Latest figures show that more than a third of children in the London Borough of Enfield are living on an income below the poverty line in a household dependent on benefits.
More than 21,000 children in the borough have parents living on benefits, with an extra 2,760 people having started claiming benefits in the last year. A total of more than 32,000 people in Enfield are claiming out of work benefits – almost a fifth of the borough’s population over the working age of 16.
These figures are more significant when it is taken into account that the western half of the borough is an area of some affluence.
Eastern Enfield, site of the recent successful occupation of the Visteon motor parts plant, used to be an area of much industry, based historically on the transport links provided by the River Lea and later by railways. Edmonton, for example, was one of the centres of furniture manufacture.
Most of that industry has disappeared long before the current recession. Also an unprecedented increase of foreign immigration in the last few years has swollen the local population.