Police and programmes to reduce the shockingly high rates of child poverty in Birmingham are under the spotlight at a public debate tomorrow.
With the issue in danger of falling under the public radar during the General Election campaign, Birmingham blogger Pauline Geoghegan, also known as News In Brum, has organised the debate at Millennium Point from 6.30pm on March 13.
Studies have found that 84,000 children are living in poverty in Birmingham. That is 37 per cent of youngsters growing up in households with less than £15,000 per year income compared to a national average of 27 per cent.
The cost of extra public services to deal with child poverty, including education, healthcare and benefits, is estimated at £914 million a year.
Ms Geoghegan said: “Poverty is destroying the life chance of Birmingham children and young people.”
An expert panel includes Peter Alcock from the Birmingham Child Poverty Commission, the Vicar of Small Heath Oliver Cross and Bharat Chauhan from Birmingham City University’s school of nursing, midwifery and social work.
The persistently high levels of child poverty were the subject of council backed inquiry by the Children’s Society charity last year which called for youngsters to be given free access to sporting and cultural events as well as helped to feel safe in their own parks and neighbourhoods.
The open event is March 13 at the Parkside Lecture Theatre, Birmingham City University Millennium Point from 6.30pm.