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The long-term challenges and opportunities facing Scotland's five cities were the focus of the first meeting of the...
The long-term challenges and opportunities facing Scotland's five cities were the focus of the first meeting of the Cities Review Sounding Board which met today.

Minister for finance and local government, Angus MacKay, chaired the meeting of the group which includes members of the business community, the voluntary sector, local authorities, cultural and other interests from Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.

Mr MacKay said:

'Scotland's five cities are vital to the health and prosperity of the nation. They contain one third of the population and account for three-quarters of the country's economic activity. It is right that we should develop a joined-up policy for their future success.

'That is why the executive is sponsoring this review. All of our cities currently face a range of challenges and opportunities. Some of the issues are common to all, but each city is unique and we need to address that fact.

'It is important that key decision makers engage in this review and that we have an open exchange of ideas about future development. Peter Peacock and I will be visiting each of the cities over the next few months to hear local views on the problems and opportunities facing them in trying to maximise the potential of all 5 of Scotland's cities.'

In December 2000 the first minister announced a major review of Scotland's cities to examine the key long-term challenges and opportunities affecting them.

Local views will be fed into the process when ministers and members of the review team visit each city over the coming months.


1. The minister outlined details of the cities review in answer to a parliamentary question:

Michael McMahon MSP (Hamilton North and Bellshill) (Labour):

To ask the Scottish Executive whether it can supply further details about the arrangements for the Scottish Executive's Review of Scotland's 5 Cities.

ANGUS MACKAY: Since the First Minister announced that a Review of Scotland's Cities would be undertaken, the Executive has carried out preparatory work for the first phase of the work programme. The second phase of external discussion and consultation is now underway. A Sounding Board and Academic Panel have been established to inform and test the Review's emerging thinking.

2. The membership of the Sounding Board and Academic Advisory Panel are as follows:

Sounding Board

Oonagh Aitken, COSLA

Bryan Beattie, Eden Court Theatre

David Begg, Robert Gordon University

Ann Clark, Highland Council

Susan Dalgety, Edinburgh Evening News

Iain Dickson, George Watt & Stewart

Rani Dhir, Drumchapel Housing Co-operative

Matthew Farrow, CBI Scotland

Mike Galloway, Dundee City Council

Vincent Goodstadt, Glasgow & Clyde Valley Structure Plan Joint Committee

Stuart Gulliver, University of Glasgow

Stephen Inch, Glasgow City Council

Donald McGougan, City of Edinburgh Council

Lucy McTernan, SCVO

Mike Scott, Aberdeen City Council

Douglas Smith, Insignia Richard Ellis

Eddie Thompson, Morning Noon and Night

Lesley Thomson, Liddell Thomson

Tracey White, STUC

Alan Langlands, University of Dundee

Raymond Young, University of Glasgow

Alf Young, The Herald

Academic Panel

Brian Ashcroft, Fraser of Allander Institute/University of Strathclyde

Liz Bondi, University of Edinburgh

Glen Bramley, Edinburgh College of Art/Heriot-Watt University

Nick Fyfe, University of Dundee

Stephen Graham, University of Newcastle

Stuart Gulliver, University of Glasgow

Cliff Hague, Edinburgh College of Art/Heriot-Watt University

Gerry Hassan, Demos

George Hazel, MacLean Hazel

Ade Kearns, University of Glasgow

Greg Lloyd, University of Dundee

Colin Mair, University of Strathclyde

James McCormack, Scottish Council Foundation

Alan McGregor, University of Glasgow

John McKendrick, Glasgow Caledonian University

Peter Roberts, University of Dundee

Michael Pacione, University of Strathclyde

Susan Smith, University of Edinburgh

Ivan Turok, University of Glasgow

Nick Williams, University of Aberdeen

Additional members will be invited to join the sounding board and the academic panel to cover specific issues as the review develops.

The review is planned to conclude in early 2002. It will be firmly set within the changing urban pattern of Scotland and will involve a fundamental review of the key long-term challenges and opportunities affecting Scotland's cities, with tangible and deliverable measures for progressing the emerging agenda.

3. Membership of the academic panel covers a range of disciplines with a view to gathering insights from a wide field. The panel has met once, so far, on 26 July 2001.

4. Cabinet agreed the following remit for the review: 'to review the current prospects for the economic, environmental and social development of our five cities; and to identify executive policies which will improve those prospects, taking account of the interactions between the cities, their surrounding areas and the rest of Scotland'

5. The review will be taken forward by Duncan Maclennan of the policy unit. Angus Mackay, the minister for finance and local government, will have responsibility for leading the review at ministerial level, with support from Peter Peacock, the deputy minister for finance and local government. The review team will be staffed from members of the first minister's policy unit.

6. The review is due to report in early 2002.

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