STIRLING Council are aiming to tackle the poverty gap between the region’s most and least affluent communities by utilising expertise from across society.

Whilst Stirling performs at or above the national average on many indicators of inclusive growth, there are particular inequalities within the area that the local authority feel must be addressed.

Child poverty, access to employment, income levels and life expectancy all show large differences between the region’s most and least deprived areas.

The creation of an Inclusive Growth Assembly, which will be the first of its kind in Scotland, will bring private sector leaders together with community, voluntary and public sector organisations. Members will work collaboratively to understand the reasons for inequality across Stirling, and use their collective skills, knowledge and experience to suggest ways to close the gap.

The Assembly will be able to influence and scrutinise delivery of the City Region Deal, as well as work to increase community participation in the planning and delivery of public services.

Convener of the Finance and Economy Committee, Councillor Margaret Brisley, said: “The Assembly will be the first of its kind in Scotland and will seek to increase equity and fair economic growth across the region.

“It is our aim to create a unique influencing body that will incorporate public, voluntary and civic participation. With a focus on inclusive growth, the new Assembly will impact positively on communities and individuals who are at a higher risk of experiencing poverty.”