New Census data suggests that six of Wales’ most deprived communities are in the capital. Struggling households no longer just appear in areas long associated with poverty, urging that policies focus on people instead of places.
Residents in Cardiff are having to eat pet food and attempting to heat food on radiators or candles, due to the cost of living crisis.
Mark Seed, who runs a community food project in Trowbridge, East Cardiff, has seen first-hand how the crisis has impacted residents of what he expressed to be an ‘arc of poverty’ with endemic issues in the capital.
Mr Seed has used the cost-of-living crisis to demonstrate the cause for residents turning to such means. People are not paid enough to afford essentials from the supermarket due to prices being pushed dramatically upwards ‘so that everyone is squeezed or they just can’t afford it.’
Mr Seed’s community food project, Trowbridge Pantry, offers quality food for as little as £5 for a basket to more than 160 households. The project is currently making a difference within the community that has the most households in deprivation in Wales.
Anti-poverty charity The Bevan Foundation leader, Dr Victoria Winckler, warns that the figures dispute ‘the stereotype…that Cardiff is prosperous and the Valleys are poor.’ The EU gave extra funds to west Wales and the Valleys, excluding Cardiff as it was considered ‘not deprived’.
“You’ve got pockets of Cardiff that are prosperous, yes but also quite significant areas of Cardiff where people aren’t doing so well.
“It matters because the stereotypes or the broad-brush figures shape what governments and local authorities do,” Dr Winckler said.
“Buildings go up, the economy flourishes and firms move here – but there’s a gap and we’re trying to close it,” Mr Seed commented.
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