need it.

Nottingham City Council also stepped in to ensure that food vouchers were made available to families in receipt of means tested free school meals following the Conservative Government’s failure to respond to national calls. I am pleased that over the weekend after much pressure led by Marcus Rashford, the Government has reversed their position and are now providing some support.

In Nottingham we will continue to build on the measures we have put in place and lobby for the resources needed from Government to ensure every child in our city can have the  best start in life.

Cllr Cheryl Barnard,
Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People