Sarah Boyack commits to Scots town centre funding

Scottish Labour's Sarah Boyack. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Scottish Labour's Sarah Boyack. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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LABOUR leadership candidate Sarah Boyack has set out her commitment to greater investment in Scotland’s town centres as the contest for the next leader draws to a close.

With voting closing tomorrow, Ms Boyack has challenged the Scottish Government to deliver its Town Centre Action Plan and give councils more cash for regeneration.

She said: “Town centres should be at the heart of our communities. Retail is a key sector but we must also adapt to the changing make-up of our high streets.

“There is now a greater emphasis on providing leisure and other services, and I am particularly keen to see action to encourage more residential developments.”

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Ms Boyack said that, as leader, she would focus on returning “meaningful power” to local authorities.

She added: “Fixing local government funding with a fairer alternative to council tax is a priority and I welcome Nicola Sturgeon’s commitment to a cross-party commission on the issue.

“But we need to consider additional ideas. I am eager to explore new ways to allow councils to generate revenue to drive innovation.

“Ideas like a tourism levy work in other countries across Europe and would be worth exploring here.

“With independent retailers occupying more than half of retail units and a fall in vacancy rates, there are signs of optimism.

“The challenge now is to provide the investment we need to see to transform our town centres.”

SEE ALSO

Tom Peterkin ‘s analysis of Scottish Labour’s leadership candidates

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