By Austin Sheridan
I have been a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament representing Glasgow for the last three years. I know that we live in difficult times that are having a serious effect on young people.
We are living in a time where we see cuts and I believe that for a long time the Labour run Glasgow City Council have seen young people as a target for savings.
That’s why I decided to stand for election, and at age 19 I will be the youngest SNP candidate in Glasgow for the local council elections. I think that the SNP offers a positive vision for Glasgow.
Right now we see community centres closing down and a Labour run council refusing to lower class sizes that will deliver the best start for our young people.
Given that most people accept that lowering class sizes is a good thing I am left with a feeling that Gordon Matheson’s Labour group are opposing this policy merely to pick a fight with Alex Salmond and the SNP Scottish Government.
That is not what the people of Glasgow expect from their councillors, who should have the interests of the people of Glasgow as their priority, especially our younger generation as they will shape the future of our great city for many years to come.
Glasgow at the moment receives the highest amount of funding of any wholly mainland local authority, £2,380 for every resident – 17% above the Scottish average.
We see the Labour Leader of Glasgow City Council claiming that Glasgow is getting ripped off then over in the east, we see the Labour Group Leader in Edinburgh City Council say that Glasgow gets too much. This inconsistency and hypocrisy is insulting to the people of Scotland.
It is important that we offer a positive future for our young people. As I mentioned before, Labour have failed to lower our class sizes in Glasgow even though they have been given enough funding to carry this out.
Instead of fixing schools Labour choose to close them down. Community centres have been hit hard with closures across the city and some are badly needing repair work.
At a time of high youth unemployment I strongly believe that we need to invest in communities by retaining and improving our community centres and providing sporting facilities that will help improve the health of young people in Glasgow.
I am well aware that in the ward I am standing for election in Baillieston, there is a serious lack of these facilities. They would make a real difference to our future generations.
A change of leadership in Glasgow City Council is essential. A council that works with the Scottish Government instead of picking fights for the sake of it will deliver better things for Glasgow.
As we have seen over the past few days, the Labour party in Glasgow has gone into meltdown with councillors resigning the Labour whip, resulting in the Labour party leading a minority regime in the council. Even their own councillors are losing confidence in their leadership.
People want an open, approachable, accountable council. In this historic and exciting period in Scotland’s future, it is time that the people of Glasgow get the council that they deserve.
Austin Sheridan will be an SNP Candidate for Baillieston (Ward 20) Glasgow City Council in the council elections in May 2012, He is a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (Glasgow Govan 2009-2011, Glasgow Southside 2011-present)