Blog: On the stump at Regeneration Hustings
Six candidates made their case for election at the recent SURF Regeneration Hustings. The hustings followed the publication of SURF’s Manifesto for Community Regeneration.
Held in Edinburgh, a lively audience was able to interrogate the policies of the candidates and ask “what would you do to support regeneration and social justice in Scotland?”
Iain McGill, Conservative candidate wanted to see further work to regenerate town centres.
Andy Wightman, the Greens’ candidate proposed a guaranteed ‘citizens’ income’ in order to reduce economic inequality.
Johanna Boyd, Labour’s Candidate pledged to implement all of the recommendations of Scotland’s ‘poverty tsar’ Naomi Eisenstadt on reducing inequality.
Willie Black from Rise said that the party’s main aim was the redistribution of wealth.
Marco Biagi of the SNP cited proposals for a tax on vacant and derelict land to drive physical regeneration.
When the hustings was opened up to questions, housing and planning were two of the main themes raised.
Iain McGill wanted to see planning streamlined and regulations reduced as part of a plan to build 100,000 homes over the next five years.
Andy Wightman called for greater community involvement in planning and for a change in legislation that would allow public bodies to buy land at existing value, drastically reducing the cost of developing housing.
Joanna Boyd said Labour would build 12,000 affordable homes per year if elected.
Martin Veart, Liberal Democrat candidate, wanted to make it easier for communities to buy land and to limit the landholdings that individuals or companies can have.
Willie Black called for the reintroduction of large scale development of social housing.
Marco Biagi acknowledged that lack of affordable housing of all tenures was a real issue and that development must be increased.