An ITV Granada News article recently highlighted the shocking state of child poverty in Morecambe, with children being treated for Rickets and other conditions linked to malnourishment and parents using school facilities to wash clothes and charge phones. There are even reported instances of parents collapsing in the playgrounds through hunger to try to feed their children.
SPECIAL REPORT: Part 2 - The Reality of Child Poverty@DanielHewittITV finds schools with washing machines to wash uniforms, where teachers charge parents' phones who've no electricity & give coats, shoes & food to pupils. Also the GP who says kids are being treated for rickets. pic.twitter.com/iTnh5dXEvP— ITV Granada Reports (@GranadaReports) December 12, 2017
Child Poverty levels in both Lancaster and Fleetwood and Morecambe and Lunesdale stand at over 25%. One in four of our children is suffering under the enforced and unnecessary austerity imposed on them by this Conservative Government. Two thirds of children growing up in poverty live in working households. To make matters worse, the Tories’ cuts to social security risk exacerbating levels of child poverty even further.
A forecast by the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies shows cuts to social security could mean more than 5 million children are living in poverty by the end of this parliament.
Last year, MP David Morris refused to accept the growing poverty on his own doorstep, saying “I do not agree with this data and it is certainly not what I see in the constituency where unemployment is at an all time low.”
The reports from schools and GPs, such as Dr Andy Knox, tell a different story however.
A spokesperson from Morecambe and Lunesdale Labour Party said, “Mr Morris does not see what is happening on his own watch because on the rare occasions he is here, he refuses to engage with the community and attacks teachers and doctors for being ‘politicised’. It is high time that he took his head out of the sand and opened his eyes to the damage his government’s policies are wreaking on the people who look to him to represent them."
Labour Party Councillors and members have joined those in their communities recently, to help raise funding, food and hygiene necessities for the growing number of foodbanks and food clubs that have set up on a voluntary basis across the area. Not only helping people in need but to provide help and advice on a range of issues from jobs, benefits and finance management.
Volunteers come in early to West End Primary School and Morecambe Bay Community Primary School to unobtrusively help teachers with the increased demand on their time, to enable poorer families to retain some semblance of dignity.
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn himself visited Stanley’s Youth & Community Centre on his recent visit, speaking to members of the food club there, as well as Sustainability Morecambe – both of whom have seen demand on their services increase, along with the Morecambe Bay Food Bank.