NEW figures show Glasgow communities are home to the worst child poverty in Scotland.

Four Glasgow City Council wards are in the five highest for child poverty across the country.

While the data shows 34% of children in the city in poverty, Scotland’s highest, in several council wards the problem is even more severe.

Calton, in the east end, is the highest in the country with 43% of children living in poverty, followed by Springburn at 42%.

Only Kirkcaldy East interrupts Glasgow’s domination of the top five, in third place with 40%.

Southside Central and Canal, in the north of Glasgow, are the others in fourth in fifth places.

Two of the lowest areas for child poverty are on the city’s doorstep. While Aberdeenshire is the lowest in mainland Scotland at 13%, East Dunbartonshire at 14.2 and East Renfrewshire at 14.5% have the second and third lowest levels.

Campaigners argue the wide variation shows the need for action from councils and the Scottish and UK Governments.

John Dickie, Director of Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland said:

“There’s no doubt that many of the key drivers of child poverty are UK wide and if the new Prime Minister is serious about supporting families then decisive action must be taken to end the freeze on children’s benefits and reverse sharp cuts to in-work support under Universal Credit.”

The Scottish Government now has power of many social security benefits and it is hoped that those will be used to ease poverty.

Mr Dickie added: “Local authorities and their partners know their communities and are in a great position to work with local people to prevent poverty. Many are already doing important work to make sure local childcare, housing and employability policies are working for low income families.

“The new Scottish child poverty legislation must now be drafted so as to ensure all local authorities are supported in law to take a strategic approach, and that all levels of government are pulling in the same direction towards a Scotland free from child poverty.”

Campaigners also argue efforts need to be targeted at local solutions to help those most in need.

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said: “This is an unnecessary situation and one that requires urgent attention.

“The forthcoming Scottish Child Poverty Bill and the Social-Economic Duty should begin to focus more action on the way that we support people at the local level.”