Reducing poverty and inequality

Policy and Inequality Framework

Edinburgh is a highly unequal city. 45,000 of residents live in areas ranked amongst the most deprived areas of Scotland. 22% of all households in the city are classed as "low income".

The Edinburgh Partnership aims to change this. Reducing poverty and inequality is the central theme of the Edinburgh Partnership's vision for the city.

To help make the city more equal, a sub-group of the Partnership, the Poverty and Inequality Theme Group, has drawn up a Policy and Inequality Framework. The Framework is a practical tool based on

  • policy mapping
  • analysis of statistical data 
  • engaging with local communities and people living with poverty and inequality.

Making a difference together

An Edinburgh Partnership in Conference (EpiC) event was held to discuss the Framework. This took place on 28 November 2013. Over 80 people took part from across the public, community and voluntary sectors.

Delegates used the Framework's principles, outcomes and actions to discuss how things could be made better.

The Framework remains a working paper and can be used as a tool to guide and support policy, planning and action to help reduce poverty and inequality across the city.

Download the full report on the event and the progress and future direction report from the links below.

City Poverty Profile (September 2015)

An updated poverty and income inequality profile (at September 2015) for the city has been prepared by the Council's Business Intelligence Unit and can be downloaded below.

Challenge Poverty Week 17th – 23rd October 2015

The Council supports Challenge Poverty Week 2015 as part of its wider approach to tackling poverty and inequality in Edinburgh.  This will help us to meet the city vision that Edinburgh is a thriving, successful and sustainable capital city, in which all forms of deprivation and inequality are reduced.

Challenge Poverty Week provides an opportunity across Scotland and Edinburgh to highlight the reality of poverty, to show what is being done to address it and to discuss the further action needed. A range of local actions and events is taking place during the week

Friday 16th October: Updated Poverty Profile for Edinburgh

The city’s Poverty and Inequality Partnership commissions work from the Council’s Business Intelligence Service on the nature and extent of poverty and economic inequality in Scotland and in Edinburgh.

You can download the most updated poverty and inequalities profile for Edinburgh at the bottom of this page and to find out more you can get in touch with us via email at

Income Maximisation 

A wide and ongoing programme of Income Maximisation work takes place in Edinburgh including joint projects involving a range of partners. For example, an initiative with food banks in the city is looking at their use by families and how early intervention can increase timely take up of other sources of funding such as the Scottish Welfare Fund, also increase take up of free school meals and clothing grants.

This is with the aim of increasing disposable income and ultimately reducing the need to use food banks.Find out more about the Council's Welfare Reform.

Tuesday 20th October: The Council’s Advice Shop 

The Council advice shop is working to extend the range of Welfare Rights outreach work it undertakes in local communities. In Challenge Poverty Week it is running a drop-in advice and information session at Oxgangs Neighbourhood Centre providing both welfare rights and debt advice to the public and any professional working with people affected by poverty.

You can contact the advice shop via email at to find out more.

Tuesday 20th October: Corporate Social Responsibility 

The Council is committed to working with local businesses as part of an approach to furthering the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or responsible business agenda in Edinburgh, particularly in relation to tackling poverty. An internal Council officer discussion will consider ways to develop this work.

To find out more you can contact the Corporate Social Responsibility team via email at

Wednesday 21st October: Launch of the Edinburgh Equalities and Rights Network (EARN)

The network is being shaped as a consultative network of citizens from different equalities communities. It will work with public services to advance equality, promote human rights, and tackle inequality and poverty.

You can contact the Volunteer Centre Edinburgh at to find out more.

Implementation of the 1 in 5 Project to Raise Awareness of Child Poverty 

This Council project is working with schools to consider how poverty affects children and what more can be done to address this. Activities during the week include a pupil assembly on child poverty and the launch of a poster competition to help raise awareness of poverty-related stigma.

Contact to find out more.

Meet the Council Leader, Councillor Andrew Burns 

Council leader Andrew Burns will promote Challenge Poverty Week via his monthly Leader’s Report and via social media. With Councillor Lesley Hinds he will also be joining the Leader of Glasgow Council in a visit to highlight food poverty.

To learn more you can read the joint Edinburgh/Glasgow statement on eradicating food poverty.

Voluntary sector events

The Voluntary sector in Edinburgh makes a crucial contribution to tackling poverty in the city and will be marking Challenge Poverty Week in a number of ways. For example, the Digital Sentinel has organised a discussion on poverty at Wester Hailes Library on 21 October from 10.30 – 11.30a.m., to coincide with the week.

Contact  to find out more about the events.

Cyrenians Edinburgh will also be launching a new campaign on challenging attitudes to poverty (details will be available on 19 October). You can get in touch with them via email at

Wednesday 21st October: Symposium on The Health of the City of Edinburgh 

The Centre of Population Health Science is holding a symposium on The Health of the City of Edinburgh, 1865, 2015, and 2165. Poverty and health are inextricably linked and the symposium will include a contribution from Dr Alison McCallum, Director of Public Health for NHS Lothian and co-chair of Edinburgh’s Poverty and Inequality Partnership.

Find out more details on the event.

Affordable warmth links between housing, health and poverty 

This ongoing series of events centred on the topics of affordable warmth and understanding the links between housing, health and poverty are important strands in the city’s approach to challenging poverty.

Together with Home Energy Scotland and Craigmillar Medical Group, a current pilot project aims to improve health through improved housing. More widely across the city, a warm your home campaign is also in place to provide advice and support on issues including heating systems and warm homes discount.

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