Town Centre Review
Our spin out company, Scotland's Towns Partnership (STP) has long-campaigned for the revitalisation of Scotland's Towns, this policy work led to a call for practical action, a unified and stronger voice and an energetic catalyst for action on Scotland's towns.
In regards to the Scottish Government Towns Review paper, Scotland's Towns Partnership has been calling for action on 3 key areas.
1. A review of the role & function of every Scottish town - encouraging communities to ask the simple question, ‘What's the Purpose of this Place?’
2. The Return of Residential use to properties above shops.
3. Town Centre First - a policy for all footfall-generating uses.
Our Policy Director and Scotland’s Towns Partnerships spokesperson commented, "We very much hope, and anticipate, that the Review will take up these ideas and create the context for this year's Scotland's Towns Conference and Towns Week activities - working with communities all across the country to celebrate the importance of our town centres to the cultural, economic and social fabric of Scotland"
- You can hear what Malcolm Fraser, Chair of the Town Centre Review, believes are the key policy areas on Good Morning Scotland here.
- Read what the BBC has to say on the review
More on Reshaping Scotland
An article in the Herald today argues that Scotland has been too slow in reforming it's public services due to senior officials hesitance to change the current system.
In our report, Reshaping Scotland, Finance Minster John Swinney stated that the future of our public services must be top of the agenda however it would seem that this aim has fallen by the wayside. Though we argued that principles of the Christie Commission are happening in small pockets of Scotland we need to see more of it and fast which Committee convener Kevin Stewart agrees with stating, "We have seen examples of different public services working together, working with the community and working to achieve change. However, these examples are far outweighed by those who are resistant to making change and resistant to working together to bring real change into the hearts of communities across Scotland".
With George Osborne announcing the UK Governments spending review today and budgets cuts happening imminently it is becoming increasingly important to reform public services. Although the Scottish Government has taken on the recommendation from the Christie Commission of preventative spending as 40% of public spending was proven to go towards tackling crime, social problems and ill health that could have been averted, will this change take place fast enough?
Is the problem that there are many "deep seated attitudes and behaviours that will take time to change."? Or is the Government agenda good in theory but not taking place in practice? And if so, how do we change that?
Consensus is growing that we need change
More publicity for the CSPP's and Reform Scotland's Commission on School Reform, Liz Smith, writing in the Scotsman, comments that
"Some of the credit for these new developments should, undoubtedly, go to Keir Bloomer and the cross-party Commission on School Reform, jointly sponsored by the two independent think-tanks, Centre for Scottish Public Policy and Reform Scotland. The report unanimously concluded that the current school system in Scotland is too hierarchical and provides far too few incentives for schools to break free of the monopoly of the one-size-fits-all approach. As such, the system is unresponsive to the changing needs of pupils and it leaves parents with far too little say in their child’s education."
The full article can be found here.
Also in the Scotsman, Eddie Barnes comments on Parents in Edinburgh "mounting a bid to create their own “alternative” state school, amid fresh calls for local authorities to provide greater choice within the education system. The move comes as education authorities across Scotland face growing calls to provide wider diversity within Scotland’s state sector. A report by the independent Commission on School Reform earlier this year said that one answer was for them to be given far more autonomy."
This article can be found here.
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