By Martin Kelly
The SNP has published its manifesto for Glasgow for the local council elections on May 3, with a promise to put jobs and families first.
The party promises to bring a new approach to the administration of the city and accused the ruling Labour group, which has run the city for decades, of being “tired, divided and complacent” and said Labour had taken the city for granted.
Deputy leader of the SNP and Glasgow MSP Nicola Sturgeon promised that her party would demonstrate “ambitious leadership” and said: “Glasgow has been run by Labour for decades and they have become tired, divided and complacent. It’s time for new and ambitious leadership in the city and that is what the SNP offers.”
Key commitments in the manifesto include a pledge to maintain the Council Tax freeze, a guarantee of nursery education for 3 to 4 year olds, and a guaranteed offer of training or education for all 16-24 year olds.
SNP group leader Allison Hunter promised that an SNP administration would mean a fresh start in the City Chambers, with more open government and better relationships between the City Council and the Scottish Government to deliver for the people of Glasgow.
A radical new proposal in the manifesto is the commitment to set up a “Petitions Committee” giving local residents direct access to council decision making. The SNP accused the ruling Labour group of secrecy and factionalism, and promised a new and open approach to governing the city.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Everywhere I go, people tell me it’s time for a change of political leadership. The city needs an end to secrecy, complacency and factionalism. We need a new, strong and united team in the City Chambers determined to make life better for the people of Glasgow. Glasgow deserves the best.”
The manifesto unveiled on Thursday is based on direct consultation with 20,000 people in the city over the past 18 months. The SNP claim that their policies reflect the priorities of people living and working in Glasgow.
A summary of the manifesto – also published today in newspaper format – will be delivered to households across the city between now and polling day on 3 May.
Key pledges include:
- Additional investment in education, work or training places for 16-24 years old in the city.
- A drive to refurbish schools and raise attainment.
- A guarantee of at least 600 hours of free, flexible nursery education for every 3 and 4 year old.
- A commitment to keeping the council tax frozen.
- A focus on the basics – better maintained roads, cleaner streets and a crackdown on dog fouling and fly-tipping.
- Faster assessment and better integrated delivery of care across health and social work.
- New green energy schemes and improved recycling rates.
- More open governance – with council meetings opened up to broadcasters and a Petitions Committee to give citizens direct access to council decision making.
- A commitment to the living wage and no compulsory redundancies.
The party is also committed to a introducing a new deal for the more than 60,000 carers in Glasgow, which will include a Carers Champion, a Carers Council to regularly bring together carers, elected members and council officials, a ‘Caring for Carers’ kitemark for city employers who offer support for carers, support for kinship carers and financial support for carers’ centres.
Leader of the SNP Group in Glasgow, Councillor Allison Hunter said:
“I’m very proud to be a Glaswegian. Glasgow is Scotland’s leading city and a fantastic place to live and work. And that’s why an SNP administration will put Glasgow families first. With the support of people across the city we can deliver a fairer deal for local families and a new focus on creating and protecting jobs.
“The SNP will never take the people of Glasgow for granted. That’s why we have spoken to thousands of Glaswegians and heard their priorities. And, this manifesto is the result, with its focus on protecting family budgets, delivering more help for young families and creating jobs and opportunities through education.
“We know that people want the Council to do more to get the basics right – the streets swept, the bins emptied on time and the potholes fixed.
“And we know how worried people are about unemployment, especially among our youngsters. That is why we are making a clear commitment to a £5m investment in opportunities for 16-24 year olds.
“Education is another top priority; so is the way that the Council provides care services and supports the army of unpaid carers across the city. Our manifesto contains proposals to address all of these issues, and many more. We will also keep the council tax frozen.
“Our manifesto also sets out our commitment to be open and upfront about our plans. We won’t take decisions without consulting the people who are affected by them. We will set up a Petitions Committee that the Council has to listen to.
“We all know that council budgets are tight, just as household budgets are tight. But we can create a more successful future working constructively with the people of Glasgow and with our colleagues in the Council and in the Scottish Government. Together, we can make Glasgow better.”
SNP Deputy Leader and MSP for Glasgow Southside, Nicola Sturgeon, added:
“We have a great team and good ideas. Last year, we won the Scottish Parliament election in Glasgow. Over the next few weeks we will work tirelessly to win the trust of Glasgow voters so that we can deliver real change for this great city.”
The full manifesto can be read here: http://www.glasgowsnp.org/manifesto