Letter to the Wanstead & Woodford and Waltham Forest Guardians
Monday 24 August 2015
There are many people, in and around our fairly affluent borough, who are going hungry these days. Your readership may not be aware of this scandalous state of affairs, so we would like to bring it to their attention.
The Indices of Deprivation 2010 - a study of the causes of deprivation - showed that Redbridge and Waltham Forest, as well as Barking & Dagenham and Newham were ranked in the top 50 of 326 local authorities in England on at least one of these indicators. So, what are the underlying causes of deprivation? We're looking at a lack of education, skills & training, all of which constitute a barrier to employment opportunities and thereby income; ill health & disability, shortages of social housing and services, as well as the spectre of crime. All of these are factors which contribute to a reliance on the need for genuine care in the community. That study was published in 2010. In 2015 the situation has far from improved.
Having no financial safety-net, coupled with a sudden crisis, such as a bereavement, delay in receiving benefits, redundancy and/or long-term illness may unexpectedly leave anyone unable to afford food for themselves and their families. Such situations can quickly deteriorate and lead to relationship breakdowns, housing repossessions and worse.
In view of all this we sincerely hope that our local councils will meet the funding needs of what have now become the desperately necessary foodbanks in Ilford and Leytonstone.
Redbridge Green Party Lead Speaker