Tayside and Central Scotland

Fairness Commission's plans to tackle Dundee poverty unveiled

Dundee city centre
Image caption The commission's findings follow a year-long review

Paying the living wage to every worker in Dundee is among the recommendations of a year-long commission aimed at tackling poverty in the city.

The findings of Dundee's first Fairness Commission follow a year of "eye-opening" research into the issue.

The commission has made recommendations in six areas, including food and fuel, benefits, and education.

The 17 members have met on a monthly basis over the last year.

Among the recommendations are support and flexibility by service providers for people moving between benefits and work or between jobs and reducing the education attainment gap.

The commission also aims to campaign to change national policies and target resources locally at those most in need.

Other areas covered in the 26-page report are housing and communities, advice and support, and work and wages.

The commission members are drawn from Dundee City Council, Scottish Enterprise, Police Scotland and NHS Tayside, along with local academic institutions and representatives of the business, voluntary and community sectors.

Image caption Commission convener Jimmy Black some of the findings had been "eye-opening"

'Corrosive consequences'

Convener of the commission, Dundee councillor Jimmy Black, said: "We made a commitment to bring forward a thorough and well-researched plan to deal with one of the most difficult issues facing our city and I believe these recommendations fulfil that promise.

"I said when we launched the commission that I wanted to see us make recommendations that will lead to real change and that will make the well established strategy for tackling poverty in Dundee much more successful and that is exactly what this report does.

"Our work with the commission to date has been eye-opening, even for those of us who deal with poverty and its effects on people and communities.

"To be at a point where we can offer tangible actions to begin the journey that will rid our city of its most corrosive consequences is extremely encouraging."

Alison Henderson chief executive of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, said: "Eradicating poverty in Dundee must be a priority for all of us and the business community can play its part by looking closely at its own employment and recruitment practices.

"I am confident that our members will seize the baton that the Fairness Commission has extended and run with it to improve the lives of people blighted by poverty in the city."

Ginny Lawson of the Brooksbank Partnership said: "We see the effects of poverty on individuals and families in our communities on a daily basis.

"The commission has helped raise the voice of the voluntary sector to fully endorse the findings and recommendations and we are looking forward to playing our part in achieving the aims laid out in the report."

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