CHILD POVERTY is a controversial subject. Many people feel that unless they see children walking around in rags a la Dickensian London then there is no child poverty.
Child poverty is defined by the national child poverty indicator as the percentage of children who live in families in receipt of out-of-work benefits or in working families with income less than 60% of the median national income.
A fifth of Thurrock children are growing up in poverty, according to the official definition of child poverty. The vast majority of the 7,335 children affected are under the age of 11 and more than half are under the age of 5.
Thurrock is slightly below the national rate but higher than average for the East of England.
Figures for other ares are: Bethnal Green and Bow: 51%, Hackney South and Shoreditch: 45%, Tottenham 41%; Basildon: 23%, Harlow 22%, Southend 24%.
Child poverty exists everywhere in Thurrock but is most concentrated in the deprived parts of the borough. Just 6 of 20 Thurrock wards account for more than half of all children living in poverty.
Aveley and Upland 22%
Chadwell St Mary 29%
Chafford and North Stifford 11%
Grays Riverside 27%
Grays Thurrock 20%
Little Thurrock Blackshots 13%
Little Thurrock Rectory 11%
South Chafford 9%
Stifford Clays 17%
Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park 38%
Tilbury St Chads 37%
West Thurrock and South Stifford 29%
Over the coming weeks, we will look at the issues surrounding child poverty. Tomorrow, we will see what both Labour and Conservative councillors receive in their postbag.