SOAP operas and daytime television should be banned in a bid to get parents to spend more time talking to their children.

That was just one of the measures discussed as Flintshire’s social and health scrutiny committee met at County Hall yesterday.

Councillors said interacting more with children is part of the solution to poverty and disadvantage in the county and a better standard of education would also help to tackle crime and unemployment.

Holywell central councillor Peter Curtis told the meeting: “Parents don’t talk to their children anymore.

“Ban EastEnders and Coronation Street and Emmerdale and daytime television then parents will have no choice but to interact with their children.”

Flint Trelawny councillor Trefor Howarth added: “Poverty is a massive problem.
“We see them all with their parents in the supermarkets and they don’t have the social skills for talking and listening.

“The coastal strip from Queensferry throught to Flint and Holywell is clearly a deprived area.

“If they don’t have a job they are on the streets causing mayhem and we have to suffer them for the rest of our days. One aspect we can have a go at is education.”

A group, including Public Health Wales and the Local Service Board, has been asked to look at how to reduce poverty in Flintshire.

Plans include promoting welfare benefits, increasing job opportunities, making work more accessble for disabled people and improving childcare provision.

Members also agreed that a quality education would go some way to reducing poverty but said it was not the entire solution.

Llanfynydd councillor Hilary Isherwood said: “A lot of people can be poor and still educated to a good standard. There is nothing to say that being poor means that you’re not clever.

“The worst thing we can do is have a nanny state which says you can’t go any further because you have a poor background.”

Cllr Curtis added: “I left school with no qualifications and ended up well-travelled and a representative for this council.

“Just because you’re poor it doesn’t mean you will end up on the scrapheap.”