Figures just released by ‘End Child Poverty’ show that Westminster has the 5th highest child poverty levels in the UK and the 4th highest in London. Westminster North has the 7th highest poverty levels of all parliamentary constituencies in the UK.
These figures come on the same day as the announcement of a £20 million refurbishment of Bond Street. According to the Independent;
“London’s richest street will undergo a £20 million overhaul to compete with the major luxury shopping districts of New York, Paris and Hong Kong. New and Old Bond Street will receive their biggest makeover in more than 30 years as part of the Bond Street Development Plan which is backed by landlords and tenants in the street as well as New West End Company, Westminster City Council and Transport for London. The investment will include the redesigning of the street to allow widening of the pavements by 50 per cent to create a “luxury promenade” for shoppers who currently have to navigate narrow and often obstructed pathways. It will also introduce two-way traffic on New Bond Street and Brook Street and the lanes on New Bond Street will be reduced from three to two”
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“The figure of 39% of children living in poverty (after housing costs) shames wealthy Conservative Westminster Council. In Westminster North the figures for child poverty are worse at 43%. This is at a time when the Council proudly boasts that it underspent its budget last year by £4.9m. Yet, there are 2,390 families living in temporary accommodation many of them in the unregulated private rented sector where housing conditions are far from satisfactory.”
“No one denies that investment in the West End is needed, but both these sets of figures reveal the growing gulf between the haves and have-nots in today’s London. There seems to be little problem in lavishing £20 million on a high-profile West End project, but making life easier for the thousands of children living in poverty in the same borough is at the bottom of Westminster Council’s priorities”
See the figures for Westminster here
Percentage of children in Westminster in poverty