In his recently published review of health inequalities – many of which are greatly determined by poverty – Professor Sir Michael Marmot said:

‘People with higher socioeconomic position in society have a greater array of life chances and more opportunities to lead a flourishing life. They also have better health. The two are linked: the more favoured people are, socially and economically, the better their health. This link between social conditions and health is not a footnote to the ‘real’ concerns with health – such as health care and unhealthy behaviours – but should become the main focus.

Consider one measure of social position: education. People with university degrees have better health and longer lives than those without. For people aged 30 and above, if everyone without a degree had their death rate reduced to that of people with degrees, there would be 202,000 fewer premature deaths each year. Surely this is a goal worth striving for.  It is the view of all of us associated with this Review that we could go a long way to achieving that remarkable improvement by giving more people the life chances currently enjoyed by the few. The benefits of such efforts would be wider than lives saved. People in society would be better off in many ways: in the circumstances in which they are born, grow, live, work, and age. People would see improved well-being, better mental health and less disability, their children would flourish, and they would live in sustainable, cohesive communities.’

Fair Society, Healthy Lives, February 2010

Many health-related issues are worse for people living in poverty, including an increased risk of dying prematurely.  People living in poverty are less likely to benefit from education to the same degree as others; are less likely to be in professional, managerial and skilled jobs; and are more likely to live in poor housing and in neighbourhoods where crime is more prevalent and where community safety is threatened.  All of these conditions and circumstances can have an adverse effect on physical and mental health and well-being.

Poverty, or relative poverty, is commonly defined in terms of households with an income which, after tax, is below 60% of the median (average) household income (Aldridge et al, 2012).  As such, the income required to prevent poverty depends upon household composition.

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Last updated: 2016-01-27 11:49:09
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1. What are the key issues?

  • In Stockton-on-Tees, many benefits to which people are entitled go unclaimed.  This additional income could lift people out of poverty.
  • Too many young people leave school without going into education, employment or training.  This can lead to spending the rest of their lives in poverty.
  • There are insufficient jobs to satisfy the need of everyone who is looking for work.  Sometimes people do not have the right skills or qualifications to obtain paid employment that meets their individual needs.


Last updated: 22/01/13

2. What commissioning priorities are recommended?

Ensure people claim all benefits to which they are entitled.

Reduce the number of those young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Support enterprise creation and business growth, enabling businesses to have access to the most appropriate training and education; and to ensure there is the skilled workforce to match the existing and future economic growth sectors

Tackle and improve issues relating to employability and worklessness.

Last updated: 22/01/13

3. Who is at risk and why?

Children who live in a household where no parent works are in the highest risk category of being in poverty. In addition, the Institute of Fiscal Studies has reported that the Government’s 1% cap on welfare benefit increase will see:

  • 89% of the 2.8 million households where working age adults are without jobs will see their entitlements reduced in real terms.  This equates to an average of about £215 per year less in 2015-16.
  • 49% of 14.1 million working age households with someone in work will see their entitlements cut compared to what they might have expected. This will be by an average of about £165 per year, This includes three million who lose out only from the child benefit cap.
  • Those with the lowest incomes will be affected the most, with the second lowest 10th of the UK population hit hardest in cash terms, with an average drop of £150 per year.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) show that about 17.5% of children in the UK grow up in relative poverty (household income below 60% of the median) compared with 16.1% of the general population. Similarly, about 17.5% of pensioners are in relative poverty.  14.6% of working age non-parents are in relative poverty (IFS, 2012).
A million young economically active people aged 16 to 24 years were unemployed in the first half of 2012.  That is 22%, compared with 6% for those aged 25 to 64 years (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2012).

Pensioner poverty has fallen from 29% in 1998/99 to 18% in 2007/08.  However, many pensioners remain with incomes at, or just above, 60% of median income and there are still about 1.1million pensioners living in poverty (Work and Pensions Committee, 2009).

The composition of those in poverty is very different today than 10 or 20 years ago. The proportion of pensioners in poverty has halved since the early 1990s, while that of working age adults without children has risen by one third (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2012).

In 2010/11, 2.3 million children (18%) were in households living below 60% of median income before housing costs and 3.6 million (27%) after housing costs (DWP, 2012b).

Female full-time workers are paid about 82% of the amount males receive.  That is £449.60 per week for women compared with £548.80 for men (Nomis, 2012).

Health inequalities between deprived and non-deprived areas have grown in the last decade. A man in one of the least deprived areas can expect to live longer than a woman in one of the most deprived areas (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2012).

Female single pensioners are more likely to live in poverty than single male pensioners; 23% compared with 16% (DWP, 2012b).

