Pockets of poverty in Monmouthshire
4:01pm Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
UP to a third of children in some wards of Monmouthshire are living in poverty, new figures reveal.
Right across the county pockets of deprivation can be seen, with Lansdown, Abergavenny, having the highest percentage of children in poverty at 36%.
Chepstow has two representatives in the top few- St Christopher's at 26% and Thornwell at 22%.
Other wards with the highest figures are Llanfoist Fawr at 25%, West End, 23%, Croesonen, Overmonnow and Dewstow at 22%.
Monmouthshire Labour leader Cllr Dimitri Batrouni said it was bad news: "Poverty in Monmouthshire often exists out of sight, but it is there. The Labour group will continue to ensure the Conservative/Lib Dem council do not forget these struggling families and the hidden deprivation.”
Labour obtained the figures from the organisation End Poverty Now, after they learned workers in Wales saw their wages fall in real terms by £1,669 a year.
This works out £32.10 less a week and by 2015, matters are expected to become much worse, when people are due to be £6,660 worse off in real terms.
The report, which detailed lessening living standards across Wales, was issued recently by the House of Commons library.
Monmouthshire wards with the lowest percentage of children in poverty include St Kingsmark, St Arvans, Portskewett and The Elms, all at below 5%.
Monmouthshire council's Conservative cabinet member for social care, health and housing Geoff Burrows hit back.
He said: "We all acknowledge that finances are tight for many working people both in Monmouthshire and nationally and will continue to be so for some time yet.
"Our focus as a council has always been and will continue to be on the truly vulnerable in our community, irrespective of their age and hopefully now that the economy under the Conservatives is showing signs of improvement after the devastating impact of the last Labour government that the pressure on hard pressed Monmouthshire working families may start to ease.
"It would be further assisted if the Welsh Government deemed Monmouthshire to be worthy of more than the meagre £431.30 per year to deal with deprivation for the whole of the counbty that it receives in the annual settlement to provide the essential services people expect from us."