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Commission for Housing and Wellbeing seeks consultation response

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Commission for Housing and Wellbeing is accepting views on the relationship between housing and wellbeing for the people of Scotland. Chaired by Robert Black, the Commission is investigating how housing policy can enhance general wellbeing, and is keen to gather evidence from organisations and experts.

Yesterday, the CSPP attended the first evidence session held by the Commission, looking at key themes including an ageing Scottish population, housing and sustainability, and housing and social inequality. The session was facilitated by Jim McCormick of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Consultation for the Commission on Housing and Wellbeing will be open until 28 November, and can be found on the Commission's website.


Claudia Beamish receives RSPB's Politician of the Year Award

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Congratulations to Claudia Beamish MSP who won the Politician of the Year Award at the RSPB's annual Nature of Scotland ceremony on Thursday night.

The award goes to 'the politician that has made an outstanding contribution to nature conservation in the last year.' Sponsored by the Centre for Scottish Public Policy, it is open to any elected representative (MSP, MP, MEP or local councillor) who has links to Scotland or Scottish nature conservation.

Claudia Beamish is Shadow Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, and sits on the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee. The award was presented to her by CSPP Chair Richard Kerley.

For a full list of the Nature of Scotland Awards, please go here. Congrautlations to everyone who won an award and who was nominated.


Progress on town centre regeneration highlighted in one-year report

Wednesday, 05 November 2014

Progress on regenerating Scotland’s town centres has been outlined in a report on the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Action Plan.

The Town Centre Action Plan – One Year On report was published yesterday ahead of a Parliamentary debate that was led by Local Government and Planning Minister Derek Mackay.

The report highlights a range of milestones that have been reached as part of the Action Plan, including:

  • Agreement between the Scottish Cabinet and COSLA on the Town Centre First Principle, where Government, public bodies, businesses and communities put the health of town centres at the heart of decision-making
  • An expansion of the Fresh Start business rates relief scheme to pubs, hotels and restaurants
  • Record numbers of business properties in Scotland benefiting from an extension of the Small Business Bonus Scheme, with 96,265 properties paying zero or reduced business rates in 2014-15, an increase of almost 4,000 properties since last year.

Commenting on the report, Leigh Sparks of Scotland's Towns Partnership said that "much has been achieved in the year so far. But, there is also so much more that can be done and needs to be done, as all also recognise. There has been long time neglect of our town centres, which won’t be fixed in a year or two."

The Parliamentary debate took place yesterday and focused on a wide range of issues, including the capacity of planning and local authorities to provide civic leadership and the lack of progress on the Business Rates Incentive Scheme.

For Leigh Sparks' full opinion piece on the One Year On report, please visit his blog at

Scotland's Towns Conference is taking place on the 19 November. For more information, please visit the Scotland's Towns Partnership website.



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