Socioeconomic status
Few high street banks demonstrate any strong commitment to serving people on low incomes, who often incur charges because they find it difficult to manage facilities such as direct debit.  Charges for failed transactions and unauthorised overdrafts are commonplace among people on low incomes. (Kempson and Collard, 2012).

Many people on low incomes rely heavily on unsecured consumer credit to meet periodic needs. Their credit options are generally limited to higher cost providers in the credit market such as home credit, goods bought on credit from mail order catalogues or rental purchase shops.

Around one in twenty households does not have access to a transactional bank account and many who have recently opened a bank account struggle with some of the facilities provided (Kempson and Collard, 2012).

Child poverty is more common in all BME groups compared with white ethnic groups.  In particular, 49% of children from Pakistani and Bangldeshi ethnic groups and 40% of children from Black or Black British ethnic groups were in relative poverty in 2010 compared with 19.4% of the whole population (Family and Parenting Institute, 2012).

Family size
About one-third of children in families where there are four or more children grow up in poverty – roughly double the rate found in families with one or two children (Family and Parenting Institute, 2012).

Other risks
People in poverty may not have enough income to afford sufficient food.  In 2011/12, over 128,000 households in the UK were helped by food banks (Trussell Trust, 2012).

Last updated: 22/01/13

4. What is the level of need in the population?

Since 2004, Stockton-on-Tees has become less deprived relative to other local authority areas in England.  However, it still has areas containing high numbers of people living in poverty.  Relative deprivation seems to have improved particularly for older people.

The English Indices of Deprivation 2010 (ID 2010) show Stockton-on-Tees is the 100th most deprived of 326 local authority areas in England (DCLG, 2011).  In 2004 it was the 75th most deprived.

ID 2010 measures deprivation at lower super-output area (LSOA) level.  There are 117 LSOAs in Stockton-on-Tees, 34 of which (29%) are in the most deprived quintile in England.  Eighteen LSOAs (with a combined population of 27,600) are in the most deprived 10% of LSOAs in England and 4 of these (population 6,200) are in the most deprived 1% in England.

The most deprived areas in Stockton-on-Tees, 2010

LSOA code


Ward where LSOA located



Stockton-on-Tees 014E

Stockton Town Centre



Stockton-on-Tees 012C




Stockton-on-Tees 010B

Norton North



Stockton-on-Tees 014D

Parkfield and Oxbridge; and Stockton Town Centre


Source: ID 2010


Stockton IMD 2010 LSOAs

The health inequalities indicator for local authorities shows that life expectancy for the most deprived in Stockton-on-Tees is lower than for the least deprived.  For men, the difference is 15.3 years and for women it is 11.3 years. The differences in England are 7.7 and 5.6 years respectively.  The differences between the most and least deprived groups in Stockton-on-Tees are the second largest in England for both men and women.  In Dudley (a similar area) the differences are 9.9 years for men and 5.7 years for women (Network of Public Health Observatories, 2011).

Stockton health inequalities indicator 2006-10

Children are said to be in poverty if living in families in receipt of out-of-work means-tested benefits, or families in receipt of tax credits where reported income is less than 60% of median income (HMRC, 2012a).  In Stockton-on-Tees, 9,400 (21.9%) children are growing up in poverty by this measure (HMRC, 2012b).  There are six LSOAs in Stockton where more than half of all children are growing up in poverty.

Areas where more than half of children are in poverty, Stockton-on-Tees, 2010

LSOA code


Ward where LSOA located

Children in poverty


Stockton-on-Tees 012C


355 (65.4%)


Stockton-on-Tees 020C

Stainsby Hill

200 (57.7%)


Stockton-on-Tees 014E

Stockton Town Centre

355 (56.2%)


Stockton-on-Tees 009B


245 (52.6%)


Stockton-on-Tees 017A

Mandale and Victoria

215 (52.4%)


Stockton-on-Tees 010B

Norton North

245 (50.0%)

Source: HMRC (2012b)


Stockton children in poverty, 2010

The Indices of Deprivation 2010 contains an Income Deprivation Affecting Children Indicator (IDACI) for LSOAs (DCLG, 2011).  In Stockton-on-Tees, one LSOA is in the most deprived 1% in England, namely E01012252 in Newtown ward, and an additional 14 LSOAs are in the most deprived 10% in England by this measure.

The proportion of children eligible for free school meals varies from 1.8% in Northern Parishes to over 40% in Hardwick, Newtown and Stockton Town Centre (Tees Valley Unlimited, 2012).  Educational outcomes for children who are eligible for free school meals are worse than for the general population.  The gap is wider at GCSE than at the end of key stage 2.

