Angus councillors have been told to stop bickering about parking and recycling while kids go hungry.
Arbroath East and Lunan independent Lois Speed said she was becoming “increasingly disillusioned by unwanted behaviours, party politics, point scoring and playground behaviours, as well as an incredible ability to continue to respond to those who struggles are minuscule in comparison”.
She hit out following the publication of a hard-hitting report which found 4,273 children are living in poverty in Angus which represents 19% of all children in the area.
The highest concentration is Arbroath East and Lunan which she described as “a harsh truth that we need to face up to and tackle head on”.
She said: “Child Poverty is something that I can relate to as I know first-hand how physically and emotionally difficult it is when meeting basic needs is a daily struggle, when you have no savings to rely on and only benefit or low income to live on.
“I stood for election and on my campaign leaflet I pledged to speak up for those voices that don’t get heard.
“When I became elected I placed a foot over the lines of marginalisation and now two years in I’m becoming more and more disillusioned by unwanted behaviours, party politics, point scoring and playground behaviours, as well as an incredible ability to continue to respond to those who struggles are minuscule in comparison to those mentioned in this report and yet these stronger voices manage to send us in a spin and influence decision making time and time again.
“We go over the same old ground in areas such as recycling and parking.”
She said the families of the 4,273 children in Angus living in poverty “aren’t worrying about paying to park or how they will get to their recycle centre as they have nothing”.
She said: “Recovery doesn’t come quickly and many won’t have the energy to put together a nice well-written letter to their local councillor or newspaper reporter or organise a campaign or petition.
“You live with constant dread and by chance.
“I’m sure most people that are living below the breadline will tell you that every pound matters and makes a difference and needs to be spent wisely.
“We must apply the same principles to the way in which we spend our pounds and where we channel our energies and resources.
“We must strive to eradicate child poverty within Angus as every child matters.”
Arbroath East and Lunan SNP councillor Brenda Durno said it was everyone’s responsibility to make changes.
Kirriemuir SNP councillor Julie Bell said the fact that children are going hungry in Scotland today was a disgrace.
Children and learning committee convenor Derek Wann said: “Reducing child poverty is one of three priorities for the Angus Community Planning Partnership.
“Tackling such a complex issue however cannot be achieved by any one organisation or partner alone.”