A SPECIAL commission has been set up to tackle child poverty in Renfrewshire.

It will bring together local and national expertise and will be headed by council deputy leader Mike Holmes.

He said: "Unfortunately, Renfrewshire has deep rooted deprivation issues that need to be addressed.

"We have been making good progress with programmes to boost jobs and target support to families.

"But through the commission we want to build on this and look at new ways of working"

Mr Homes said the new body was determined to break the cycle of poverty.

He added: "Improving the lives of Renfrewshire's children is not just the right thing to go - it is one of the best investment we can make."

Sir Harry Burns, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, has agreed to be a member of the commission.

He said: "Poverty is often the root cause of many of the health and social problems we see in our society and it is only by working together that we can drive change in communities."

Roslyn McVeigh, manager of the Renfrewshire food bank, said: "Since April 2013 there has been a five fold increase in numbers using the service.

"Meeting face-to-face with and hearing the stories of those who are experiencing levels of poverty so extreme they can't afford to feed themselves is humbling.

"It is my desire that the Tackling Poverty Commission can give the people of our community back hope."