According to a new report by the End Child Poverty Campaign – a coalition of more than 100 charities committed to wiping out child poverty in the UK – many youngsters are living in families struggling to make ends meet.

The report, providing regional maps of child poverty, lays bare the stark reality of the scale of the problem in this country.

Campaign chairman Enver Solomon says: “The child poverty map reveals the depth and breadth of child poverty across the country, showing the gross levels of inequality that children face in every region.

“There are still far too many children whose parents are struggling to make a living and are having to go hungry and miss out on the essentials of a decent childhood that all young people should be entitled to.

“In Yorkshire and the Humber, the huge disparities that exist across the region are becoming more entrenched and are now an enduring reality as many more children are set to become trapped in long-term poverty and disadvantage.”

He adds: “Local authorities are having to deal with reduced budgets but they have critical decisions to make. We’re calling on authorities to prioritise low-income families in the decisions they make about local welfare spending, including spending on the new council tax benefit, and on protecting families hit by the bedroom tax.

“The Government must also closely examine its current strategy for reducing poverty and consider what more it could do to ensure millions of children’s lives are not blighted by the corrosive impact that poverty has on their daily existence.”

Councillor Ralph Berry, Bradford Council’s executive member for children’s services, says: “One of the big issues in Bradford is so many families are ‘working poor’ and that is significantly affecting the child poverty scenario,” he says.

“I think we are facing a whole world of pain in the next two years. We saw 7,000 children move school in Bradford last year, and that is largely linked to insecure housing tenure – more people having to go into the private sector.”

Coun Berry says switching schools can affect youngsters’ academic performance, and living in inadequate, over-crowded housing can affect their emotional and social wellbeing.

He says Bradford Council is already working to address many of the issues. “We are trying to do as much as we can – trying to roll out credit unions to take out the loan shark situation, providing good quality school meals,” he says.

The Bishop of Bradford, the Right Reverend Nick Baines, called child poverty “a scandal”.

“Child poverty does not just make life a bit miserable for a child now – it affects the whole of their life, their physical growth, their education, aspiration and life opportunities. This is bad for children, families, schools and society. And it is a scandal in a so-called civilised society,” he says.

“We must ask serious questions about our priorities and government ministers must be made aware of the human consequences of policies made behind desks.”

Anne Marie Carrie, chief executive of children’s charity Barnardo’s, says: “The statistics mask the individual stories of millions of children, whose life chances are being compromised by our nation’s failure to tackle child poverty effectively.

“Barnado’s works with families in some of the most deprived areas, and the grim reality is that many families are experiencing vicious cycles of debt and facing impossible choices between heating homes and eating hot meals.

“The Government must act now to end child poverty by providing practical help to the people who need it most, taking steps to bring down energy bills, tackle family debt and make childcare more affordable.”

Child Poverty Across The District

A breakdown of the figures for mid 2012 show the estimated number of children living in poverty in Bradford are as follows: Queensbury – 451, 12 per cent; Wyke – 709, 23 per cent; Wibsey – 848, 23 per cent; Royds – 1,286, 29 per cent; Great Horton – 1,718, 31 per cent and Tong – 2,088, 28 per cent.

In Clayton and Fairweather Green there were 1,024, 23 per cent; Thornton and Allerton – 990, 23 per cent; Heaton – 1,557, 27 per cent; Toller – 1,976, 27 per cent; City 1,605, 31 per cent and 2,388, 33 per cent in Manningham.

In Idle and Thackley there were 941, 21 per cent of children estimated to be living in poverty; Bolton and Undercliffe, 941, 21 per cent; Eccleshill – 1,457, 31 per cent; Little Horton – 2,770, 34 per cent; Bradford Moor – 2,770, 34 per cent; Bowling and Barkerend – 2,456, 36 per cent.

Pudsey had the lowest number of children living in poverty with eight per cent; Shipley had 11 per cent and in Keighley the figure was 17 per cent.