NEARLY half the people living in the Barrow area suffer from deprivation, according to a major council report.

Statistics show 33,000 people in the borough - nearly half of the 65,500 population are affected, it said.

The report noted that the number of people in deprivation was 'higher than the entire population of Kendal'.

It found 11 of 48 specially-defined areas fall into the bottom 10 percent of deprivation nationally and 19 in the bottom 20 percent.

Deprivation is measured by housing, employment, social class and access to a car.

The town's Labour mayor called the figures 'horrendous' and said Barrow Borough Council had taken the 'biggest hit' from Government cuts.

Cllr Kevin Hamilton said: "We are one of the smallest councils taking the biggest hit and yet what has it delivered? We need more help from the Government to help those affected by deprivation. When the Government has sorted out Brexit, maybe they can help sort out Barrow-in-Furness."

The 91-page report shines the light on other issues such as housing, health, population growth, economy and education.  The council called the report 'important and statistically robust'.

A council spokesperson said the evidence would help set important priorities to tackle the 'real and complex challenges' facing the borough.

Cllr Hazel Edwards, leader of the Conservative group, said the report had emphasised many negatives but also contained many positives.

"I feel there are many good and encouraging statements in the report as well as important issues that need addressing," she said.

"The opportunities in the area are also increasing with the BAE Systems programme and jobs being created in the supply chain."

The council's executive committee will discuss the report at a meeting tomorrow.

Covering the three years between 2015-18, it details changes in key statistics.

Employment had also risen “significantly” between 2016-18, it said. But found average household incomes are £8,340 lower than the national average.