Foreword – Steven Heddle, Environment and Economy spokesperson, COSLA
Local authorities are the vital bridge and interface between the local, community and the national levels. We design, plan and deliver services and places with our local communities. Local authorities, through COSLA, worked previously with the Scottish Government to design and implement the Town Centre First and Place Principle.
We very much welcomed the publication of 'A New Future for Scotland's Town Centres' and now this new action plan which provides local authorities, their partners, and communities with a clear framework to meet their ambition to improve our towns. Towns are vital to the fabric of all local authorities as individual places, coming in all shapes and sizes and with their own stories and assets. This Plan provides a Call for Action at the national and the local level to ensure towns meet the needs and aspirations of their local communities.
It is encouraging to see Scottish Government removing barriers and silos and aligning policies and strategies across portfolios to build this place based focus. Local authorities are doing the same, ensuring that local and national government focus on outcomes for their places and their communities. The pandemic response demonstrated the vital role that local authorities play in, and with, communities in social, economic and cultural ways, and provides a strong base on which to develop further for the benefit of communities and towns. We are firmly behind a focus on people, planet and the economy, building towns that benefit our communities, delivering sustainability and fairly for all.
Councillor Steven Heddle, COSLA Environment and Economy spokesperson
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