Midlothian biggest household growth

Monday June 22nd 2020

fairfield


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Midlothian has been named as the fastest growing council area in Scotland after the number of households rose by more than 15 per cent in a decade.

The latest figures from the National Records of Scotland showed the number of individual households in the county rose from 35, 605 in 2009 to 41, 226 last year.

Midlothian Council leader Derek Milligan said the figures backed the local authority’s stance that it is the fastest growing community in Scotland.

And he called for more support from the Scottish Government and housebuilders as the county continues to try and meet the demands of a growing population in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Councillor Milligan said it was estimated Covid-19 has cost the local authority more than £9million.

He added the council had recently approved a route map out of the lockdown which would require an investment of £153million this year with £88million marked for social housing.

He said: “We are very well aware we are, by far, the fastest growing authority in Scotland. This rapid growth brings both challenges and opportunities, especially in the current financial climate.

“More households mean more people and greater demand on services, especially as we’re all living longer.

“It’s vital therefore that growth is manageable and sustainable. We want people who live locally to enjoy a good quality of life and be able to access excellent schools, good public transport, leisure facilities, healthcare, jobs and green spaces.”

Councillors held a virtual meeting last week to approve their plans for the future with a “wellbeing economy” at the heart of its plans.

The recovery approved included an accelerated capital programme with £153 million investment this year, £88 million of which will be spent on social housing and a further £321 million investment planned for future years.

Mr Milligan said: “With regards other private housing, the number of new homes being built is largely dictated by the Scottish government, so with council tax only making up 25% of Midlothian Council’s income with the rest coming from Scottish government, we really need to make sure we’re getting the financial support we need from it (the govt) to provide the services our communities require.

“In addition, housing developers must continue to contribute too to help build new roads and schools, for example.

“We want to make sure Midlothian continues to be a ‘Great Place to Grow’, an attractive county in which to live, work and visit. I must stress again, this can only be achieved with commitment and finance from the government and developers.”

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