Tower Hamlets leads UK children severe poverty figures

TOWER Hamlets has the UK’s joint highest proportion of children in severe poverty with more than a quarter living in deprivation.

The figures released by Save the Children show that the east London borough, along with Manchester has 27 per cent of children living below the poverty line.

Kids are forced to do without things their peers would take for granted, such as separate bedrooms or proper birthday celebrations.

“Children are going to sleep at night in homes with no heating, without eating a proper meal,” said Sally Copley, Save the Children’s head of policy, who said 1.6 million youngsters are affected nationwide.

“At the moment these children are hidden from official view and their plight unrecognised. If these children are to have a future, we must acknowledge their desperate need and urgently target government help towards them.”

The situation in Tower Hamlets is made worse by the fact there are areas of great wealth, including the business district of Canary Wharf.

Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman said great strides had been made in reducing child poverty, increasing numbers of young people in education, cutting teenage pregnancy rates and improving GCSE results.

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He added: ““We know only too well the impact that poverty can have on the lives of children; blighting their education, health and potentially harming their prospects of finding employment.

“But we are also proud of the great strides we have taken to address the problem here in Tower Hamlets. Together with our partners, we have tackled it head on and have actually seen the biggest reduction in the country.”