Council chiefs hit back at claims Knowsley is not a good place to be a girl

Knowsley Council has hit back at a reporting claiming the borough is the sixth worst place in the country to be a girl

Knowsley Council has hit back at a reporting claiming the borough is the sixth worst place in the country to be a girl

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Council chiefs in Knowsley have been hit back at claims the borough is one of the worst place in the country to be a girl.

The study concluded the borough offered less favourable life chances to young girl than most other parts of the country, ranking it as the sixth worst in England and Wales.

However, a town hall spokeswoman criticised the reporting, saying it was based exclusiverly on data and not contact with Knowsley girls themselves.

She added: “We have not seen the detail behind this report to fully understand why this study has highlighted Knowsley. Certainly the findings do not reflect our views about Knowsley girls – and it appears that the study has not included any direct contact with girls in our borough – rather it has simply collected general data and drawn its own conclusions.

“Knowsley Council and its partners work hard to improve the life chances of all our residents and we will continue to do so.”

The study, which looks at factors including child poverty, educational attainment and teenage pregnancy rates, is the first of its kind to assess the experiences of girls across every local authority in the two countries.

The report, by the charity Plan International UK, reveals a stark geographical divide for girls’ prospects, with inner city areas performing worst and the south-east performing the best.

In the bottom five just above Middlesbrough are Blackpool, Manchester, Nottingham and Liverpool.

While following Waverley in the top five are Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire, Chiltern in Buckinghamshire, and Mole Valley and Epsom and Ewell, both in Surrey.

But authors behind the report stressed that girls across the UK are being “failed” and urged the Government to take “urgent action”.

Girls are facing sexual harassment on a sometimes daily basis, while the pressure to have a perfect body and the growing problem of cyber bullying is piling additional burdens on to them, the report found.