CANDIDATES bidding for election to Scotland’s councils are being urged to act on child poverty.

With about one in four youngsters in Scotland living in poverty, campaigners insist action to tackle the problem is needed “at every level of government”. A manifesto has been published ahead of the May 5 council elections, setting out actions local authorities can take.

The End Child Poverty group – whose members include the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, the Trussell Trust, the Poverty Alliance, Children 1st, Aberlour, Save the Children, Close the Gap, Engender, One Parent Families Scotland and Oxfam Scotland – produced the document.

It calls on those running for council to commit to bringing in “robust, time-bound plans” for tackling the problem at a local level, as well as using powers local government has to deliver more cash support for families.

Developing an “adequate supply of affordable, secure, good quality family housing” is also seen as key, along with providing “fair work” employment opportunities for all parents – and particularly for women, single parents, disabled people and black and minority ethnic parents.

A spokesperson for End Child Poverty members in Scotland said: “With one in four of Scotland’s children still locked in poverty and hard-up families now brutally exposed to massive hikes in the price of basic essentials, councils have a key role to play in ending child poverty.

“It is vital that all council candidates now commit to taking action to help end child poverty following next month’s elections.”

The groups insisted: “Child poverty can be solved, but it will need action at every level of government. Councils must use all policy levers to their fullest to ensure families have the resources they need to give their children a decent start in life. Action is needed from all incoming councillors.”