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.”
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