A new report has revealed that almost 8,000 children across Aberdeenshire are living in poverty.
Papers to go before the Kincardine and Mearns area committee tomorrow urge councillors to tackle the issue.
Before housing costs, 7,773 children in Aberdeenshire were considered to be in poverty in 2018/2019.
In the Mearns area, 519 children fell under that distinction.
There were 506 children in poverty in North Kincardine, and 392 in Stonehaven and Lower Deeside.
While the gap between the rate of child poverty between the least and most deprived communities in Aberdeenshire has reduced by 4.6% in recent years – faster than the Scottish average of 3.6% – there are still “significant rates” in Aberdeenshire, which “may be further masked by the rurality of the area”.
Welfare reform, zero hour contracts, fuel poverty, the decline of the oil and gas sector and rising costs in housing all have been found to have an impact.
The report goes on to state the number of ways the council has tried to tackle child poverty in the Mearns, including working with NHS Grampian.
Papers add: “One challenge is accessing good quality, affordable food for families living in the more remote rural areas.”
The Scottish Government tasked all local authorities to create a “local child poverty action report”, which would identify what action has been taken in the previous 12 months and what action will be taken in the future to reduce child poverty.
— Northern Alliance: Poverty/Closing The Gap (@NAPovertyGap) December 10, 2019