Focus on cities is disastrous for town life

I don't buy Michael Kelly's assertion that city regions must be the engine of recovery (Opinion, 20 January).

The concentration of development in cities such as Glasgow has had a hugely adverse effect on other large burghs such as Paisley and Dumbarton. They have become little more than dormitory towns where the daily footfall in their town centres is a shadow of what it used to be. Some may argue that new shopping centres are to blame, but in reality the lack of indigenous employment is the root cause.

As a child in Paisley in the 1960s I recall only I and one other pupil in my school class of 42 had fathers who worked in Glasgow.

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Most of the others worked in or about the town. I wager that the reverse will be the case now.

The drive for all to be subservient to big cities has created huge infrastructure issues and long work journeys, leading to reductions in family time and the need for many additional local public-sector support services, which are largely required because of the distance between work and home. Glasgow has sucked in the work but built few family homes.

Scotland's economic future requires a rebalancing to encourage smart manufacturing industries. As Glasgow has largely shown manufacturing the door, attention must be directed to the Lower Clyde, with its abundance of sites, deep water and skilled heritage. In addition, it offers a quality of life unmatched by anything the city has to offer.