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New figures show depth of Westminster's child poverty crisis

PUBLISHED: 12:31 31 January 2007 | UPDATED: 14:26 07 September 2010

Ed Thomas CHILDREN in parts of Westminster are among the most deprived in the country, new figures reveal. Research compiled by leading charities shows the Regent s Park and Kensington North constituency is the ninth worst in the country for levels of chi

Ed Thomas

CHILDREN in parts of Westminster are among the most deprived in the country, new figures reveal.

Research compiled by leading charities shows the Regent's Park and Kensington North constituency is the ninth worst in the country for levels of child poverty.

The report, drawn up by Save the Children and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, shows 45.2 per cent of children in the area are living in poverty.

This puts the area on a par with the most deprived parts of Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and other parts of London.

Karen Buck, MP for Regent's Park and Kensington North, has vowed to do everything in her power to take the area out of this "list of shame", but claims Westminster and Kensington councils need to do more.

"The government has provided substantial investment in the form of Neighbourhood Renewal Grants, Sure Start and new schools, but the Conservative-dominated councils have not only failed to meet their side of the bargain but have frequently used the opportunity presented by additional government grants to reduce their own contribution," she said.

"These figures must act as a wake-up call to Conservatives in Westminster and Kensington."

On a national level, about 25 per cent of children are in families living in poverty, defined as earning less than 60 per cent of the national median income.

Worst of all is central Manchester, with 54.3 per cent of children in poverty. In London, Poplar and Canning Town is the worst constituency (48.6 per cent) followed by Tottenham (48 per cent), Hackney South and Shoreditch (47.5 per cent), Islington South and Finsbury (47.1 per cent) and Bethnal Green and Bow (46.3 per cent).

A spokesman for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea said: "Some people will be surprised to find that Kensington and Chelsea has significant levels of child poverty.

"We have put in place many services and initiatives to address this. We are keen to explore with the London Child Poverty Commission what more can be done by all of us to improve the life chances of families with children.

"The council's vision for families is one of strong families at the heart of strong communities, and urges the Government to further develop policies that support this vision."

ed.thomas@wood-vale.com

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