Growing up, I saw the decline of these towns from busy, bustling hubs, to ghost towns.
The single biggest contributory factor to this was the closure of Ravenscraig Steel Works at the start of the 1990s. According to the Evening Times, Labour are launching their Scottish campaign from the site of the steel works today.
Jim Murphy is to visit the former Ravenscraig site in Motherwell alongside Labour’s leader in Holyrood, Iain Gray.
In a visit to the new Motherwell College building on the site, the Scottish Secretary will say it symbolises the difference between Labour and Tory policies to the area.
He will say: “The difference between Labour and the Tories’ approach to Scotland is symbolised here in Ravenscraig.
“The Tories left people to fend for themselves as the area was abandoned to decline.
“Labour invested in this area, built the new college and is still rebuilding in Ravenscraig.
“Labour’s plans will rebuild Scotland’s economy and renew Scotland’s public services and political landscape.”
Furthermore, plans for a shopping hub has drawn criticism from other shopping centres in the area. Since nearby Wishaw was described by it's Labour MSP as a 'pigsty', I'm fairly sure that local residents might prefer money (such as the town centre regeneration fund) to be invested in their areas first, before something shiny and new draws even more people away from their local shops.
My grandparents have fewer and fewer quality local shops to get their messages - my Gran White can't buy things like fresh fish or wool in Wishaw any more, yet there are plenty of bookies and off-sales.
I can see what Labour are trying to do with the whole harking back to the Tories line - but there's responsibility to be taken there too. Labour MPs in the '80s and '90s failed to stop the closure, and their inaction over the years has done little to repair the damage inflicted on Lanarkshire.
Labour need to think more carefully before they fall back on simply blaming the Tories for the woes of our communities.