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New Forest District Council cabinet to debate setting up committee to tackle deprived spots in Hythe, New Milton, Fawley and Pennington amid cost-of-living crisis



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A SPECIAL committee could be set up to monitor four New Forest neighbourhoods ranked in the top 20% nationwide for income deprivation.

The district council's Conservative ruling cabinet is set to debate the idea after it was proposed by Liberal Democrat Cllr Jack Davies.

The four areas are: Netley View in Hythe; Milton Mead in New Milton; Heather Road and Blackfield Road in Fawley; and Howards Mead and Efford Way in Pennington.

Efford Way in Pennington
Efford Way in Pennington

Two locations within the wards of Butts Ash and Dibden Purlieu (Netley View) and Pennington (Howards Mead) are also in the top 20% in terms of income deprivation specifically affecting children.

Cllr Davies' motion to a full meeting of the council highlighted the cost of living crisis and warned it could push more local households into poverty.

It said the issue was having a "disproportionate effect on people in the most deprived neighbourhoods".

Cllr Jack Davies
Cllr Jack Davies

The stats came from income deprivation in England according to the 2019 Index of Multiple Deprivation, which measures by income, employment, education, skills and training, health and disability, and crime.

Cllr Davies' motion called on the council to recommend setting up a task and finish group to form a plan to tackle deprivation across the New Forest, with a particular emphasis on the worst affected wards.

The motion further appealed for "overall deprivation" to be included as a key priority within the council's corporate plan and to include the responsibility for reducing overall deprivation within the portfolio of the cabinet member for partnering and wellbeing, Cllr Geoffrey Blunden.

NFDC leader Cllr Edward Heron said he would take the matter to cabinet's July meeting to be debated by members.



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