FEWER children are growing up in poverty in Bromsgrove than in any other area in the West Midlands, new figures have revealed.

But despite the town’s good comparatively good performance, there are still four wards in the district where more than a quarter of children are living in poverty.

Charford (36%) is the worst-affected, followed by Catshill (32%), Sidemoor (30%) and Whitford (26%).

Bromsgrove’s figure of 22% is the lowest out of 30 local authorities in the county but campaigners say they will not be happy until child poverty is eradicated completely.

Sandwell and Stoke-on-Trent (both 43%) are the West Midlands areas suffering from the highest levels of child poverty, closely followed by Birmingham and Walsall (both 41%).

Thomas Lawson, chief executive at poverty charity Turn2us, said: “It is simply unacceptable that, in some constituencies, half of our children are trapped in poverty.

“Poverty means hunger – and children and young people unable to concentrate in school.

"It means being bullied for dirty clothes your family can’t afford to wash. It means sleeping with your family in rooms designed for one in hostels and temporary accommodation. It’s no childhood.

“The growth in child poverty shows no sign of slowing down and if the Government is serious about fixing this they must respond to these statistics with an ambitious child poverty reduction strategy."

The End Child Poverty coalition, which released the figures after research at Loughborough University, says child poverty is becoming the ‘new normal’ in parts of Britain.

Anna Feuchtwang, coalition chair, said: "We know what causes child poverty and we know how to end it.

"We know that the income of less well-off families has been hit by severe real-terms cuts in benefits and by higher housing costs.

"And we know that work alone does not guarantee a route out of poverty, with two thirds of child poverty occurring in working families.

‘Yet in many areas growing up in poverty is not the exception it’s the rule with more children expected to get swept up in poverty in the coming years, with serious consequences for their life chances."