How to tackle the poverty gap

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Across the centuries, Edinburgh has been a city of great extremes.

Historically, the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ lived cheek by jowl cheek, in an obscene juxtaposition of wealth and deprivation. Today, we have not moved on as much as we like to think. Many of Scotland’s richest and poorest citizens still live side by side in the Capital.

So the city’s drive to tackle this great divide with a high profile poverty commission, bringing together the public sector, charities, private business and individuals, has to be welcomed. I wish everyone involved the best of luck and offer the support of this newspaper.

Making a real difference won’t be easy. You don’t have to look far - try the Social Bite village in Granton - to see that serious progress is possible when everyone pulls together. But look at way the city’s school reform plans. They were largely designed to tackle the devastating attainment gap that blights west Edinburgh schools, but had to be abandoned in the face of strong local opposition.

One thing that must be at the heart of the city’s efforts is working in collaboration to support decent jobs. That is something that does not always comes instinctively to many local politicians, but it underpins so many of these goals.