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Legacy of social care still lives on
I WAS astonished to read the rash statement made by Coun Steward about there being no need for food banks in the UK.
I wonder if the councillor would have reached a similar conclusion had he lived in York 100 years ago. When Seebohm Rowntree (son of Joseph) conducted research on the incidence of poverty in York, his published report identified the level of income required to survive.
The research he did helped to shape the Welfare State after the Second World War, the State Pension and the National Insurance Scheme.
The influence of the Rowntree family on the welfare of many in York is hard to over-estimate. Their compassion for the poor in society remains a legacy which is unequalled. It seems clear to me that the food bank idea is simply looking to provide a very great need in the city today. I wish it every success.
Mike Burkett, Dikelands Lane, Upper Poppleton, York.
• COUN Gillies and Coun Steward find it difficult to accept there is poverty in York, and the country or any need for food banks. The facts are out there and clearly reported by Shelter:
• 1 in 5 children live in poverty
• 1.4m people are falling behind with rent/mortgage payments,
• 7.8m people struggle to pay their monthly rent/mortgage, an increase of 44 per cent since 2011.
• A million people used a payday loan, in 2012, to help pay rent/mortgage
• 2.8m people used an unauthorised overdraft, in 2012, to pay their rent/mortgage –ten per cent did so every month.
• One in 115 households across England risks homelessness.
• 198,470 households were threatened with losing their home between September 2011-2012
• Homeless families with children living in B&Bs have risen by 51 per cent during 2012.
• More than 2,000 families live in B&Bs, often in single rooms, no cooking facilities and shared bathrooms. Those in B&Bs longer than six weeks, the legal limit, has tripled during 2012.
• Homeless families with children has risen by 12% to 8,820 in 2012 People in work are struggling and this will only get worse with the introduction of Universal Credit.
• How ironic it is that a local Conservative councillor is against food banks but is part of a group that is pro taxpayer-subsidised sandwiches for councillors.
Coun Fiona Fitzpatrick (Labour) Hull Road ward, Rowntree Wharf, York.