Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Ideas 71-80

71. Introduce the City Region concept for Inverness and Highland

It is widely recognised that our cities are the beating heart of the Scottish economy. Numerous stats abound: 40% of jobs and 47% of GVA reside in Scotland’s four main cities - Aberdeen Dundee, Edinburgh & Glasgow.

And yet the previous Scottish Government had no clear strategy for maximising the potential of our cities. The parties’ manifestos make some good suggestions, but much more needs to be done. As Ivan Turok said in 2008

“If the city-region systems don’t function well the consequences for prosperity may not be felt immediately, but the bottlenecks, capacity constraints, unreliability and distortions accumulate over time, adding to business and personal costs, reducing productivity, undermining investment and location decisions and damaging long-term prospects”

We believe that supporting the cities should be a priority for Scottish Government economic policy and call on the new Scottish Government to institute a new Cities Review with a view to putting in place a Cities Strategy. The following should also be considered:

• A Minister with clear responsibility for cities policy.
• A Cabinet sub-committee with responsibility for the cities.
• A Scottish Parliamentary Committee for the Cities.
• A Cross Party Group for the Cities

72. All local newspapers to support local businesses, funded by public support

73. Establish a national investment fund to integrate public sector buildings

74. Transfer responsibility for road/footpath networks to housing associations

75. GPs to be incentivised to reduce big pharmaceutical bills

76. Link Neighbourhood Watch to their local constable

77. Develop a graduate placement programme (reciprocal) with national embassies/consulates

We already run the hugely successful “Adopt an Intern” programme that focuses domestically on graduate unemployment. To date, we have secured almost 100 placements.

Let’s take it on tour and truly enrich the interns learning experience.

78. End numerical parity for council wards and concentrate on community cohesion

79. Tie capital funding to active Asset Management Plans

80. Annual regional sports tournaments to be created as commonwealth games legacy

The Lib Dems stole this from us!

1 comment:

  1. I strongly support what you are saying about the need for some sort, almost any sort, of policy and strategy for our cities.

    A couple of nights ago I attended election hustings in Kinning Park (Govan) in Glasgow. An absolutely classic post-industrial locale where urban policy and strategy would have been foremost in the election debate... you might have thought. In fact, nothing of the sort even remotely came up.

    My reservations on your strategy proposals are that they constitute too much public investment in iconic buildings, structures and events - and not enough direct investment in developing and exploiting the under-utilised skills and enterprise potential in poor and not-affluent people in our cities.

    IMO the SNP has had to struggle with a sheet anchor in the form of its strong rural and semi-rural constituency. But is seems to me that if they grasped the 'urban nettle', and proposed bold and genuinely radical new policies and strategies, they could steal a considerable march on the other main parties.