MSPs from key political parties gathered on 24th February during the Cross Party Group on Towns and Town Centres meeting to mark their commitment to Scotland’s towns.
MSPs representing the Scottish National Party, Scottish Green Party, Scottish Labour, Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Conservative Party signed an agreement to the Manifesto Statement for Towns, developed by the national agency for Scotland’s towns, Scotland’s Towns Partnership.
Fundamentally, Scotland is a nation of towns. Towns and villages account for 69% of our population as well as two thirds of all our jobs and businesses. Our towns are a living legacy of our history and culture, they provide us with a sense of pride and identity, define who we are, and most importantly, town life gives us access to one another through shared spaces and experiences.
The statement has been written to ensure that all Parties can consider this and the economic, social and cultural importance of Scotland's towns. View the Manifesto Statement for Towns here.
Scotland’s Towns Partnership Chief Officer Phil Prentice said:
“The story of Scotland and its proud heritage belongs to its towns. This deep and rich tapestry of industry and invention is now woven into a network which forms the lifeblood of our cities and our country as a whole. It is what we do with our towns moving forward that will ultimately determine our social and economic destiny. “
Margaret McCulloch MSP and Convenor of the Cross Party Group on Towns and Town Centres said:
“Just as advocates for rural Scotland and Scotland’s cities found a new platform in the devolution era, so too have champions of Scotland’s towns. The future of our towns and town centres is now firmly on the political agenda at Holyrood and that is in no small part thanks to the members of the Cross Party Group. Whatever the political composition of the next Parliament, we need to make sure that we keep up the momentum and continue to promote ideas and action to take our towns and town centres forward over the next five years.”
We are at the beginning of an exciting phase for Scotland’s towns and there are great opportunities to make a difference place by place.
The town centre agenda is one where consensus can be reached across the political spectrum with the opportunity for all of us to work more collaboratively.