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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
Front
Child poverty numbers requested

A WORRIED councillor has called for the true picture of child poverty in Dumfries and Galloway to be made clear in order for the problem to be tackled properly.

Willie Scobie described the council’s local child poverty action report as “very depressing”, and insisted that much more must be done to address the issue in the region.

The report confirmed that 26.7 percent of kids in Dumfries and Galloway live in poverty.

Cllr Scobie called for actual numbers to be given so that improvement targets can be set to reduce child poverty levels.

He said: “This is a very depressing and damning report. It confirms what we’ve been constantly saying.

“There’s 26.7 percent of children in poverty – that’s more than one in four – in our region, which puts us in the bottom five of the 32 local authorities.”

He highlighted that the report identified North West Dumfries and Stranraer and the Rhins as having the poorest levels of attainment in the region.

He added: “There are very little figures in this report that would indicate what progress we are making, and I think that’s a failing in the document.

“Or we don’t know how we’re doing – other than going on the figure on 26.7 percent and that it’s going in the opposite direction.”

Responding, education director Gillian Brydson said: “I absolutely recognise that there are gaps in some of the data because we don’t hold all the data.

“Some of this information comes from external partners.

“But we are working with partners to provide that detailed overview.”

Meanwhile, Laura Gibson, of NHS Dumfries and Galloway, gave assurances that a new sub-group has been formed dedicated to tackling child poverty, of which she will be chair.

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