Child poverty was worse

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The latest correspondence from Richard Beck (Echo Letters, November 5) is another of his letters heavy on rhetoric but light on fact.

His claim that this Government has a policy of impoverishing the people of the North East is as ludicrous as it is contrived. If he would check, the council’s own records show quite clearly that child poverty increased across Sunderland under Labour from 2006 to 2009.

Was this a deliberate attempt to impoverish by the Labour Government?

His next unsubstantiated claim is “The population of Sunderland is reducing because people are having to leave to find work.”

Actual figures for 2014 show that there were 6,770 people came to Sunderland, with 7,250 leaving the city.

A net population decline of 480 people.

Reports suggest that most of these moved to neighbouring areas to live not moving for employment. Others moved to find better schools.

Further checks of council reports would show that there has been 14,000 new jobs created in the city since 2010. A Council Strategic Plan stated that unemployment in Sunderland was at a 25-year low.

Mr Beck then moves to the Northern Powerhouse which he calls the Northern Poorhouse (not original, this was penned by the Guardian). Do the North East leaders think devolution is a negative thing?

Coun Simon Henig, chairman of NECA, said: “This is a major milestone for the North East, it is an important day.” Nick Forbes said: “This means real change.”

Jeremy Middleton, a board member of North East Local Enterprise Partnership said: “This is a fantastic deal for the North East that will firmly link the region to the Northern Powerhouse.”  

“Devolution will mark a huge change for the North East and will ensure local votes can have an even more significant impact on the future of the region.”

Alan Wright

High Barnes