In his 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.

This topic is most closely associated with:

Last updated: 2016-02-01 11:44:10
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1. What are the key issues?

The impact of welfare reform.

Money management and debt.

Worklessness and employment opportunities.

Educational attainment including money management skills.


Last updated: 01/02/16

2. What commissioning priorites are recommended?

Ensure residents are fully informed about ongoing changes to welfare and have access to robust benefit and entitlement advice
. This includes access to wider services from the voluntary sector including e.g. foodbanks.  Flexible support needs to be available for those both in and out of work in order to maximise entitlement.

Ensure residents are able to take up money management and debt advice
. Accessible money advice services are needed to support residents to tackle escalating debt and to understand how to prioritise their spending. Children and young people need to be educated in money management.

Ensure that all unemployed and economically inactive adults have greater access to employment and training initiatives
, ensuring initiatives already in place are well promoted and accessible to all (e.g. FamilyWise).  This will require a partnership approach to develop bespoke programmes that will meet the needs of residents.

Close the gap in educational attainment
between disadvantaged children and other children.

Create Intermediate Labour Market programmes with employers who understand the challenges faced by the long term unemployed.

2012/01 - replaced by 2015/01 and 2015/02
Ensure residents have access to finance and benefits advice.

2012/02 - replaced by 2015/03
Ensure that all unemployed and economically inactive adults have greater access to employment and training initiatives.  This will require employment and training providers to work closer together to develop bespoke programmes that will help adults overcome barriers to employment.

2012/03 - remains a priority , now 2015/04 
Close the gap in educational attainment between disadvantaged children and other children.

2012/04- replaced by 2015/03
Raise awareness of existing employability programmes, such as FamilyWise.

2012/05- replaced by 2015/05
Create Intermediate Labour Market (ILM) programmes for the long-term unemployed by all partners pooling resources.


Last updated: 01/02/16

3. Who is at risk and why?

Relative poverty has fallen between 1997 and 2012 from 17% to 15% before housing costs (HBAI, 2014).

The oldest members of the population are amongst the lowest numbers of people living in poverty and children are amongst the highest.

An analysis of the impact of Welfare Reform in the North East suggests that around £380m will be lost as a result of the benefit cap, changes to disability related benefits, council tax benefit and housing in the social sector (ANEC, 2013).

There are insufficient job vacancies available to meet demand. 

1 in 6 pensioners currently live in poverty with a drop of 6 percentage points in the past five years – this is the biggest fall in poverty across all age groups in the last decade (HBAI, 2012).  

For the first time ever there are now more children living in poverty in working than workless households. This equates to 3.7 million children living in poverty of which 1.4 million are in a workless household (End Child Poverty, 2013).

The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) predicts a growth in child poverty of 400,000 between 2011 and 2015 with a total of 800,000 children by 2020.  If the Benefits Uprating Bill currently being debated in Parliament goes through, a further 200,000 children will be affected. On average this equates to 1 in 5 children in the UK (20.2%).  Furthermore, the IFS estimates that one in five (20.2%) UK children grow up in relative poverty (household income below 60% of the median before housing costs) compared with 15% of the general population (IFS, 2011).

Male unemployment is 6.0% compared to 3.0% for females. Female full-time workers are paid less than their male counterparts - £410.60 per week for women compared with £517.60 for men (NOMIS, 2014).

Women continue to be the largest proportion of lone parents (92%) and more than 60% work (Gingerbread, 2014). 

Socioeconomic status
Households often reach crisis point before taking action to address their money issues and debt. Despite this money advice service providers advise they are struggling to cope with demand.  When the cost of day to day essentials outstrips benefits and low-paid wages households turn to high cost lenders to make ends meet.    

There are significant differences in the proportion of people in poverty by ethnic group with the poverty rate consistently lower amongst white people. Over the last three years the average poverty rate was at least double for all other ethnic groups ranging from 38% for Black/ British to 42% for ‘Other’ groups (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2013).

