Not a statistic

The End Child Poverty campaign has released its report recently with a constituency guide.

The figures and comparisons are instructive:

Mid Sussex: Ten per cent of children in poverty

Horsham: 11 per cent

Arundel and South Downs: 12 per cent

Chichester: 14 per cent

East Worthing and Shoreham: 17 per cent

Crawley: 21 per cent

Bognor Regis and Littlehampton: 21 per cent

That puts this area on a par with Belfast East, Mansfield and Bristol East, worse than Eastleigh (15 per cent), Battersea, Tooting and Putney (all on 16 per cent), Bury N (17 per cent), Dewsbury, Brighton Pav and Westminster (19 per cent), Barrow-in-Furness and Bolsover (20 per cent) and only just below Doncaster (22 per cent), East Londonderry and Streatham (23 per cent) and Manchester Withington (26 per cent).

One in five local children deemed to be in poverty, their lives blighted and being made worse by the policies and actions of this incompetent and unfair lost-Triple-AAA-Rating coup by coalition government.

When one breaks down the figures into local wards, then a worse still picture emerges.

Local GCSE figures at The Regis School for five or more passes at 46 per cent – the new school (built with Labour government investment) is doing a huge amount to improve this but the national rate is 66 per cent, the county average 58 per cent.

This is a deprived area whose local government at district and county level have presided over this dismal tale for decades, doing nothing effective to tackle what was known but brushed under the carpet.

These are 3,934 local children, not a statistic.

Mr Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam Constituency five per cent, Mr Cameron’s Witney on ten per cent.

Arun’s ‘regeneration’ plans offer such families and children next-to-nothing, and the St Modwen scheme is a cheap-and-nasty scam to dump us with as little as possible of real value at the price of loss of our last major public space in the town.

A piddling, unwanted multiplex cinema as its apex – look at Margate along the coast: the Turner Gallery funded by Arts Council England and other sources, an aspirational project now attracting a whole new type of visitor in large numbers.

We are let down by lack of vision, lack of leadership and by local government out-of-touch, especially with the needs of its poorest and youngest citizens.

Jan Cosgrove

Longford Road

Bognor Regis