Earlier this year it was shown that Swale has the second highest child poverty rate in Kent just behind Thanet with a massive 25% of children living in poverty in the borough. It was of little surprise to the Labour team in Sheerness that almost half of children living in Sheerness West are living in poverty in 2013 – having campaigned for jobs, regeneration and improved education and healthcare services on the Island for years to give residents the best chances.
There were successes between 1997-2010 when we were served by a Labour MP, with a SureStart Centre opening in Sheereness and the new bridge and hospital being built and opened amongst the other improvements.
However, the vast challenges facing the Isle of Sheppey remain, and the Labour team have expressed deep concern that things are about to get even worse than they have in the last three years of Government cuts.
Figures in the last week have shown that in the last year 300,000 more children are now living in poverty in the UK versus last year. For areas facing extreme deprivation like Sheerness this is of great significance.
Cllr. Mark Ellen says ‘Despite steps taken to improve life chances on the Island under Labour we still faced huge deprivation on the Island, we need a long-term commitment to creating jobs and continuing to improve education in Sheppey, not more cuts sinking more people into poverty. The Labour Party on Sheppey will be fighting to bring people out of poverty – the Tory Party aided by the Liberal Democrats are making cuts that are forcing more people into poverty’.