Almost 7,000 children in Dartford are estimated to be growing up in poverty, new figures have revealed.

The latest statistics published by the End Child Poverty coalition group have shown that a quarter of the children living in the borough (roughly 6,895) were reportedly living in impoverished conditions, after housing costs, last year.

Joyce Green ward presented the highest proportion of children living under the breadline as almost a third of it's child population is believed to fall into that bracket with Heath ward noted as having the lowest percentage of child poverty in the borough at just over nine per cent.

Speaking on these shocking figures, newly elected leader for Dartford Labour, Cllr Sacha Gosine said: "It's obviously disappointing to read the results, we recognise this is a rising problem.

"The Labour Group want to work in cooperation with Dartford Council to look at viable ways of how we can close this gap and reduce levels of poverty especially related to housing.

"We know in the past the Council formed the Child Poverty Action Group which produced an online directory to assist residents of where they can apply for services and more recently a new Strategic Housing Board has been formed.

"We would be eager to build on this work so that we can ensure residents know how to fully access the help and services to which they are entitled and to help them move out of poverty completely."

When asked to comment on Dartford's current child poverty situation, a council spokesman said they could only speak on behalf of the children living within council owned properties, but that they only make up a small proportion of kids living in the borough.

"When we act as a landlord we try very hard to help families manage their finances and ensure that they have a safe and decent place to live.

"Our housing officers are involved in a number of initiatives to ensure that families are supported and children get the best start in life," he said.

The stark figures revealed by the End Child Poverty group have since prompted fresh calls for the government to set out "ambitious and credible" poverty-reduction strategies over fears that child poverty is "becoming the new normal" in parts of Britain.