Stockton educational attainment and disadvantage 2012

Working age adults
In Stockton-on-Tees, there are nearly 7,200 people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), 5.7% of the working age population (November 2012).  This compares with 3.8% in Great Britain (Nomis, 2012).

In November 2012 there were 2,320 people in Stockton-on-Tees who had been claiming JSA for more than 1 year.  For 18-24 year-olds, the rate was 11.9% compared with 5.7% of the working age population and 2.8% of people aged 50-64 years (Nomis, 2012).

In April 2012, there were five LSOAs in Stockton-on-Tees where more than 15% of the working age population claimed JSA.  This compared with a Stockton-on-Tees average of 5.8%, a North East rate of 7.6% and 4.9% in Great Britain.  The following map shows LSOAs lower than the England rate in green and those lower than the North East rate in yellow.

Areas where more than 15% of the working age population claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, Stockton-on-Tees, April 2012

LSOA code


Ward where LSOA located

JSA Claimants


Stockton-on-Tees 014D

Parkfield and Oxbridge; and Stockton Town Centre

146 (22.2%)


Stockton-on-Tees 014E

Stockton Town Centre

324 (21.7%)


Stockton-on-Tees 014B

Parkfield and Oxbridge

220 (20.5%)


Stockton-on-Tees 012E


173 (18.3%)


Stockton-on-Tees 012C


162 (17.4%)

Source: www.nomisweb.co.uk


Stockton JSA claimants by LSOA, April 2012

Older people
In Stockton-on-Tees, there are no LSOAs in the most deprived 1% of LSOAs in England for income deprivation affecting older people (DCLG, 2011).  However, 18 of the 117 LSOAs (15%) are in the most deprived 10% of LSOAs in England for this indicator – one-and-a-half times the number expected.

Stockton IDAOPI by LSOA, 2010

Additional details can be found in the poverty chapter from Stockton-on-Tees JSNA 2010.


Last updated: 01/07/13

5. What services are currently provided?

The Communities Fund programme is about tackling worklessness and low levels of skills and enterprise in the most disadvantaged areas.

Stockton Integrated Youth Support Service manages the Get On In Life service which delivers support to targeted and vulnerable groups of young people aged 16- 19 helping them into employment, education and training.

Tees Valley Unlimited is the private and public sector Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) striving to deliver jobs and economic growth across the Tees Valley.

There is a food bank in Billingham.

The following services are delivered by Stockton Renaissance partners aimed at reducing poverty and inequalities:
Economic regeneration and transport

  • Promoting employment initiatives.
  • Offering advice and guidance to businesses.
  • Enterprise opportunities through schools and local enterprise zones.
  • Management and negotiation of the national concessionary travel scheme.
  • Improvements to walks and cycleway paths.
  • Enhanced transport networks for better access to services.

Environment and housing

  • 24-hour turnaround on outcome of benefit claim
  • Housing advice for mortgages, rent arrears and losing homes.
  • An affordable warmth strategy.
  • Prevention of homelessness.
  • Mortgage rescue schemes.
  • All registered social landlords offer housing advice and guidance in addition to employment advice.
  • Affordable homes.
  • High quality green spaces for play.
  • Exciting, safe play areas and equipment.

Arts, culture and leisure

  • Events programme within the borough offering both free and low cost events throughout the year.
  • Provide support and fitness opportunities to under-represented groups.
  • Library provision – hubs offering a range of services and activities to promote social connectedness.

Community safety

  • Troubled Families initiative.
  • Work with young offenders.
  • Minimising drug and alcohol misuse.

Children and young people

  • Improving youth provision.
  • Early intervention through Children’s Centres.
  • Health promotion initiatives (for example, breastfeeding).

Health and wellbeing

  • Tackling fuel poverty.
  • Health initiatives to promote healthy living, advice and support in localities.

Stronger communities

  • Welfare reform – supporting changes introduced through new legislation, identifying and anticipating where possible the impacts on both residents and the economy of Stockton-on-Tees.
  • Regular consultation with residents and young people.
  • A range of advice and advocacy services, including money, employment, benefits advice.
  • Support for the local credit union.
  • Work with the Infinity financial inclusion forum to address financial-related aspects of poverty.

Organisational effectiveness

  • Improved access to services – online, customer access points, extended hours.
  • One stop shops through extended library facilities.
  • Through the Local Strategic Partnership role provide the catalyst to bring organisations together to provide a collective approach to tackling poverty.
  • Better signposting of services.


