The numbers of children living in poverty in South Ayrshire has hit record levels.

A report published by the Department of Work and Pension last week has revealed an eight pe rcent rise in the last five years on the amount of youngsters in the area who are living on the breadline.

It details the number of children aged 16 and under, living in relative and absolute low income families.

The total number of young people in South Ayrshire Council in relative poverty rose from 4,046 in 2018 to 4,510 last year.

The numbers in absolute poverty jumped from 3,326 to 3,461.

'Relative low income' is a measure of whether the poorest families are keeping pace with middle income households.

Absolute measures if the poorest families are keeping pace with inflation.

A separate breakdown for Ayr North shows 1,439 kids in poverty - both relative and absolute - an increase of 13 per cent since 2015.

In Ayr East, the numbers rose from 981 to 1,221 in the same eight year period.

In affluent Ayr West there was an increase in relative poverty from 252 cases to 282, but a small drop in absolute ones from 254 to 213.

Child poverty cases in Girvan and South Carrick jumped from 728 to 868, and in Kyle from 759 to 921.

Neighbouring North Ayrshire has the second highest number of children living in poverty in Scotland, according to the same report, with Glasgow top. East Ayrshire was fourth.

A total of 189,000 Scottish children live in low income families.

East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire have the lowest levels in Scotland.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We recognise too many people are living in poverty which is why we are committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in Scotland.

“In this financial year we have allocated almost £3 billion to a range of measures which will help mitigate the impacts of the cost of living crisis on households."