The long term-aim must be to return to a society where houses are viewed as somewhere to live, not as vehicles for accumulating wealth. This can’t happen overnight, and it won’t be easy. The task involves taking on the unholy alliance of private developers, banks and – most difficult of all – ordinary homeowners, many of whom now view ever rising house prices as normal and just.
‘How often are citizens actively included in the decision-making? For Haringey, read those parts of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and every other vibrant city that attracts the developers’ eye’. Fay Young on the key urban question: how can people reclaim the city landscape?
Advice For Our Times, a pop up event at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery on Thursday 8 February, highlights gaps in advice, support and social services for people suffering adversity of many different kinds.
‘Required reading for all those engaged in the fight against poverty’, Gordon Munro reviews Darren McGarvey’s book, Poverty Safari.
‘The flexibilities the Scottish government is introducing to Universal Credit could prove significant in easing budgetary pressures like the ones that the individuals in my research feared’.
‘But Gibson’s Red Road flats owed much more to constituents chapping his door about their damp decrepit decaying sandstone tenements, his wish to keep Glaswegians in Glasgow, and a desire to help local industry by building big towers with steel frames’.
Owen Hopkins’s book Lost Futures surveys the rise, fall and rise again of the reputation of British post-war architectural modernism, including iconic Scottish projects such as Glasgow’s Red Roads Flat and Hutchenstown C, the Cockenzie Power Station and St Peter’s Seminary.
“Scots are only slightly more egalitarian than people in England, while support for redistribution has declined across the UK. People will pay for specific services, notably health, but are not keen on redistribution. They want more powers for Scotland but are less keen on different policies or taxes.”
Is this the shape of higher education to come? In Scotland we worry about widening access; in London about being able to afford it all. The sheer cost of student living must act as a deterrent – and turn the entire HE experience into a commoditised service.
The closure of 17 Edinburgh schools built under PFI contracts has become a big issue in the Holyrood elections. Here an expert goes behind the headlines to analyse the system of public/private co-financing as a whole – and the SG’s profit-capping model.