‘No way out of poverty trap’ say parents

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PARENTS in South Tyneside think children will continue to grow up in poverty as long as the country is in economic decline.

Shoppers in South Shields say they can’t see any way out of the current predicament while the borough has a high unemployment rate

Sandra Mackenzie, of Bunyan Avenue, Biddick Hall, lives in one of the areas with the worst child poverty in the borough, according to new figures.

The 29-year-old mum-of-one said: “I’m not surprised.

“There are parts of South Tyneside that are more run-down than others, and it makes sense that children growing up there are worse off than children in other places.

“There are high unemployment rates in the North East and businesses are closing all the time.

“You just have to look at Laygate and King Street to see the amount of empty shops.

“People just can’t afford luxuries like they could before.”

Teachers Robyn Pollard and Lisa Haynes, of Horsley Hill, have two children of their own, and are not surprised by the new figures.

Mr Pollard, 36, said: “You can see it on the streets and in schools, there are some children who are less well off than others.

“And of course it has something to do with where they are brought up.

“It goes hand in hand with unemployment – it’s not nice, but I think there are people who are jobless and will stay that way.

“Of course, there are others who are desperate for work and can’t get any.”

Miss Haynes agreed. The 33-year-old said: “Different areas in South Tyneside are worse than others, definitely.

“I think it’s a shame, but it’s kind of accepted that poverty is around.

“It shouldn’t be like that, but until there is a change in the amount of jobs around, it’s not going to change.”

Dad-of-two Jason Carter, of Westoe, South Shields, said: “It’s not just children that are in trouble, the whole town is.

“It’s terrible that in this area there are children living in poverty while others are living it up.

“And there are plans to knock down the town centre and build all sorts – where’s the money coming from for that?

“I think we need to get our priorities sorted.”

The 37-year-old added: “I can’t see anything changing though – there are no jobs, and no jobs means no money.

“It’s desperate up here at the moment.”