ALMOST 20% of children are growing up in poverty in some parts of the region, a shocking new report has revealed.

Figures published by the Campaign to End Child Poverty show 17% of youngsters in Low-man and 16% in Westexe are living in homes below the breadline.

Some 16% are said to be impoverished in Tiverton’s Castle ward, closely followed by 13% in Cull-ompton North, while the figures for Wellington East and North are 19% and 14% respectively.

The charity, which based its research on the Government’s official definition of poverty, acknowledges that the South-West is not among the UK’s poorest regions but said councils should do more to address ‘huge disparities’ in the region.

Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, said the Government was doing much to tackle the root causes of poverty, including removing barriers to jobs through investing in childcare, apprenticeships schemes and wide-ranging education reforms.

He said: “These figures reveal that poverty in rural areas does still exist, although often it does not get the same attention as those in urban areas.

“This Government is tackling poverty by targeting the root causes, rather than simply trying to push households above an arbitrary poverty line.”

Devon County Council said it was helping 1,370 families as part of its Targeted Family Support Programme, which has been running in Tiverton since October last year. This includes working with parents to get them into continuous employment and add-ressing truancy among children.