Family size
Couple households and those without children are the least likely to be in poverty.  Single parent families have the highest poverty rates of 54% for those aged 16-34 and 40% for those aged 35-64.  Younger couples with children also had a higher poverty rate at 30% than older couples with children at 20% (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 20143).

Other risks
In 2013/14 more than 913,000 people in the UK were helped by Trussell Trust food banks compared to 346,000 in 2012/3. Sanctioning of DWP benefits accounts for 83% of foodbank referrals.


Last updated: 01/02/16

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

Between 2004 and 2010, Hartlepool became slightly less deprived relative to other local authority areas in England.  However, between 2010 and 2015, it became relatively more deprived, falling from 24th to 18th most deprived local authroity in England. Hartlepool continues to have areas containing high numbers of people living in poverty.  Relative deprivation seems to have improved particularly for older people.

The English Indices of Deprivation 2015 (ID 2015) show Hartlepool is the 18th most deprived of 326 local authority areas in England (DCLG, 2015).  In 2010 it was the 24th most deprived.

ID 2015 measures deprivation at lower super output area (LSOA) level.  There are 58 LSOAs in Hartlepool, 25 of which (43%) are in the most deprived quintile in England.  Nineteen LSOAs (with a combined population of 31,100) are in the most deprived 10% of LSOAs in England and 3 of these (population 4,200) are in the most deprived 1% in England.

The most deprived areas in Hartlepool, 2015

LSOA code


Ward where LSOA located



Hartlepool 002F

Headland and Harbour



Hartlepool 005A




Hartlepool 007E

Headland and Harbour


Source: ID 2015


Hartlepool IMD 2015 by LSOA

The health inequalities indicator for local authorities shows that life expectancy for the most deprived in Hartlepool is lower than for the least deprived.  For men, the difference is 12.3 years and for women it is 8.2 years. The differences in England are 7.7 and 5.6 years respectively.  The differences between most and least deprived groups in Hartlepool are the 16th largest in England for men and 46th largest for women (of 351 local authority areas).  In Barrow-in-Furness (a similar area) the differences are 9.6 years for men and 6.8 years for women (Network of Public Health Observatories, 2011).

Hartlepool 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 Hartlepool, 6,200 (21.9%) children are growing up in poverty by this measure (HMRC, 2012b).  There are eight LSOAs in Hartlepool where more than half of all children are growing up in poverty.

Areas where more than half of children are in poverty, Hartlepool, 2010

LSOA code


Ward where LSOA located

Children in poverty


Hartlepool 005A

Grange and Stranton

 185 (58.8%)


Hartlepool 003D

Dyke House

 165 (58.0%)


Hartlepool 005B


 150 (57.4%)


Hartlepool 003B

Dyke House

 215 (55.5%)


Hartlepool 002B


 305 (54.6%)


Hartlepool 007D


 290 (54.4%)


Hartlepool 012C


 275 (50.4%)


Hartlepool 012D


 210 (50.1%)

Source: HMRC


Hartlepool child poverty indicator by LSOA 2010

The Indices of Deprivation 2010 contains an Income Deprivation Affecting Children Indicator (IDACI) for LSOAs (DCLG, 2011).  In Hartlepool, one LSOA is in the most deprived 1% in England, namely E01011999 in Stranton ward, and an additional 19 LSOAs are in the most deprived 10% in England by this measure (20 of 58 LSOAs, 34%).

The proportion of children eligible for free school meals varies from 5 to 6% in Rural West and Hart wards to over 40% in De Bruce and Headland & Harbour wards (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.

Hartlepool educational attainment and disadvantage, 2012

Working age adults
In Hartlepool, there are about 4,700 people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), 8.0% of the working age population (November 2012).  This compares with 3.8% in Great Britain (Nomis, 2012).

