END CHILD Poverty recently revealed statistics that show that almost 4 in 10 children in Penparcau, and more than a quarter of children across Ceredigion, are living in poverty.
The statistics show that between 2012 and 2013 of the more than 1,000 children in Penparcau, 39.85% were living in poverty, as were 26.62% of children in Ceredigion.
In 2013 funding for the Welsh government’s scheme to tackle poverty, Communities First, was withdrawn – however, volunteers in the Penparcau community stepped in and established the Penparcau Community Forum.
This revelation follows on from the findings of the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation in 2014, which saw Penparcau drop 148 places overall. The WIMD is how the Welsh government measures relative deprivation for small areas in Wales and gives these areas an overall rank, with one being the most deprived and 1,909 being the least deprived. The WIMD is measured using eight deprivation indicators: income, employment, health, education, housing, environment, access to services, and community services.
Penparcau’s fall of 148 places in 2014 saw it move from 599th to 747th between 2011 and 2014. The area also became more deprived in income, health, education, employment, and access to services.
A spokesperson for the Forum expressed their dismay at the statistics, and said that the “community was surprised” when the statistics were released. They went on to call for more support for the forum and revealed plans to help provide services for the community that were withdrawn by the Welsh government.
“We’re hoping to develop the Community Centre into a space where various services can be run, training can take place, and the community can come together at the heart of the village.”
Mark Williams, Ceredigion MP, said:
“It is simply unacceptable to people in Ceredigion that over a quarter of our children are living in poverty, these figures must be a wake up call for the government at a time when they are attempting to redefine child poverty to hide the real impact of their policies.”
A Welsh government spokesperson said they were considering an application for funding from the Forum but were unable to make any commitments until the UK government’s Spending Review was published on the 25th November 2015.
After another month of deliberation it was announced that the Communities First programme would be finding a £490,000 conversion of the area’s boxing club into a multi-purpose community centre. Dylan Jones of the Forum congratulated the community of Penparcau for the commitment to their cause:
“Clearly, the forum is delighted with the success of the great deal of hard work in pulling together grants that will provide outstanding facilities for the community, particularly for the youth and young people.”