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Fergus Ewing: New homes and schools are key for our region

By Fergus Ewing

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Fergus Ewing.
Fergus Ewing.

Inverness and Nairn MSP Fergus Ewing on housing and education issues.

On Thursday, May 5 the people of the Highlands will again return to the ballot boxes to vote for the kind of local services and opportunities we would like to see set out across our region.

I believe most councillors, across the political spectrum, are committed to working hard for local people. Indeed, I have worked with many across my 23 years of being elected and found that, when working together, we all share the desire to make the Highlands the best place to live, work and study.

Of course, I do believe our SNP team of Highland candidates seeking your vote this election are all excellent and deserving of your support.

This week our Highland SNP group have released our manifesto and what our vision is to better the lives of you, your family and your community. I think this has struck the right chord, reflecting on the struggles we face as a rural-based region but also encapsulating the exciting opportunities our region has to offer.

I was particularly pleased to see the Highland SNP’s commitment towards reviewing the council’s house building programme and seeking to provide as many new social houses as possible over the new term of council, with a minimum target of 2000 to meet the growing needs and demands of our Highland communities. Taking Inverness as an example, it has become the fastest growing city in Europe over the last few years. With this increase comes many opportunities and growth in our city but also the demand for housing and better services that many seek when they come to live here. Everyone should have a safe, warm home which they can afford and I’m proud to see our group will take steps to make this a reality if they are elected into administration.

In the Highlands we know, due to the large rural land mass of our region, that we require more schools than perhaps other regions to deliver quality education and opportunities for our children. Many of you will know I have long advocated, alongside the parents, staff and pupils of Nairn Academy, to secure a new building for the benefit of their community. The Highland SNP group have committed to an improved condition status of all school buildings during the new term of council which will seek to provide new schools and invest into the current school estates by reviewing the capital funding and look at options in order to identify new school buildings in areas where they are most needed.

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