Inequality experts appointed by Executive
Two experts have been appointed to help support the Scottish Executive’s effort to tackle poverty.
Gill Scott, Director of the Scottish Poverty Information Unit at Glasgow Caledonian University, and David Nicoll, Chief Executive of the Wise Group, have extensive expertise in the poverty sector. They will provide advice to the Cabinet Delivery Group on Closing the Opportunity Gap.
The Delivery Group, comprising senior figures including the Communities Minister Margaret Curran, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Ross Finnie and Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm, first met in December 2003 to agree its remit and forward work plan. It will take forward the Partnership Agreement commitment to tackle the social, educational and economic barriers that create inequality and work to end child poverty by tackling deprivation and social need.
Margaret Curran chairs the Group. She said: ‘Social justice is at the heart of everything that this Executive does. It is an investment in the people of Scotland and the foundation of our prosperity.
‘Gill Scott and David Nicoll will bring valuable expertise and talent to our work to tackle disadvantage. Eradicating the inequalities that exist will not happen overnight, but we are working to deliver change because we want to make a real difference for the long term.’
The Group will meet twice a year for the duration of this Parliamentary term. The next meeting will take place in the Spring.
The Cabinet Delivery Group comprises the Communities Minister (Chair), Minister for Environment and Rural Affairs (Deputy Chair), Minister for Health and Community Care, Deputy Minister for Education and Young People, Deputy Minister for Justice, Deputy Minister for Communities and the Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning. The First Minister and the Deputy First Minister are ex officio members of the Delivery Group who comment on the work, but do not necessarily attend all the meetings.
The Delivery Group’s remit is to scope a work programme to ensure that Executive commitments on closing the opportunity gap, particularly as set out in the Partnership Agreement, are met. It will set objectives and targets for the work programme and report annually to the Cabinet.
External members of Cabinet Groups do not generally receive fees, although they are entitled to claim travel expenses.
Gill Scott is a Reader at the School of Law and Social Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University. She has been Director of the Scottish Poverty Information Unit since 1995. Her major research and consultancy activities are in the field of social inclusion and poverty, with particular recent interests in employability, lone parents, child care and family poverty. She is a respected collaborator with a range of Scottish statutory and voluntary organisations.
David Nicoll has been Chief Executive of the Wise Group since 2001. This is an innovative organisation based in Glasgow and operating throughout Scotland and the North of England to assist unemployed people back into work. Prior to this appointment, David was Head of Funding for the Wise Group, which he joined in 1998 after a three year spell at Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.
Source: Scottish Executive, www.scotland.gov.uk