The side of Cornwall world leaders won't see at G7 Summit this week - its widespread poverty

The G7 leaders are gathering in Cornwall - but many people say the county has hidden problems. Credit: PA

World leaders gathering for the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay are seeing a picture postcard image of Cornwall - but for many people living in the county, that is not the reality.

Charities and campaigners say it is 'obscene' that Presidents and Prime Ministers will not see some of the real issues affecting people while they are here.

A growing housing crisis, low wages and child poverty are all issues they say blight the county.

ITV News West Country reporter Sam Blackledge spoke to some of the people helping those who really need it...

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Babs Rounsevell runs the CHAOS group which is based near Truro.

She said: "We've got a lot of inequality, just the same of the rest of the country.

"There are areas of real deprivation. Jobs, good wages, housing - housing is a massive one in Cornwall. There's no bus transport and what there is, it's not the right time for work. Most people don't have cars - you need all this different infrastructure to really have thriving communities.

Babs runs the CHAOS Cornwall group Credit: ITV News

"I would like Boris Johnson to really connect with some of the local people - not the people who are lined up for him to speak to.

"He goes to these areas but he doesn't really see the ones that he needs to speak to. He needs to speak to the people on the ground, go around with them, understand what their problems are - see if he'd like to live in the same areas."

Don Gardner, from the Camborne, Pool and Redruth food bank, said child poverty is a massive issue in the county.

"When you get a child who doesn't have any breakfast, there's no money in the school to actually provide the breakfast club," he said.

Don runs the Camborne, Pool and Redruth food bank Credit: ITV News

"We are seven miles from Carbis Bay and there are parents who cannot afford to take their children to the beach. That is the stark reality of the deprivation in Camborne, Pool and Redruth."

Deborah Hopkins, regional officer for the Unite union, said Cornwall's poverty stands in stark contrast to the wealth of the world leaders.

"The poorest areas in the country and in the world cannot climb their way out of a post-Covid collapse in isolation," she said.

"We have a Government coming to G7 to stand on a global platform and talk about global recovery and global vaccinations, but the area it has chosen to have its conference is the poorest place in northern Europe. It is almost obscene."

Catrina's book 'Homesick' explored the housing crisis Credit: ITV News

Author and musician Catrina Davies, whose debut book 'Homesick' explored the housing crisis in the region, said: "I feel angry and sad about the contrast between the narrative that is still being peddled about Cornwall and the reality.

"I know people who have been kicked out of their houses with their children because people want to sell up or rent out their houses to tourists and there is nowhere for locals to go anymore. It has become untenable as a situation.

"We need to think about what kind of future we want. The G7 is like a piece of theatre. What Cornwall needs is proper investment in the future. We need a plan that helps local people to live here, because people do live here."

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