I read with interest the article on deprivation in Stoke-on-Trent which looked at the 2019 English Deprivation Indices. I agree we must make a concerted effort to make sure things have got better by the next report. However, unlike Cllr Funnell, who simply peddles the Labour Party line blaming austerity for everything, I believe we need to be honest and acknowledge that there have been deprived neighbourhoods for many years. Instead of playing political blame games he should know that the key is to address the challenges of education and health, tackling inequalities so that there are more opportunities for those who are currently struggling to get out of poverty.
I believe the best way to help is investment in skills to attract more employers to the local area, as well as to look at the bus services to help get people to the main areas of employment. Our Conservative led City Council is taking the right approach, and investments in health, education and infrastructure announced by the Government show the Conservatives have a plan both locally and nationally to help our most deprived communities.
I am optimistic because after decades of decline of our industrial heritage we see in the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone exciting new employment opportunities locally. We must make sure our young people are given the right skills to secure better jobs and a brighter future.