Dan Jarvis MP Concerned by the Level of Child Poverty In Ryedale

The level of child poverty in Ryedale is unacceptable’ said Dan Jarvis MP for  Barnsley. He was in Malton at the BBC’s broadcast of Any Questions.  A member of the audience had asked what should be done about the fact that one in five children in Ryedale are living in poverty. ‘In my constituency of Barnsley a third of children are living in poverty ‘ he said, ‘but it comes as a shock to be told that in the outwardly prosperous area of Ryedale child poverty is so widespread.  In one of the richest countries in the world it’s shameful that any child should grow up in poverty. I’m deeply concerned by the ever-rising numbers of families, right across Yorkshire, who are struggling to make ends meet. Poverty is not just a matter for urban areas, and the Government must do much more to support people living in rural areas with the particular challenges they face.’

The fact that child poverty affects so many in an area with a Conservative member of parliament highlights the hollowness of the government’s claims of levelling up.

Around two hundred members of the public had gathered at the Milton Rooms in Malton to take part in the debate. The exposure of Boris Johnson earlier in the week for having lied to Parliament was the first topic discussed. His only defender was his friend Sir Jake Berry, knighted by Mr Johnson in his controversial resignation honours list.

However, it was clear that issues which directly impact local people, like child poverty, devolution of power to North Yorkshire and the poor quality of public transport were uppermost in people’s minds. There was support also for the Twenty is Plenty speed limit campaign.

With the present Prime Minister representing nearby Richmond and a by-election in Selby in a few weeks, Ryedale is currently at the centre of national politics. Questioner Anne Seex said ‘Rural and agricultural communities are facing multiple problems which are specific to them and different to but just as serious as the problems in urban areas.’  ‘We believe this is true’ says Mick Johnston Chair of Thirsk and Malton Labour Party, ‘It is high time the government recognized the seriousness of the problems facing rural communities and did something to address them’.

You can listen to the episode of  BBC Any Questions at this link

Dan Jarvis MP for Barnsley, right, with BBC presenter Ben Wright at Any Questions broadcast from The Milton Rooms, Malton on 16th June 2023
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