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March 8, 2009 11:16 AM

News that Lib Dem controlled Newcastle City Council has been identified as one of the three best in the country at addressing child poverty by the Government has been welcomed by Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman for Newcastle East Greg Stone.

The city council has been praised by the Government for its joined up approach to tackling and reducing child poverty in the city as "being among the top performers in the field, setting the standard for innovation, service excellence, and improvement", and the Government has named Newcastle as one of three "Beacon Councils" for addressing child poverty.

Greg Stone, who was interviewed by Government inspectors as part of the assessment process, said: "The council's efforts in providing a huge range of support for families through schools and Children's Centres, improving achievement at schools, and reducing the rates of young people not in education faster than elsewhere in the country have received deserved recognition.

"By targeting poverty and disadvantage through assisting parents into work, as well as driving up educational attainment in schools, the Lib Dem administration is seeing considerable success in reducing child poverty in Newcastle.

"Child poverty is still a very pressing issue in parts of Newcastle East. Although the Labour Government's stated pledge of halving child poverty by 2010 looks unlikely to be met nationally, I am determined to ensure the council and its partners continue to succeed on this issue locally."