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.
'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:
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
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.