YEP Says: A joined up plan is needed to help the poor in Leeds

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WHILE LEEDs is happily establishing itself as a modern city with fantastic shops and leisure which draw people from across the country, there is another less successful side to the city.

Leeds City Council says 14,000 more children in the city have been plunged into poverty since austerity measures began in this country. The figures come after the Yorkshire Evening Post reported that one Leeds area had been named the seventh worst hotspot in the country for child poverty.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, handouts from foodbanks to Leeds families have risen sharply in the past year to 30,000. Action is being taken with £10m handed out in emergency grants.

Those are shocking figures and it is important that action is taken to ensure that everyone can benefit from Leeds being a successful international city.

Councillor Debra Coupar, executive member responsible for communities, said: “Poverty is the most important challenge our city is facing. Its effects can be devastating and far-reaching which is why we are taking dramatic steps to tackle it.”

Of course, it isn’t just Leeds City Council’s responsibility. The Government, voluntary and advice organisations also have parts to play.

A joined up long-term response is urgently needed to help the poorest in Leeds.

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