IT is an accepted fact that poverty rates in the South West tend to be lower than the national picture but there are substantial pockets of rural poverty.

It’s also not a huge surprise that some urban areas face similar issues, Bournemouth and Plymouth being two that are particularly highlighted.

Parts of Boscombe were recently flagged up in a Bournemouth 2026 report as being the worst in the region for deprivation levels and that those levels were getting worse, not better.

Today, research by the charity 4Children reveals that many local authorities still do not have a child poverty strategy in place.

The report also criticises Bournemouth for apparently failing “to publish even a needs assessment.” As 4Children points out, councils should be doing all they can to fight child poverty.

A strategy is surely the basic starting point. Bournemouth is making its plan public next week.

Still, better late than never.