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Monday, 18 February, 2002, 00:32 GMT
Scottish city is UK's 'most deprived'
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.

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

Glasgow's Ballieston area is also among the worst 10, along with three areas in London, and one in Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.

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

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
The list of the worst 10 areas appears in a new report carried out by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), 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.

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.

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

Radical campaign

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 personal and economic costs are real and increasing

Martin Barnes
CPAG director
A Scottish Executive spokeswoman said conditions in Scotland, particularly for children, had continued to improve in recent years.

"We are reversing the trends, prioritising children and putting the development of first class services for children and families as a priority," she said.

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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