In November 2012 there were 1,740 people in Hartlepool who had been claiming JSA for more than 1 year.  For 18-24 year-olds, the rate was 4.9% compared with 3.0% of the working age population and 1.7% of people aged 50-64 years (Nomis, 2012).

In April 2012, there were seven LSOAs in Hartlepool where more than 15% of the working age population claimed JSA.  This compared with a Hartlepool average of 8.0%, 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, Hartlepool, April 2012

LSOA code


Ward where LSOA located

JSA Claimants


Hartlepool 005A

Grange; and Stranton

174 (21.2%)


Hartlepool 008A

Burn Valley

195 (18.7%)


Hartlepool 007E


145 (17.5%)


Hartlepool 003D

Dyke House

109 (16.9%)


Hartlepool 012D


147 (16.2%)


Hartlepool 007D


171 (15.7%)


Hartlepool 008D

Foggy Furze

179 (15.1%)

Source: www.nomisweb.co.uk


Hartlepool JSA claimants April 2012

Older people
In Hartlepool, 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 58 LSOAs (31%) are in the most deprived 10% of LSOAs in England for this indicator – three times the number expected.

Hartlepool IDAOPI 2010 LSOAs

Additional details can be found in the poverty chapter from Hartlepool JSNA 2010.


Last updated: 01/02/16

5. What services are currently provided?

Hartlepool is a small town where services are effectively delivered in partnership with the public, private and voluntary sectors.

The council’s First Contact and Support Hub offers information, advice and guidance to children, young people, their families, vulnerable adults and the services that work with them.  Specialist support includes access to early intervention and social care, advising on the impact of welfare reform, maximising benefits and entitlement and referring to support services throughout the voluntary and independent sectors.

Hartlepool makes full use of national services such as The Work Programme, Work Trials and Community Work Placements.  Some examples of services currently provided locally include:

Training, Volunteering and Employment:

  • Adult Education
  • Family Wise (DWP Families with Multiple Problems)
  • Tees Valley Jobs and Skills Investment Scheme
  • Think Families Think Communities (DCLG Troubled Families)
  • Youth Engagement and Support Project

Money Matters:

  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Food Connect (Food Bank)
  • Money Wise Community Bank – Credit Union
  • Trussell Trust Food Bank
  • West View Advice and Resource Centre

Family Support:

  • Changing Futures
  • Hartlepool Families First

Specialist Services:

  • Hartlepool Carers
  • Hartlepool MIND
  • Hyped


Last updated: 01/02/16

6. What is the projected level of need?

Child poverty - The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) predicts a growth in child poverty of 400,000 between 2011 and 2015 with a total of 800,000 children by 2020.  If the Benefits Uprating Bill currently being debated in Parliament goes through, a further 200,000 children will be affected. On average this equates to 1 in 5 children in the UK (20.2%) and 1 in 3 in Hartlepool (33%).  Furthermore, the IFS estimates that one in five (20.2%) UK children grow up in relative poverty (household income below 60% of the median before housing costs) compared with 15% of the general population (IFS, 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 to fall 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 Hartlepool may not change significantly.

The phased introduction of Universal Credit from April 2014 is expected to lessen the impact of austerity measures on low-income, working age families compared to others.  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). The universal credit system does not give people any more money if they are out of work, and in many cases, such as for some under 25s, most disabled children and severely disabled adults, it allows less to live on. Even in work, some groups may be worse off, or find incentives are not so generous, when compared to the various threads of the ‘old system’ (Child Poverty Action Group, 2013).

UK levels of personal debt continue to rise with the average amount owed per UK adult (including mortgages) of £28,674.  Average consumer borrowing (including credit cards, motor and retail finance deals, overdrafts and unsecured loans) per UK adult is £3204. Debt is the second largest enquiry for Citizen Advice Bureaux (behind benefits advice).  28,900 properties were take into possession in 2013 with 278,355 mortgage accounts in arrears.24,282 individual insolvencies were agreed in 2013 (The Money Charity, 2014).


