ESTIMATES reveal up to 92,000 people, around 15 per cent of the population, are living in poverty in what is regarded as one of the most affluent county's in the North according to a new report.

North Yorkshire's Director of Public Health Dr Lincoln Sargeant says in the report which sets out the link between poverty and public health there is a striking similarity between poverty in the past and today and is largely due to unemployment and low household incomes.

The Director said most recent estimates suggest about 15 per cent of the county's population fall into the government's definition of poverty. He says this is considerably lower than the average across England, but that in North Yorkshire it is a poverty that can be hidden, with people living with the challenges of poverty among less disadvantaged neighbours. He highlights the"re-emergence of destitution", the growth in food banks and the rise of in-work poverty.

Dr Sargeant is making a series of recommendations setting out how all sectors should work together with communities and individuals to tackle poverty. He urges the development of a strategy to tackle the effects in rural communities, undertaking a childhood poverty needs assessment to combat long standing inequalities in health and education. He is urging the authority to work with the Ministry of Defence to support veterans; help people living with complex problems and assess the impact of benefit changes on mental and physical health.

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. 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.

"This report is intended to be hard-hitting and thought provoking and I hope it will inspire people to come together and develop actions that will make a difference to people’s lives in tackling the great evil of poverty."