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Susan Aitken Glasgow
United Kingdom

“Glasgow has many stories to tell. Our next chapter must be that all our neighbourhoods and citizens now share in our prosperity. I believe that working with and learning from cities across the globe will help us write that chapter.”

– Councillor Susan Aitken

biography

Susan Aitken became Council Leader and City Convener for Inclusive Economic Growth after elections in May 2017 which saw the SNP form a minority administration. She has been councillor for her home area of Langside since 2012, and has led the Council’s SNP group since 2014, having previously been spokesperson on health and social care. Before being elected, Susan worked in policy and research in the Scottish Parliament and third sector, and as a freelance writer and editor on health and social care. She grew up in Biggar, South Lanarkshire, and moved to Glasgow aged 17; she is a graduate of both Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities.

How is the
Mayor promoting
Inclusive Growth ?
Glasgow City Region Delivering inclusive economic growth for Glasgow and Clyde Valley

Susan leads government with a clear vision to deliver a world-class city with a thriving, inclusive economy where all can benefit. Glasgow has universities and research institutes with international reputations and a highly skilled workforce, with key strengths in financial services, life sciences, engineering, manufacturing and creative and media industries.

Glasgow works with seven authorities around the River Clyde to deliver the UK’s largest city region deal, addressing significant challenges, including long-term unemployment, with ill health a major contributor; comparatively low survival of business start-ups; a legacy of vacant and derelict land, and gaps in transport infrastructure.

Susan chairs the Glasgow City Region Cabinet, which is developing an inclusive growth analysis model for city region projects.

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Connectivity Commission Joined up policy on transport – delivering inclusion and sustainable goals

Transport, mobility, and connectivity are central to Susan’s political and policy priorities. Good transport is integral to her ambition for Glasgow to be a sustainable and low carbon city. Glasgow has the UK’s lowest car ownership, with half of Glaswegians without access to a car. Good public transport is crucial for economic, social and cultural inclusion, and for the city’s vitality.

Susan appointed a Connectivity Commission, led by Professor David Begg, a former Chair of Transport in Edinburgh and a leading adviser on transport issues. The commission’s first report highlighted a dramatic decline in bus use, with the largest local bus operator losing 27m journeys in the four years to 2015/16. Yet, the city centre has poor air quality. To tackle this, the council is promoting Scotland’s first Low Emissions Zone, encompassing the city centre.

Too often, elderly buses with few passengers gridlock the city centre. The city government wants bus operators to have easier, quicker routes through the city; in return, it expects them to cooperate in improving their offer to residents and visitors. A proposed ‘Glasgow Bus Alliance’ would allow buses to avoid congestion, improving reliability “on time –every time”, with cleaner buses, new services, and simplified and competitive fares.

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