THOUSANDS of children in East Renfrewshire are living in poverty, latest figures have revealed.

Statistics published by the End Child Poverty coalition show that, between July and September last year, more than 3,000 local kids – around one in seven – were found to be living in deprivation.

The situation was at its worst in Barrhead, where more than 27 per cent of children were living in poverty.

In Neilston, Uplawmoor and Newton Mearns North, 17 per cent were affected, while the level stood at 10 per cent in Busby, Clarkston and Eaglesham and at nine per cent in Newton Mearns South.

Giffnock and Thornliebank fared best, with five per cent of children there living in deprivation.

The statistics are based on estimates of child poverty after housing costs, calculated using data from a Labour Force Survey and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Councillor Tony Buchanan, leader of East Renfrewshire Council, said: “The wellbeing, attainment and experiences of all children and young people in East Renfrewshire is our absolute priority.

“We work extremely hard to offer our young people and their families support through a variety of services.

“These figures offer us the opportunity to consider what more can be done as we try to ensure all young people in East Renfrewshire have equal opportunities and life experiences.”

Members of End Child Poverty in Scotland, including the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), are calling for urgent action to be taken at UK, Scottish and local government level to tackle the issue.

John Dickie, director of CPAG, said: “A relentless focus on boosting family incomes and reducing the costs families face is needed if progress toward eradicating child poverty is to be made.”