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Monday, 18 February, 2002, 00:34 GMT
UK's 'most deprived' areas named
Sighthill flats
Glasgow has the three most deprived areas
The three most deprived areas in the United Kingdom are all in Scotland's largest city, according to a new study carried out by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).

The Glasgow parliamentary constituencies of Shettleston, Springburn and Maryhill come bottom of a survey of the worst poverty and social deprivation in Britain.

Areas in London also dominate the league, with Hackney South/Shoreditch, Camberwell and Peckham and Bethnal Green and Bow being the poorest.

The poverty of today is often forced behind closed doors - driven there by stigma, isolation and embarrassment

Martin Barnes
CPAG director

The other worst poverty areas in the UK are Birmingham Ladywood, Manchester Central, and Liverpool Riverside.

The table was put together according to a United Nations rating system taking account of life expectancy, unemployment, incomes and rates of illiteracy.

The list of the worst 10 areas appears in a new report, which the authors said highlighted the need for government to step up its efforts to do more to tackle poverty.

The study, Poverty: The Facts, also showed that Scotland had a higher proportion of hypothermia cases and winter deaths during the coldest months of the year than England and Wales.

Radical campaign

It reveals 29% of children in Scotland live in low-income families, while an estimated 750,000 Scottish households are unable to afford adequate warmth in the home.

CPAG said major causes of such poverty north of the border were unemployment and economic activity, mainly due to the erosion of manufacturing industries over the last 20 years.

CPAG director Martin Barnes said the government's pledge to eradicate child poverty had not gone far enough.

The 10 poorest British parliamentary constituencies
1) Glasgow Shettleston
2) Glasgow Springburn
3) Glasgow Maryhill
4) Birmingham Ladywood
5) Manchester Central
6) Camberwell and Peckham
7) Glasgow Baillieston
8) Liverpool Riverside
9) Hackney South/Shoreditch
10) Bethnal Green and Bow
There remained a widely-held view that poverty was not a serious problem, he said, adding: "The poverty of today is often forced behind closed doors - driven there by stigma, isolation and embarrassment.

"The personal and economic costs are real and increasing, but instead of outrage and urgency, there is widespread indifference or complacency.

"The government's pledge to eradicate child poverty is welcome but must be matched with a more radical campaign to win hearts and minds."

The new report also highlighted the fact that rural poverty was now more dispersed than previously, something it said was reinforced by a mistaken belief that poverty was an urban problem.

The new study also said that although the UK had the fourth largest economy in the world, almost a quarter of the population - more than 13 million people - lived in income poverty.

Research showed that four million children now live in poverty in the UK, compared with 1.4 million in 1979.

The report also said the wealth divide was greater than ever before, with one in 10 people having no financial assets at all.

The wealthiest 1% owned four times as much as the combined wealth of half the population (28 million people), it added.

See also:

11 May 01 | Health
Poverty raises heart attack risk
22 Mar 01 | Scotland
Westminster debates Scots poverty
02 Dec 99 | Scotland
Glasgow: Bad for your health?
28 May 99 | Business
Report highlights urban jobs crisis
19 Nov 99 | Scotland
Parliament ponders Royal High flit
16 Sep 99 | Scotland
Glasgow wins child surgery bid
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