Last updated: 22/01/13

6. What is the projected level of need?

Relative child poverty is set to increase between 2010/11 and 2015/16 by about 400,000 in the UK.  In the same time period absolute child poverty (as defined in the Child Poverty Act 2010) will increase by 500,000.  About half of these increases will be in households where the youngest child is aged under 5 years. (Family and Parenting Institute, 2012).  Such increases in Stockton-on-Tees would place an additional 1,200 children in relative poverty or 1,500 in absolute poverty.

The number of children in relative poverty is forecast to rise from 2.6 million in 2009/10 to 3.3 million by 2020/21 (measuring income before housing costs), and that of working-age adults from 5.7 million in 2009/10 to 7.5 million by 2020/21.  The proportion of children in absolute poverty (using the 2010/11 poverty line fixed in real terms) is forecast to rise to 23 per cent by 2020/21, compared with the 5 per cent target (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2011).

The projections in Working Futures 2010-2020 indicate that many long-term employment trends will continue, including shifts towards a knowledge- and service-based economy and increases in high-paid and low-paid jobs at the expense of those in the middle (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2012b).

These changes in employment structure will contribute to an increase in poverty rates by 2020, although it is the growing gap between benefits and wages that is the main driver of increasing relative poverty rates.

Absolute poverty will rise considerably in the next few years as earnings growth is forecast to be weak but inflation high. Real median household income will remain below its 2009/10 level in 2015/16 (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2011).

Pensioner poverty is forecast to continue falling from around 15% in 2011 to around 14% in 2017.  By 2025, between 8 and 11% of pensioners are expected to be in poverty but this is dependent on national pension policy (Pensions Policy Institute, 2011).  However, the fall in the rate of pensioner poverty coincides with a rising pensioner population, so the number of pensioners in poverty in Stockton-on-Tees may not change significantly.

The phased introduction of Universal Credit from April 2014 is expected to benefit low-income, working age families the most.  Households with one earner (either with or without children) are expected to benefit more than other household types (Family and Parenting Institute, 2012; Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2011).

Last updated: 22/01/13

7. What needs might be unmet?

Maximising income
Not all benefits are claimed by those who are entitled to them.  The following table shows key benefit take-up nationally and the number of people who may be entitled and do not claim.  There is lower take-up of pension credit, council tax benefit and jobseekers’ allowance compared with other benefits.  Assuming benefit uptake in Stockton-on-Tees is similar, and that Stockton has 0.317% of the population of Great Britain, the number of people not claiming benefits can be estimated.

Estimated take up of income-related benefits, Stockton-on-Tees, 2009/10


Estimated take-up (Great Britain)

Estimated number of people with unclaimed benefits in Stockton

Income Support and Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)


800 to 2,000

Pension Credit


3,800 to 5,000

Housing Benefit (including Local Housing Allowance)


2,400 to 3,600

Council Tax Benefit


7,400 to 10,100

Jobseeker's Allowance (Income-based)


1,400 to 1,900

Source: DWP, 2012a


Planned changes in the benefit system may affect the number of unclaimed benefits.  However, there may still be many people, counted in thousands, not claiming their full benefit entitlement that could lift them out of poverty.

Food needs
There is an unmet need for food.  A food bank in Billingham provides for households which cannot afford sufficient food (The Trussell Trust, 2012).

Employment needs
In Stockton-on-Tees, there are 7.6 people seeking work for every job centre vacancy (Nomis, 2012).


Last updated: 22/01/13

8. What evidence is there for effective intervention?

Joseph Rowntree Foundation
For over 100 years, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has investigated the root causes of poverty, monitoring its effects on people and places in the UK. Today, in a context of globalisation, financial and economic strain, austerity measures and extensive welfare reform, those at greatest risk are the poorer members of society. As poverty isn't just about money, JRF tries to understand exactly how much money does matter, and its interplay with other factors such as housing, education, aspirations and culture.  It searches for practical strategies to reduce poverty, and wider social and economic inequalities, focusing particularly on the contribution that work, skills and economic growth can play now and in the future. Its work includes:

  • an anti-poverty strategy for the UK;
  • child poverty in the UK;
  • education and poverty;
  • forced labour (contemporary slavery) in the UK;
  • minimum income standards;
  • poverty and social exclusion; and
  • poverty and ethnicity.


