MORE than 5,000 children in Wrexham are living in poverty, a new report claims.
The 5,290 figure amounts to 18 per cent of children living across the county borough, according to figures for 2012 released by the Campaign to End Child Poverty.
It says the ward areas with the highest percentage of children living in poverty are Queensway and Wynnstay, both with 52 per cent.
They are followed by Plas Madoc with 45 per cent, Penycae with 37 per cent, Cartrefle with 35 per cent, Pant with 33 per cent and Whitegate with 30 per cent.
The areas with the lowest percentage of children in poverty are Borras Park, Rhosnesni, Marford and Hoseley and Garden Village, all of which have a level of below five per cent.
The figures were calculated using tax credit data to give the percentage of children on low incomes across the UK.
They also use regional trends in unemployment to estimate recent changes in the number of children who are in poverty because their parents have lost their jobs.
Enver Solomon, chairman of the campaign, said: “The child poverty map reveals the depth and breadth of child poverty across the country showing the gross levels of inequality that children face.
“Far too many children whose parents are struggling to make a living are having to go hungry and miss out on the essentials of a decent childhood.”
Meanwhile the annual Children in Need (CIN) Census conducted by the Welsh Government claimed 645 children were in need across the county in 2012.
The survey also showed the attainment gap between those children in need and other young people widen as they get older.
Across Wales 20,240 young people were classed as children in need.
This census collects data for children and their families in Wales who are provided with social services by local authorities.
It covers all children receiving support which is financed from children’s social services budgets, including those supported in their families or independently, children on the child protection register and children receiving respite care.
Clwyd South AM Ken Skates said: “The figures are a sobering reminder of the numbers of young people across Wales who are living in need. It means young people starting off their lives with some kind of disadvantage that might impact on their learning, health and future development.
“In Wrexham we have more than 600 young people who are classed as being ‘in need’.
“What I’m keen to ensure is that we are supporting our local social services departments to deal with these problems effectively and that there is enough resource going into family support programmes.
“For example, across Wales, 43 per cent of children are referred for support because of instances of domestic violence so we need to ensure that even in a time of austerity, we still have effective intervention and support services that protect children and young people.”