Council bids to cut child poverty in Norbiton

Kingston Council has established a pilot project in Norbiton to improve the quality of life of over 700 children living in child poverty.<--break->“>The ‘One Norbiton, Working Together’, scheme will allow community groups to have more control over local decision-making, and allocate resources in a more targeted way.</p>

<p>The pilot project is the only one of its kind in the South of England, and one of just eight nationally. It will attempt to cut the number of children living in poverty, currently 700 in Norbiton, as defined as a home where household income falls below 60 per cent of the national median income of £414 per week.</p>

<p>Tony Willis, senior community development co-ordinator for Kingston council, said: “The objective of the project is to understand deprivation needs. It is more than just income inequality. There are housing inequalities and health inequalities.”</p>

<p>Mr Willis said that inequality had a huge impact in even in a well-off area like Kingston.  He said that in some areas of Norbiton people are expected to live “seven years less than the others.”</p>

<p>The main 30-strong ‘Big Society’ working group has met twice this year, and will focus on specific policy areas such as policing and safety, and housing.</p>

<p>The project hopes to pool budgets and resources from different organisations, so that ‘grass-roots decision-makers’ can identify where resources are best deployed.</p>

<p>Organisations that have committed to pooling both budgets and other resources so far include; The Royal Borough Kingston Council, The Met Police, Kingston University, Kingston Voluntary Action and Kingston Chamber of Commerce.</p>

<p>They have been joined by members of the business community, resident’s associations, local residents, and those involved in social clubs and groups in the area. Other community groups, such as schools, nurseries, charities and church groups have also expressed a keen interest in participating.</p>

<p>The next meeting will take place on the 11<sup>th</sup> January 2012, at Piper Hall on the Cambridge Road Estate in Norbiton. Anybody who wishes to get involved should contact ‘One Norbiton, Working Together’ on 0208 547 6053 or by email, </p>

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