Priority given to tackling deprivation
Inroads have been made tackling concentrations of multiple deprivation in Scotland, but there are serious issues still to address, Housing and Communities Minister Alex Neil said today as the latest official figures were published.
The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) shows Glasgow has continually improved, lifting more areas of the city out of deprivation.
While there are still pockets of deprivation in parts of Dundee, Fife, North Ayrshire and North Lanarkshire, other areas such as Clackmannanshire, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire have shown improvements in levels of multiple deprivation.
Although levels of employment deprivation in the most deprived areas is still well above the national average of 9 per cent, the figures also show employment deprivation has fallen in the most deprived areas from 30 per cent to 26 per cent.
The Scottish Government published a joint statement with local authorities today, focusing all partners on tackling the challenges facing the most deprived communities.
Priorities will include tackling the root causes of deprivation, early interventions to address emerging problems, joint working between community planning partners and improving employability opportunities.
Mr Neil said:
"It is encouraging to see progress and the sustained change that is happening in Glasgow but there are still serious problems to be addressed in our communities. We know there are areas where daily life is a lot harder because of the area you live in, and this is unacceptable.
"We can't be complacent and we're determined to redouble our efforts to address existing problems and support households and communities, across Scotland, especially during the economic downturn.
"That means we are taking bold steps to tackle long running social issues like drug and alcohol abuse that have been left to fester for too long.
"We're also breathing new life into communities right across the country, investing millions of pounds in large-scale regeneration projects and affordable house building.
"Importantly, we are giving local councils more flexibility to deliver local work, training, health and education initiatives that is right for the people in their communities.
"All this will contribute to making a lasting change and ensure everyone in Scotland has equal opportunity to reach their full potential."