Here's how Milton Keynes plans to help the 23,000 children living in poverty here

Initiatives include community food larders, cheap school uniforms and help with childcare costs

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 4:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 4:16 pm

Progress has been made in tackling MK's child poverty problem but more needs to be done by national government, said leading councillors today.

Last year the Milton Keynes Child Poverty Commission found almost 23,000 local children were officially living in poverty. And they suggested a string of ideas to help make life easier for them and their families.

Now a report has been drawn up, to be presented to the council next month, setting out the progress that has been made so far.

Almost 23,000 children are living in poverty in Milton Keynes

The projects include working to open over 10 community food larders in partnership with SOFEA, Community Fridge and Foodbank Xtra to ensure the children do not go hungry.

A school uniform recycling scheme has been launched, where uniforms can be bought at a reduced cost, and a pilot childcare deposit scheme is being run support parents and carers who want to work, but struggle with upfront childcare costs.

Liberal Democrat councillor Jane Carr, who is Cabinet member for Tackling Inequality and Child Poverty, said: “The number of families in poverty in our country is an issue that the government needs to get a grip on, but we’ve been fighting here in Milton Keynes to make sure our vulnerable families receive help and support.”

She added: “I’m proud of the start that the Commission, including the Council, partner organisations and local communities, have made so far, but the work isn’t done yet and I look forward to more achievements in the future.”

Labour Councillor Zoe Nolan, Cabinet member for Children and Families, said: “While the Child Poverty Commission and the Progressive Alliance have been working tirelessly to reduce poverty in Milton Keynes, the Tory government has made the job harder. The government’s £20 cut to Universal Credit will impact 22,840 families across Milton Keynes, and it could force 500,000 people throughout the country into poverty.”

“It could not come at a worse time, as food and energy prices rise right before Christmas.”

Zoe added: “Our MPs need to stand up for the struggling residents of Milton Keynes, and fight for this heartless cut to be delayed.”