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Tower Hamlets top for child poverty

A "child poverty map" has exposed the UK's most stricken areas, as campaigners warned that targeting Government cuts at families would lead to an "economic and a social disaster".

The Campaign to End Child Poverty named Tower Hamlets in London as the local authority worst affected, with more than half (52%) of children there living in poverty, compared with the UK average of one in five.

London features heavily among the UK's most deprived areas, with Islington, Hackney, Westminster and Camden all making the top 10 compilation of local authority areas enduring the biggest proportions of child poverty.

At least four in 10 children are in poverty in 19 parliamentary constituencies, the report found, while "serious concentrations" of deprivation were revealed at an even more local level, with between 50-70% of children facing poverty in 100 local wards.

Bethnal Green and Bow was named as the worst parliamentary constituency for child poverty - while Prime Minster David Cameron's Witney constituency and Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg's Sheffield Hallam constituency made the top 20 lowest child poverty levels list.

The report said 89 constituencies already meet the Government's headline target for 2020 by having child poverty rates of 10% or lower.

Campaign executive director Alison Garnham said: "The child poverty map paints a stark picture of a socially segregated Britain where the life chances of millions of children are damaged by poverty and inequality.

"But it also gives us reason for hope. The child poverty target has already been met in the Prime Minister's constituency and nearly a hundred others, so never let it be said that the targets are impossible to meet. If we can do it in Witney today, we can do it in Hackney tomorrow."

Ms Garnham continued: "Child poverty costs us billions picking up the pieces of damaged lives and unrealised potential, so it's a false economy if we don't prioritise looking after children today.

"Targeting cuts on families will prove both an economic and a social disaster, with businesses losing billions of pounds of demand and families struggling to keep their kids clothed, fed and warm."

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