A north-east council is taking coronavirus into account as it works to tackle poverty and inequality.
Aberdeenshire Council’s communities committee was updated on the work of the council’s poverty and inequalities strategic group.
The meeting came amid concerns of more people entering poverty for the first time as a result of Covid-19 leading to job losses.
It highlighted the Grampian Coronavirus Assistance Hub, which is available for those facing difficulties as a result of the pandemic.
The committee also quizzed the group on the impact of additional childcare costs and the importance of ensuring all children have access to computers and the internet.
Communities committee chairwoman Cllr Anne Stirling said: “We really are in unprecedented times with the challenges being faced with Coronavirus but the work being undertaken to tackle poverty and inequalities is quite exceptional.
“Underpinning all of this is the partnership approach being taken by a wide range of groups and organisations, all of whom are finding ways to deliver services differently at this difficult time.”
Vice chairman Councillor Michael Roy added: “A lot of excellent work has been undertaken over the past year and we know it’s a particularly challenging time for a lot of people.
“Various support mechanisms are already in place, and it’s important that we all continue to work together to ensure everybody has access to the support they need.”
Poverty is defined as being where a person’s household income is less than 60% of the national average income, with factors such as health, housing, education, employment and access to services taken into account.
Currently, the threshold is £18,900 for a single person with children aged between five and 14, and £24,100 for a couple.
Aberdeenshire Council’s child poverty action plan, which was approved a year ago, aims to reduce the number of children affected in the north-east.
The overall level in Aberdeenshire is 14% (around 8,215 children), compared to a national average of 24% – although the figure fluctuates between areas.
A final draft of the Aberdeenshire Local Child Poverty Action Report 2020 will go before the committee in June.