MALVERN is one of the worst areas in the country for poorly-paid working women, says a report published by the Trades Union Congress.

The report says that according to official figures, the majority on women working part time in Malvern earn less than the living wage - the highest proportion in the Midlands and the third highest in Britain.

Across the UK, two in five part-time jobs pay below the living wage, but in Malvern the figure is 65.7 per cent. The next worst affected areas are Mansfield and North Warwickshire.

Cllr Julian Roskams, leader of the Democratic group on Malvern Hills District Council, said: "It seems surprising that Malvern is the worst in the Midlands, but it's because of the nature of the employment demographic, with lots of people working in agriculture and small start-up companies.

"Chief executive officers get good pay, but low-paid workers get their earnings topped up with tax credits from the government - effectively a subsidy from the taxpayer."

Cllr Roskams said he will be pressing MHDC to make sure its staff and staff employed by council contractors are paid the living wage, and encouraging local employers to do the same.

Midlands TUC regional secretary Lee Barron said: “In-work poverty is growing across the Midlands and it’s often women that bear the brunt of low pay.

“The living wage was created so that work can provide staff with a basic standard of living. But in too many places like Malvern and Mansfield, most women working part-time are way off earning this.

“Women would gain most from a greater take-up of the living wage by employers. Councils can lead the way by becoming living wage employers themselves. But they also need to work with local employers and unions to use the living wage to tackle in-work poverty throughout the area.”