A REVOLUTIONARY change to way a £24 billion pension fund operates is to be demanded today in a major bid to lift Inverclyde out of the depths of abject deprivation.

Councillor Colin Jackson is leading a rallying cry for a fundamental shift away from using global investment firms and instead pump millions of pounds directly into the district.

The Labour man — who is seeking unanimous support for the proposal at today's full council meeting — wants to bring about a new investment strategy through Inverclyde's Community Wealth Building (CWB) programme.

Councillor Jackson told the Telegraph: "I am sick of reading how we top league tables for all the wrong reasons — unemployment, poverty, deprivation, drug and alcohol abuse.

"Our local economy has no resilience and it is time to fight back."

Mr Jackson wants to utilise money within the Strathclyde Pension Fund — one of the largest investment funds in the UK — to ensure 'real and lasting change' for Inverclyde.

His motion, which is seconded by fellow Labour councillor Jim Clocherty, states: "The fund continues to direct investment through their mainstream investment programme managed by global investment firms such as JP Morgan.

"As such, very little of the fund directly supports local regeneration programmes.

"As part of our CWB strategy, this motion requests that Strathclyde Pension Fund review their current and future investment strategy and invest more in local programmes that help deliver wider economic and social benefits for all, to help break the cycle of poverty that continues to hang heavy over our communities."

Central Greenock is officially the most deprived area in Scotland.

In an exclusive interview with the Telegraph ahead of today's meeting, Councillor Jackson said: "For too long Inverclyde has been ignored by various government's for any real or sustainable investment.

"We have been at the back of the queue for too long and things need to change."

He added: "It's time to demand investment that will improve the life chances of the current and next generation.

"We need decent jobs with decent wages instead of minimum wage, zero hours contract jobs, that dominate our local economy.

"Strathclyde Pension Fund invests heavily in overseas manufacturing, infrastructure and education programmes — it's time Inverclyde benefitted from some of this huge £24 billion investment fund."

Today's meeting will be told that the fund is managed by Glasgow City Council, through a committee of eight councillors and Inverclyde has no direct representation or input in its management.

Councillor Jackson's motion states: "The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) has described public sector pension funds as 'reservoirs of local wealth' that could be invested to support community wealth building."

Both he and Councillor Clocherty want agreement from elected members to lobby for 'a proper direct local investment strategy'.