Putting their point of view

With the publishing of the recent Child Poverty information covering the Northumberland area, it would be simple, but very sad, for anybody to focus on the negative side of the figures made available.

But then again there are those whose main aim is to concentrate on and highlight the smaller figures for their own benefit, while completely losing sight of the individuals concerned.

This is not to say that these smaller numbers of people are not important.

These indicate the people that need more help, more support, and more local intervention.

But this is where it starts to become difficult, and people’s ‘argument’ will start to get a bit messy.

Over the last few years there have been some significant improvements to help families to support themselves.

An increase of 1.3 million more people with jobs – that’s 1.3 million more now taking home a pay packet and providing for their families.

In fact job vacancies for permanent staff have hit a 16 year high.

So where Labour abandoned whole communities to life on benefits the welfare reforms are helping people back to work.

Indeed the unemployment figure for Blyth Valley has shown a reduction of 27 per cent over the last year alone.

The Child Poverty figures for Cramlington now show an average of 80 per cent out of poverty, with the highest ward figure achieving 94 per cent.

Improvements over the last few years have shown even the worst area improving from 50 per cent to 69 per cent.

But whilst the government is working to improve conditions for families who want to support themselves, the local Labour councils are counteracting this by passing the blame wherever they can.

Refusing the grants by government that would go with a council tax freeze, they have opted towards an increase in Northumberland, so too they have voted for a precept increase in the town – the largest increase this area has ever seen at 156 per cent. All to improve ‘local services’.

These increases, imposed on every household, and none of the benefits or improvements seen in the last few years, will form any part of Labour’s argument when discussing Child Poverty figures when seen from their point of view.

Mark Swinburn

Cramlington