East Kilbride MSP Linda Fabiani is jointly proposing a resolution to the next SNP conference which seeks a new approach to the ‘shared challenges and opportunities’ facing new towns such as East Kilbride.
The plan includes the creation of a New Towns Action Forum so as to provide leaders the chance to share expertise and to allow “joint working between the towns at its core.”
Linda raised proposals with the Scottish Government some months ago and has been discussing with Craig Smith, Chair of the East Kilbride Taskforce.
“Having first arrived in East Kilbride some 23 years ago, I have seen challenges arise from the loss of big industry such as Motorola and Rolls Royce which have hit the town hard. Despite those losses however, new opportunities have presented themselves. It is evident some of the town’s new businesses are forward-thinking when it comes to environmental issues, and there has been an emphasis on energy conservation and the adoption of low-carbon initiatives to meet the needs of the future. Other new towns have experienced similar issues as ourselves, so a collaborative approach to tackle the shared challenges would be useful.
“The Scottish Government has a town-centre strategy in place, but this doesn’t particularly suit the new town situation. By calling for a specific plan for the five new towns, we can make sure they can thrive for the next seventy years. East Kilbride has for some time been addressing the challenges of the past, but with an emphasis on unlocking all of its future potential. Joint working with other new towns can be beneficial for all of Scotland.”
The resolution reads:
New Towns Action Plan:
Conference notes that Scotland’s five post-war New Towns of Cumbernauld, East Kilbride, Glenrothes, Irvine and Livingston have been woven into the fabric of our country and become well established towns with their own unique identities.
Conference further notes, despite their unique qualities, our New Towns also have shared challenges and opportunities as a result of their planned nature and time of development.
Conference believes it would be beneficial for these towns, and for Scotland, to develop a New Towns Action Plan, with a clear focus on helping to shape a sustainable future for these towns.
As part of the process for drawing up that Action Plan, a New Towns Forum, which allowed those responsible for the towns to share experience and expertise on their shared challenges and opportunities, as well as work together to overcome these challenges and unlock that potential, would be particularly beneficial.
Conference therefore resolves to support the development of a New Towns Action Pan, with joint working between the towns at its core.