UK’s150 words wealth heady­far from heady evenly split

Sunday Sun - - Comment&analysis -

THE United King­dom is a wealthy coun­try and set to stay that way.

But not ev­ery­one shares in the wealth.

New­cas­tle coun­cil­lor Jeremy Beecham, also a mem­ber of the House of Lords, pointed this out.

He told his fel­low Lords: “I live just 12 minutes’ drive from the ward I have rep­re­sented for the past 50-plus years. For ev­ery minute of that drive, life ex­pectancy falls for people in that ward by a year.

“In other words, life ex­pectancy is 12 years less in the ward I rep­re­sent than in the ward in which I live, which says some­thing about the prob­lems faced by far too many people – and not only in the city of New­cas­tle.

“It is sad that teach­ers at the lo­cal pri­mary schools bring in food for break­fast clubs for chil­dren at­tend­ing their school be­cause they can­not be cer­tain of hav­ing an ad­e­quate break­fast and start to their school day.

And he high­lighted the importance of food banks in the North East.

“The food bank in my ward is the busiest in the en­tire coun­try.

“Again, it gives a sense of the de­pri­va­tion, which is not uni­ver­sal but is certainly far too wide­spread for us to feel at all com­fort­able about it.” Cap­tion Jeremy Beecham

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