NEW figures that claim more than 3,000 children in the Barrow borough are living in poverty have been described as 'scandalous'.

According to analysis by the end Child Poverty Coalition, the figure risen over the last five years.

A report said that 29 per cent of children in the borough were living in poverty, equating to around 3,500 children.

The figure has rise by 0.5 per cent over the last five years, according to data.

Barrow's MP Simon Fell said he was working to improve the fortunes of children in the area.

The estimations are based on the percentage of children living in households with below 60 per cent of the median income in a given area.

The research was carried out by Dr Juliet Stone and Professor Donald Hirsch at the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University.

Mr Fell said he the figures had gone beyond official statistics provided by the House of Commons Library but was working alongside the Government to help improve the situation.

"The starting position should be that no child lives in poverty, and I'm passionate about making that happen in Furness," he said.

"I spoke to No 10 earlier this week to reinforce the need to make this a key measure of levelling up, and I want to see much more like the troubled families programme and lifelong skills commitment put in place to chip away at these figures and improve life chances for those families most need help in Furness."

Councillor Bill McEwan, who represents Ormsgill, said: "It's absolutely scandalous.

"If there's only one child in poverty that's enough.

"This government has done nothing to eliminate poverty, it's absolutely horrendous.

"We are a deprived town and it's the shame the Government is looking the other way."

Cllr McEwan said residents in the past had come to him to seek advice on issues related to poverty, including how to access support from foodbanks.

The child poverty rate in neighbouring South Lakeland was reported to be nearly 24 per cent, a rise of 0.6 per cent over five years.

A government spokesman said: “We are committed to supporting families most in need, spending billions more on welfare and planning a long-term route out of poverty by protecting jobs through furlough and helping people find new work through our Plan for Jobs.

"We also introduced our £260m Covid Local Support Grant to help children and families stay warm and well-fed throughout the pandemic.”