A GREENOCK councillor is calling for a four day week for local authority staff.

Labour's Colin Jackson told the Tele he has asked council bosses to investigate a policy that would reduce hours but see workers still paid the same.

He says it would create more jobs and help to reduce sick days.

It is part of his vision to adopt 'community wealth building' with other organisations like the NHS, West College Scotland and River Clyde Homes, and he is also pushing for a commitment to support local business when deciding on public sector contracts.

Councillor Jackson, who represents the poorest ward in Scotland, says it is time for bold policy moves to be made.

He said: "This area needs jobs and investment now.

"We can't sit around doing nothing waiting for some multi-national company to decide to set up shop here.

"It is time for local politicians to take decisive steps in rebuilding our community.

"Controversially, I have asked for council officers to investigate workers reducing their hours to either a four day week or six hour day and on full pay.

"Researchers have described this as a progressive way to stimulate the local economy and could create more full time posts.

"The evidence also suggest that there is financial merit in reducing sickness days lost to these organisations and also a positive effect on mental health.

"Reducing workers hours is widely supported by the trade union movement and has been successful in other countries.

"This though couldn't just be for council workers.

"It would need to be adopted widely within all our anchor institutions to have the desired effect."

The idea of a community wealth strategy was discussed at a meeting of the policy and resources committee with officers looking into the suggestion.

Councillor Jackson said: "Since being elected I have been pushing without success for the council to adopt such a strategy as a means of stimulating the local economy.

"I was surprised to read that this is now being considered by council officers and members of the committee.

"But it doesn't go far enough and they don't understand what it actually is.

"I have tried to get the council to adopt an economic regeneration strategy that would see 'anchor’ organisations including the NHS, college, River Clyde Homes and other organisations support local business and help them to bid for public sector contracts.

"This would encourage businesses based in Inverclyde to spend locally to support the local supply chains and aid the recovery of our economy.

"This would create jobs and provide decent apprenticeships for young people.

"Publicly-owned land and assets could be utilised more effectively to meet community and business needs, as well as tackling climate change."