Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
Kerry has been supporting the work of the End Child Poverty campaign in parliament and in her constituency.
On Monday she met with Save the Children’s Policy Officer to talk about their campaign for seasonal grants for the poorest families, which will be launched later in November, and agreed to sponsor an exhibition on child poverty in the Palace of Westminster.
Friday, November 3rd, was End Child Poverty day, and Kerry started by visiting the Single Parent Action Network (SPAN), which has its national HQ in her constituency. She discussed with them a number of policy-related issues, which she has agreed to take up with Government ministers. She then met with a group of single parents in SPAN’s Study Centre, to hear how they had benefitted from the support, life-coaching and study opportunities offered by SPAN. Some of the women told Kerry how they had been at rock bottom before coming across SPAN – and had then gone on to regain their confidence, complete degree courses, and put their lives back on track.
Later on in the day Kerry met with students from Bristol University Labour Club to talk about child poverty issues. She told them that the child poverty rate in Bristol West constituency – where the university is based – stands at 13%, but in Lawrence Hill ward in her constituency, it stands at 55% (and that’s probably an underestimate, as it doesn’t take into account the high number of failed asylum seekers who aren’t entitled to claim benefits). She also talked about how action across a number of areas is needed to tackle child poverty; it’s not just a case of putting more money into families’ pockets, through the minimum wage, tax credits and increased child benefit, but also about addressing issues like poor housing, adult literacy, crime and drug abuse.