News in brief: Youth arts boost, MSP speaks out on poverty, awards for volunteers

A £400,000 boost for youth arts in Argyll and Bute has been announced by Creative Scotland.

The funding – totalling £3.1m nationally – will crate regional Youth Arts Hubs to ‘nurture and celebrate ambition, enthusiasm and talent in Scotland’s young people’.

In Argyll and Bute, Comar will deliver the hub in partnership with groups including Cove Park, ArtsQWest and the council.

MSP Jackie Baillie has attacked the SNP Government’s poor record of tackling poverty among children.

Leading a debate at Holyrood on Child Poverty, she told MSPs that the SNP lacked the ambition to introduce radical measures to improve the welfare of local children.

According to the End Child Poverty campaign, more than one in ten children in Argyll and Bute and one in four children in West Dunbartonshire are currently living in poverty.

She said the SNP had cut £1bn from programmes that tackled poverty, then made the same announcement about £2.5m in funding twice in one month.

“This is shameful and nothing more than a blatant attempt to fool people into thinking they are taking meaningful action to reduce poverty when the opposite is true,” she said.

Argyll Voluntary Action is calling for nominations for Volunteer of The Year, with the deadline of April 18 fast approaching.

The theme this year is ‘the age of Integration’ and marks the increased role the third sector is playing in supporting the delivery of public services in partnership with our health and social care partners.

The categories are: individual volunteer of the year, young volunteer of the year, voluntary /community group or organisation of the year, social enterprise volunteer of the year, regional timebank heroes and health volunteer of the year.