MORE than 100 delegates from organisations across Scotland gathered for the first time in Greenock in a bid to end child poverty.

Experts descended on the Beacon Arts Centre to come up with a plan to tackle inequality blighting the lives of young people.

In Inverclyde alone, more than a quarter of youngsters are living in poverty.

The conference at the Beacon on Tuesday was the first of its kind to be held and coincided with Challenge Child Poverty Week 2018.

Local education chief Ruth Binks was among the keynote speakers, along with representatives from the Child Poverty Action Group, Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit.

Local authority leader Stephen McCabe said: "Clearly collaboration is key to bringing resources together that can make lives better for those experiencing the greatest inequalities.

"We are already doing a lot in Inverclyde to mitigate against child poverty - from the success of improving literacy and numeracy for children in school, providing holiday clubs and supporting parents to encourage them to be involved in their children's learning.

"But it is important that we discuss new approaches - however radical - to tackle the inequalities and poverty that exist in our community."

Last year, Scotland became the only part of the UK with statutory targets to combat child poverty after the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament.

Councils and health boards must now report annually on what they are doing to contribute to tackling the problem with the aim of reducing child poverty by 2030.

Mr McCabe said: "Too many children - more than one in four - are living in poverty in Inverclyde. "That is simply not acceptable.

"We need to take urgent action now both to help these children and to prevent future generations of children growing up in poverty.

"Tackling child poverty, alleviating the financial strain on low income households and improving the living standards of families in poverty is key creating thriving, healthy and sustainable communities across Inverclyde."