With more than a third of Bolton’s children living in poverty and cost-of-living pressures mounting, our special report gets to the heart of the crisis facing our borough’s youngsters. Here we look at how deep inequalities have become across Bolton.

The figures of children living in poverty have been revealed by parliamentary constituency, showing huge differences.

One in four children in the UK are living in poverty and the issue is likely to worsen as a result of the current cost-of-living crisis, research by Loughborough University for the End Child Poverty Coalition has said.

Two of the three constituencies in Bolton are way above that national average, while the other sits alongside it.

Figures from that study show that almost half of children living in the Bolton South East constituency were living in poverty in 2020/21– 46.1 per cent – while in Bolton West the figure is just over a quarter – 27.3 per cent.

This gap has been growing wider over a five-year period. Between 2015 and 2021 the proportion child poverty in Bolton South East has increased by eight percent, while in Bolton West the percentage has remained fairly steady, increasing by 0.7 per cent over the same period.

The Bolton News: Yasmin Qureshi MPYasmin Qureshi MP

Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi

MP for Bolton South East, Yasmin Qureshi, said: "Loughborough University's study makes for concerning yet sadly unsurprising reading.

“The Government's approach to supporting the most vulnerable in society has been the same since 2010 - non-existent.

“Recent decisions such as the Universal Credit cut, the refusal to increase benefits in line with inflation, and the failure to level up parts of Bolton, as promised in the last three years, have stood only to exacerbate socio-economic inequalities.

“Bolton South East is the 38th most deprived constituency in the United Kingdom - it needs targeted support to ensure the lowest paid and most vulnerable are adequately supported by a proactive welfare state, a real living wage, and strong working conditions.

“We also need to see the Government take a proactive role - mobilising the vast resources of Government to create jobs and economic growth in our area, in an attempt to provide opportunities across the board."

The picture is also quite bleak in Bolton North East – with 40.8 per cent of children living in poverty in 2020/21, and an increase of 3.4 per cent over that five year span.