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!