THE deputy leader of Thurrock Council has called on residents to make full use of council services as new figures indicate more than one in five children in the borough live in poverty.

Barbara Rice, a senior nurse and campaigner for better health care, said latest figures show 21.9 per cent of Thurrock children are technically in poverty.

Cllr Rice said: “This reflects the national picture which is totally unacceptable in today’s day and age. The situation is not helped when large local employers such as Tilbury Power Station and Petroplus are closed down.

”I urge residents to access services provided by Thurrock Council and Public Health.

“Last year 1,360 people stopped smoking with our smoking cessation services.”