Creating a Fairer Scotland

left to right – Bill Chapman (Northern Lights Regional Network Chairperson), Alex Neil (Social Justice Secretary), Glenn Adcook (AHP Group Executive Director), Colin Hawkins (AHP Group Chief Executive)
left to right – Bill Chapman (Northern Lights Regional Network Chairperson), Alex Neil (Social Justice Secretary), Glenn Adcook (AHP Group Executive Director), Colin Hawkins (AHP Group Chief Executive)

June 2015

As a key part of an initiative recently launched by the Scottish Government people across Scotland are being asked to take part in a national discussion about how the country can be a fairer and more equal place to live.

Aberdeenshire Housing Partnership (AHP) was delighted to host a meeting on 22 June between Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil; his colleagues and tenants from the North East Tenants Residents and Landlords Together (NETRALT) group. Whilst the tenants were primarily from RSL’s (Housing Associations) and Local Authorities across Aberdeen; Aberdeenshire and Moray the discussion was wide ranging and the Minister invited all those attending to set out their vision of a fairer Scotland and suggest practical solutions, based on local and personal experience.

The meeting discussed issues like taxation, fair work; disabilities; health; education and the future for our younger people. Naturally provision of more housing was also a key part of the discussions and particularly how people who really need it can be supported in accessing affordable housing. This was put forward as a really important issue in addressing overall inequalities in the North East where housing costs are so high.

Colin Hawkins Chief Executive of the AHP Group said “AHP is very pleased to have hosted one of the early discussions in this initiative; we do think it is important that tenant’s organisations contribute to this national dialogue on helping tackle such major issues as intergenerational poverty and the need to create fairer opportunities for all”.

Executive Director Glenn Adcook added “Tackling inequality, alongside continuing to build and maintain a prosperous and competitive economy is vital to us nationally and in the North East. Provision of more homes and particularly access to affordable housing is a key part of achieving this”.

Importantly, Bill Chapman, Chairman of the Northern Lights Regional Network of Registered Tenant Organisations , said: “the opportunity for us to meet with the Minister was particularly welcome as many tenants have strong views about the need for a new approach to the problems of social injustice and inequality; we think it is important to continue to make our views known about what we are faced with on a day to day basis and have a genuine dialogue with Government about the sort of lasting solutions that are needed.”

This was one of the first of an extensive series of conversations that will take place across the country and online, including a series of events over the summer and autumn where people can discuss the issues that mean most to them. The Scottish Government intends to publish an action plan s part of the outcomes. AHP was pleased to help facilitate the discussion with tenants in Aberdeenshire.

Fairer Scotland Meeting

Alex Neil discussing the issues with the North East Tenants.

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