LINKS between poverty and ill-health have been examined in a new report by by North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant’s analysis of poverty from a public health perspective argues that despite the changes that have taken place “there is still a striking similarity between poverty in the past and poverty today – they are still largely due to unemployment and low household income.”

The 2019 Annual Report is called “Life in times of change – health and hardship in North Yorkshire”.

It examines the perceptions and reality of poverty in a historic context, from the days of the workhouse through the birth and growth of the welfare state, and identifies those areas of North Yorkshire where the impacts of poverty are seen today.

Most recent estimates suggest about 92,000 people in the county fall into the government’s definition of poverty.

Although at 15 per cent of the population this is considerably lower than the England average, it is a poverty that can be hidden from view; where people live with the challenges of poverty among less disadvantaged neighbours.

Dr Sargeant also notes the “re-emergence of destitution”, the growth in food banks and the rise of in-work poverty.

He said: “I believe we can make lasting change if we focus on people and places simultaneously, and my report makes recommendations for actions that we can take across our county to meet the challenges of poverty.

"It also highlights the support that North Yorkshire County Council with the district and borough councils, working alongside partner organisations, can deliver to help people in those areas from the worst effects of poverty.”

The report’s recommendations set out how all sectors should work together with communities and individuals to tackle poverty across the county.

Steps include developing a strategy for rural poverty, working with the MOD to help veterans re-integrate and undertaking a childhood poverty needs assessment.