Charity is concerned about effect of tax cuts on poor families in Bury St Edmunds

Amanda Bloomfield at the Gatehouse charity warehouse with a load of tins to launch our Xmas tins campaign.
Amanda Bloomfield at the Gatehouse charity warehouse with a load of tins to launch our Xmas tins campaign.
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The boss of a charity that helps the poorest of families says the situation in Bury St Edmunds has got worse over the past 12 months.

Her claims come as the Campaign to End Child Poverty released figures showing that from mid 2011-mid 2012, child poverty in the town rose from 11-12 per cent, while for St Edmundsbury they dropped one per cent, from 2,805 to 2,558 children.

Amanda Bloomfield, chief executive of Gatehouse, said there had been an increase in people needing to use the charity’s food bank, the majority being young families, and that she was concerned about what would happen from April 1.

“We can only see the situation going into decline with the tax and benefit changes that are due to come in,” she said.

“But we’ll be there providing what we can for people in need and will continue to provide the furniture reuse centre, as we always have done,” she added.

As with figures released last year, the latest figures place the Northgate and St Olaves wards of Bury in the towns worst for child poverty rates, at 24 per cent and 23 per cent of the child population respectively, a rise of one per cent for each.

The wards least affected include Great Barton, Ringshall and Onehouse, all with less than five per cent, Horringer and Whelnetham with six per cent and Moreton Hall, Fornham, Gislingham, and Thurston and Hessett with seven per cent.

The Campaign to End Child Poverty report says that on average throughout the UK, one in five children (20.2 per cent) are classified as living below the poverty line.

To find out more, go to www.endchildpoverty.org.uk