The Marmot Review (‘Fair Society, Healthy Lives’)
In November 2008, Professor Sir Michael Marmot was asked by the then Secretary of State for Health to chair an independent review to propose the most effective evidence-based strategies for reducing health inequalities in England from 2010.
The final report, 'Fair Society Healthy Lives', was published in February 2010 (Marmot Review, 2010), and concluded that reducing health inequalities would require action on six policy objectives:

1. Give every child the best start in life;
2. Enable all children, young people and adults to maximise their capabilities and have  control over their lives;
3. Create fair employment and good work for all;
4. Ensure healthy standard of living for all;
5. Create and develop healthy and sustainable places and communities; and
6. Strengthen the role and impact of ill-health prevention.

Each of these policy objectives is influenced by the scale and distribution of poverty.


Additional resources for tackling poverty can be found at:

The Poverty and Social Exclusion website

Child Poverty Action Group

Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research


Last updated: 29/01/13

9. What do people say?

Feedback provided from a Stockton Renaisannce Partnership event in autumn 2011 highlighted the following issues:

  • The need for all organisations to work better together, using a collective approach.
  • All agencies need to tackle the same issue at the same time.
  • To have a collective understanding of what all local organisations are doing to support the poverty agenda.
  • Provide practical support.
  • Pool resources where possible.
  • Share information and data.
  • A more ‘one stop shop’ approach.
  • Improve signposting between local organizations.
  • Confront prejudices and perceptions.
  • Be more imaginative in approach.
  • Use existing resources and assets (for example, empty shops, vehicles, schools).
  • Look at approaches to flexible working.
  • Lobby national government where appropriate on policy and resources.


  • Focus on the prevention agenda.
  • Provide training on life and family skills.
  • Recognition of hidden / early stages of poverty.


  • Activity needs to be community-based.
  • Community ownership.
  • Trust and relationship building with communities.
  • Listen to communities.
  • Understand community needs.
  • Use the experience and knowledge of the community to support each other. 

A North East regional consultation with children on poverty issues identified the following priorities:

  • Relationships – family and friends were really important.
  • Housing – having somewhere nice to live.
  • Environment – poor quality surroundings, litter, graffiti, parks, open spaces.
  • Local amenities, shops were mainly fast food outlets, tanning shops, off licenses, betting shops, cash converters.
  • Transport – being able to get out and about cheaply and easily.
  • Entertainment – importance of TVs, computers, parks.
  • Crime – anti-social behaviour, drug issues.
  • Money – lack of money to have a quality of life, buy trainers, clothing etc.
  • Language associated with poverty – poor, poverty , all negative.
  • Stigma associated with poverty – free school meals, unable to go on school trips.
  • The role of brands in poverty – importance of giving the image of affluence, coping, managing, impact of bullying, peer pressure.


Last updated: 22/01/13

10. What additional needs assessment is required?

Teesside University is reviewing the extent to which anti-poverty recommendationas and initiatives are implemented locally.


Last updated: 22/01/13

Key contact

Name: Kate Fulton

Job title: Business Support and Improvement Manager

e-mail: kate.fulton@stockton.gov.uk

Phone number: 01642 526089



Local strategies and plans

Stockton-on-Tees Sustainable Community Strategy 2008-2021.

Tees Valley Unlimited Partnership Business Plan (2012).


National strategies and plans

Department for Education (2012). A New Approach to Child Poverty: Tackling the Causes of Disadvantage and Transforming Families' Lives.

HM Government (2011). Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers: A Strategy for Social Mobility.


Other references

Aldridge H, Kenway P, MacInnes T and Parekh A. (2012). Monitoring poverty and social exclusion 2012.

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG, 2011). English indices of deprivation 2010.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP, 2012a). Income Related Benefits: Estimates of Take-Up.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP, 2012b). Households below average income 2010/11.

Family and Parenting Institute (2012). The impact of austerity measures on households with children.

HM Government (2010). The Foundation Years: preventing poor children becoming poor adults.

HM Government (2011). Early Intervention: The Next Steps.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC, 2012a). Technical information for the revised local child poverty measure.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC, 2012b). Child poverty statistics.

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS, 2012). Inequality and poverty spreadsheet.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2011). Child and working-age poverty from 2010 to 2020.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2012). Monitoring poverty and social exclusion 2012.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2012b). The impact of employment changes on poverty in 2020.

Kempson, E and Collard, S (2012). Developing a vision for financial inclusion.

Marmot Review (2010). Fair Society, Healthy Lives.

Network of Public Health Observatories (2011). Health inequality indicators for local authorities and primary care organisations.

Nomis (2012). Labour market profile, November 2012.

Pensions Policy Institute (2011). The implications of Government policy for future levels of pensioner poverty.

Tees Valley Unlimited (2012). Area profiles.

The Trussell Trust (2012). UK Foodbanks project.

Work and Pensions Committee (2009). Tackling pensioner poverty.