The Rural Affairs and Environment Committee is to hold a stakeholder event in Aviemore to inform its rural housing inquiry.

07/12/2007

The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs and Environment Committee is to hold a stakeholder event in Aviemore on Monday 10 December 2007 to inform the remit of its major inquiry into rural housing in Scotland.

The Committee has invited a wide range of stakeholders including local authorities, housebuilders, academics and local and voluntary groups to help it set its remit. Individuals nominated by local constituency MSPs will also be attending, together with representatives of community councils and other grass-roots housing organisations, to give their first-hand experiences.

Delegates to the event will consider some of the variable factors which impact upon rural housing provision. Across a series of workshops throughout the day they are expected to explore issues such as affordable housing, planning law and water and sewage infrastructure. The day’s programme will conclude with a prioritisation session whereby delegates will have the opportunity to recommend which themes the Committee’s inquiry should pursue.

The Committee’s Convener, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, said:

“With this event we hope to gain a clearer picture of the key factors impacting on rural housing provision. There are undoubtedly a number of complex factors across rural housing markets which require to be explored as part of our inquiry. By listening to stakeholders we expect to identify a range of themes where the Committee can make a difference through its inquiry.

”It is vital that the Committee moves beyond the central belt of Scotland, where it can hear first hand from the people and organisations who are directly affected by issues around rural housing.”

Background

The Rural Affairs and Environment Committee is composed of eight MSPs including Convener Roseanna Cunningham. The other members are John Scott (Deputy Convener), Karen Gillon, Jamie Hepburn, Des McNulty, Peter Peacock, Mike Rumbles and Bill Wilson. Mr Scott and Mr McNulty are unable to attend the seminar in Aviemore.

The Committee’s inquiry on rural housing will be formally launched at the Committee’s first meeting in 2008. The remit is expected to be closely based on the outcomes of the Aviemore seminar.