Quarter of children in South Tyneside 'on the breadline,' according to deprivation report - council blames cuts for plight of borough

More than a quarter of children are living on the breadline in South Tyneside, according to new figures showing problems with deprivation are getting worse in the borough.

Council chiefs have blamed ‘nine years of funding cuts’ for the plight of communities in South Tyneside, after it was ranked 26th out of 317 local authorities across the country in the “English Indices of Deprivation 2019”.

The borough’s position in the Government report is five places higher than it was in 2015, when it sat in at 31st place.

This year, South Tyneside was listed as having one of the highest numbers of children living on the breadline, with 26.7% currently in income deprived households.

South Shields town centre is among the most deprived areas in the borough, according to a report.

Of the overall population, 20.6% of residents are living in an income deprived household, with 17.2% of working age adults in employment deprivation.

Jarrow, Tyne Dock, Whiteleas and South Shields town centre were listed among the most deprived in the borough, with Cleadon and East Boldon coming out as the least.

Coun Tracey Dixon, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “These rankings unfortunately reflect the stark reality of the impact of nine years of funding cuts on some of the most economically disadvantaged areas of the country.

“Research shows South Tyneside Council as the third hardest hit by cuts and we have 54% less government grant to spend on supporting our residents.”

She continued: “We recognise that these difficult financial times are particularly challenging for families with children but we remain committed to giving every child the best start in life.

“To help people affected by the government’s new welfare reforms, we created an enhanced welfare support team to enable us to offer early help and support to those likely to be affected.

"Our Children’s Services have also been re-designed to make it easier for families to access the right support when they need it. However, it is important to remember that the single best way to tackle deprivation is through the creation of high quality jobs. That is why we continue to do all we can to attract business and investment in the Borough so we can provide new opportunities for local people.”