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REVEALED: The areas of Bolton where more than half of children live in poverty

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Four wards in the borough are seeing child poverty levels of over 50%, according to data released by The End Child Poverty coalition.

The coalition is concerned that these levels will increase further due to the coronavirus crisis and is urging the Government to take action against child poverty.

Great Lever experiences the highest levels of child poverty, with 55% of children living in poverty.

Rumworth comes in second with 51.9% of children growing up in poverty.

Meanwhile, Halliwell and Harper Green wards both have the same levels of child poverty at 50.3%.

These figures are after housing costs are taken into account, factoring in any rent or mortgage payments parents are making.

Anna Feuchtwang, chair of End Child Poverty and Chief Executive of the National Children's Bureau, said: "We may all be experiencing the storm of Coronavirus together, but we are not all in the same boat.

"The government’s data shows the extent to which over the past four years, children in low income families have been cut adrift and are already experiencing unacceptable hardship through cuts and freezes to the benefits system.

"Our country’s children are now at severe risk of being swept deeper into poverty as a result of the pandemic and lockdown.

"This is why we are asking the government to strengthen the social security system which is there to hold us steady during tough times, by immediately increasing household income for those least well-off.

"Ending child poverty must be at the heart of the Government’s plan for economic recovery, so that when this crisis is over all children can enjoy a life free from poverty in which they are healthy, can thrive at school and have opportunities for the future."

The issue of child poverty has come under speculation thanks to Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford's successful campaign calling for the Government to continue the free school meal scheme through the summer.

While publicising his campaign on social media, Marcus tweeted about the town's poverty figures. He said: "There are two postcodes in the Bolton South East constituency that have the level of child poverty at over 50% according to Child Poverty Action Group." The tweet received over 44,000 likes.

Sue Haworth, councillor for Harper Green ward, said: "Thank you to footballer Marcus Rashford for tweeting about Bolton South East postcodes that have child poverty levels above 50%.

"Areas of Harper Green ward are part of those postcodes and it makes a real difference to have hardship here mentioned in this national campaign to prevent children going hungry this Summer.

"These figures show that this ward has just over 50% of children in poverty.

"These are children at times going hungry, missing out on school trips and they are often unable to enjoy activities and opportunities that better-off peers are more able to do.

"Low incomes, job insecurity and some unfair welfare benefit cuts that are arbitrary and not thought through well by the Government, have had considerable impacts in Harper Green over these last years.

"I want to assist everyone in the ward to get the help that is available in Farnworth and Bolton such as the Council Humanitarian response for people experiencing financial hardship or food poverty."


Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Shameful in this day and age! My old stomping ground of Halliwell high up on the list which isn't a surprise to be honest.

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