Last updated: 01/02/16

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 Hartlepool is similar, and that Hartlepool has 0.152% of the population of Great Britain, the number of people not claiming benefits can be estimated.

Estimated take up of income-related benefits, Hartlepool, 2009/10


Estimated take-up (Great Britain)

Estimated number of people with unclaimed benefits in Hartlepool

Income Support and Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)


400 to 900

Pension Credit


1,800 to 2,400

Housing Benefit (including Local Housing Allowance)


1,100 to 1,700

Council Tax Benefit


3,600 to 4,900

Jobseeker's Allowance (Income-based)


700 to 900

Source: DWP, 2012a


Recent changes to benefits and entitlements as a result of welfare reform may further affect the number of unclaimed benefits. However, the introduction of Universal Credit (currently still being tested in pilot areas) is expected to bring about ‘a radical new approach’ and will be assessed according to circumstances over a calendar month. It is designed for those both in and out of work.  When fully operational more people could take up entitlement than ever before however full roll out of the programme is not expected to be in place until at least 2020.  In the mean time 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.  Trussell Trust Foodbank in Hartlepool is providing more than 300 parcels a month to individuals and families in need. Benefit delays, Benefit Changes and generally living on a low income are the three most common reasons for referral (The Trussell Trust, 2014).

Employment needs
In Hartlepool job density (the ratio of number of jobs in an area compared with the working age population) is 0.52 jobs per working age adult compared to 0.78 in Great Britain (NOMIS, 2014), indicating that there are fewer jobs available in Hartlepool compared to Great Britain as a whole.


Last updated: 01/02/16

8. What evidence is there for effective intervention?

End Child Poverty
A coalition of over 100 charities committed to ending child poverty in the UK, End Child Poverty believes that action needs to be taken at a local, regional and national level both to embed the principles of the Child Poverty Act and to end child poverty by 2020. Actions at a local level include:

  • Protect families with children in decisions about local benefits
  • Undertake a strategic needs assessment of child poverty in their local area
  • Ensure child poverty is a strategic priority for the Health and Wellbeing Board

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: 01/02/16

9. What do people say?

Poverty Ends Now (PEN)
A team of young people from the region have created a manifesto to end child poverty. Children from some of the most deprived parts of the North have drawn up a manifesto to launch in Parliament on October 15th 2014. This includes:

  • Every family in Britain should meet a minimum standard of living, not just surviving
  • An equal school experience for all
  • Affordable, decent homes for everyone
  • Every young person should have access to three affordable, healthy meals a day
  • For all to feel and be safe within their communities and at home
  • Make sure all young people have affordable transport everywhere

Children North East (CNE)
Children North East worked with four regional schools to look at ways to eliminate poverty in school. Children and young people experiencing poverty consistently told CNE that they felt discriminated against during the school day.  For example they couldn’t afford to go on school trips; were made to stand out because of the way Free School Meals were administered and found the costs of uniforms and resources a strain.  Tangible action against poverty could be taken if more focus was placed on the school day.


Last updated: 01/02/16

10. What additional needs assessment is required?

Whilst the Child Poverty Strategy and Action Plan have been refreshed, the local Needs Assessment needs to be reviewed and updated.

The impact of welfare reform, and in particular Universal Credit, needs to be understood locally and actions put in place to mitigate negative effects.

A thorough understanding of money management issues and levels of debt are needed at a local level in order to inform the commissioning of appropriate services.


Last updated: 01/02/16

Key contact

Nsme: Penny Thompson

Job title: Advice and Guidance Hub Manager

e-mail: penny.thompson@hartlepool.gov.uk

Phone number: (01429) 284878



Local strategies and plans

Hartlepool child poverty strategy 2011-2015.

Hartlepool child poverty needs assessment (2012).

Hartlepool child poverty action plan (2013).


National strategies and plans


Department for Education (2014), Child Poverty Strategy 2014-17

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.