More than 4,000 children and young people in the county are now categorised as living within the worst indicators of child poverty in the UK.
A report for Herefordshire Council labels child poverty as a “significant issue” and hopes its findings will help tackle the problem.
An area categorised as Golden Post-Newton Farm is the worst for overall deprivation and is also one of the UK’s worst for unemployment.
Much of Hereford’s South Wye area also has the highest level of young people not in education, employment or training.
Linking the child poverty problem with the ESG development, the Hereford Times commented: “It’s hard, for instance, to see the promise of a new shopping centre when you are paid so far below the rate of inflation you can barely afford to buy.
“It’s tough to hear talk of mass housebuilding when you’re one of the 5,000 on a housing waiting list with little if any hope of ever entering the market.
“… There are two counties in Herefordshire – one a place defined by possibility and potential, the other the prospect of food on the table.”
Urgent action is needed to eradicate poverty in the county, but we should be under no illusions that help will come from those in power.
Too often poverty is seen as an unfortunate situation people fall into through their own poor management. Yet, what these grim times teach us is all that’s needed is to be made redundant and even the well-off middle manager will soon slip into poverty.
In the here-and-now we must look to ourselves and each other to improve our own situation. Joining a union or banding together at work to fight for better wages and conditions is essential. Taking on slum landlords with neighbours to get repairs done at home is also important.
Many of these things involve nothing more than asserting rights we already have yet the results can make a real difference.
But in the long term we must fight to overthrow the cause of poverty: capitalism. This system cannot be reformed; we need revolution.