Scotland’s Historic Environment in the General Election

Ahead of the general election, BEFS provides an overview of policy commitments in the party manifestos that would have implications for Scotland’s historic environment.

All political parties with representation in the previous Westminster Parliament have now produced their manifestos. BEFS has undertaken an overview of policy commitments that would appear to have implications for Scotland’s historic environment and is grateful to Newsdirect for providing helpful summaries to work from.

If you are looking for specific policies on architecture, archaeology, heritage, landscape, planning, surveying or conservation you need read no further. But you will find policies that would impact on these areas if implemented.

Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party

  • Continue to commit £1.4bn to Growth Deals across Scotland and deliver Deals for Falkirk and the Islands

Full manifesto details No to Indyref 2

Scottish Green Party

  • Set conditions for Scottish content in supply chains where possible, such as through the leasing process. This should include consideration of embedded carbon emissions including within international travel
  • Directly invest in deployment of innovative renewables, energy storage, energy efficiency and development of their supply chains
  • Adopt a target of all homes reaching Energy Performance Standard C or above by 2030.
  • Provide more funding for skills development, training and apprenticeships.
  • Create a new funded programme of deep-retrofits of fuel-poor households and social housing, using approaches like “Energiesprong” that is currently being trialled in Nottingham.
  • Require new homes to meet passivhaus or other net-zero standards, be connected to the public transport system and be built in areas that are not in flood-risk zones.

Full manifesto details Scottish Green New Deal

Scottish Labour Party

  • Create a regeneration fund to provide an economic boost to Scotland’s high streets
  • Ensure small businesses are part of the procurement supply chain to strengthen local jobs and supply chains
  • Continue investments in apprenticeships and ensure they are tied closely to the labour market
  • Legislate to restrict the amount of land that one individual can own, and prevent land ownership via offshore tax havens
  • Complete a public register of landowners as a necessary step to improve transparency and enable meaningful land reform
  • Develop a Community Land Fund in line with the recommendations in UK Labour’s ‘Land for the Many’ proposals along with long-term revenue support for community buy-outs
  • Use regulation to intervene when land is not used in ways that serve the public interest
  • Retrofit all houses to the highest energy efficiency standards, backed by the National Transformation Fund, to reduce fuel poverty and fuel bills among those living in rural areas
  • Develop a new sustainable national plan for tourism based on improving the offer to visitors while reducing resource use and waste, reducing the transport impact, protecting the natural and cultural heritage
  • Implement the tourist tax and a land value capture tax
  • Review the business rates system by engaging more widely than the present Scottish Government
  • Recommend the creation of a new Land and Communities Development Agency in Scotland
  • Invest £6bn from the UK’s National Transformation Fund to upgrade almost all of Scotland’s 2.6 million homes to the highest energy efficiency standards
  • Provide an initial £10bn investment to kickstart a social house building programme in Scotland, building 12,000 eco-friendly social and council homes a year for ten years, with local government and housing associations receiving two thirds of the funding required to build these homes
  • Legislate to bring energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector in line with the social sector

Full manifesto details Real Change for the Many Not the Few

Scottish Liberal Democrat Party

  • Ensure that the National Infrastructure Commission takes fully into account the climate and environmental implications of all national infrastructure decisions
  • Prioritise government spending on the things that matter most to people’s wellbeing with the money for Scotland to match them
  • Develop a national skills strategy for key sectors, including zero-carbon technologies, to help match skills and people
  • Establish creative enterprise zones to grow and regenerate the cultural output of areas across the UK
  • Create an emergency programme to insulate all Britain’s homes by 2030, cut emissions and end fuel poverty, working in partnership with the Scottish Government to provide the resources
  • Work across the four UK administrations on a framework for agricultural support payments to support the public goods that come from effective land management
  • Extend the involvement of the Scottish Government in the development of UK policy on work permit and student visas

Full manifesto details Stop Brexit, Stop Independance: Build a Brighter Future

Scottish National Party

  • Seek the devolution of immigration
  • Demand the UK stops “short-changing” Scotland on city and region deals and urge the UK Government to deliver Growth Deals for those areas of Scotland yet to receive them
  • Support a more ambitious Islands Growth Deal
  • Call on the UK Government to examine a reduction in VAT for the hospitality sector
  • Call for a reduction in VAT on energy efficiency improvements in homes
  • Put the transition to net-zero at the heart of the Scottish National Investment Bank’s work
  • Oppose Conservative plans to introduce a minimum salary threshold for admittance to the UK

Full manifesto details Stronger for Scotland

Conservative & Unionist Party

  • Introduce an Australian-style points-based immigration system
  • Create the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will replace the “overly bureaucratic” EU Structural Funds and will match the size of those funds for each nation

Full manifesto details Get Brexit Done: Unleash Britain’s Potential

Green Party

Remain in the European Union and enshrine Freedom of Movement as a core principle of the EU.

Full manifesto details If Not Now, When?

Labour Party

  • Establish a “humane” immigration system built on human rights to meet the needs of the economy and public services
  • Provide Scotland with at least £100bn of additional resources over two terms, which Labour want to see £10bn from our new National Transformation Fund invested in the building of 120,000 council and social homes in Scotland over the next ten years, creating up to 50,000 jobs
  • Invest £6bn in retrofitting houses across Scotland, which will help tackle the climate emergency and lower bills, end fuel poverty and create 35,000 jobs
  • Provide the Scottish National Investment Bank, under Scottish control, with £20bn of lending power to deliver funds to local projects and Scotland’s small businesses

Full manifesto details It’s Time for Real Change

Liberal Democrat Party

  • Maintain EU freedom of movement by stopping Brexit
  • Continue to develop city deals in Scotland

 Full manifesto details Stop Brexit: Build a Brighter Future

You will also find interesting analysis of UK manifestos from the Heritage Alliance and the Carbon Brief.

 

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