On 21 April, Aberdeen Greens launched their alternative vision for Aberdeen City Council, prioritising housing, transport and the local economy.
The Greens’ Aberdeen manifesto commits councillors to:
- Push for rent controls and a local ‘vacant land levy’
- Appoint an Empty Properties Officer
- Support development of a locally owned bus company
- Create Low-Emissions Zones and promote low-carbon transport
- Secure sustainable jobs outwith oil and gas
- Protect public services, especially education and social care
John Finnie, Green MSP for Highlands and Islands, visited local activists to support their campaign. He emphasised the importance of local government in improving people’s lives.
Guy Ingerson, local branch Co-Convenor and candidate for George Street & Harbour, said, “Greens are the most radical party on housing. All the parties agree that we need to build more social housing, but hundreds of flats are lying empty across Aberdeen. Greens want those spaces to become homes. And we want to use the council’s new rent control powers so tenants can plan their finances without worrying about sudden rent rises.”
Beyond affordability, Greens believe that Aberdeen needs to be an attractive place where people want to live, work and visit.
Renée Slater, candidate for Torry & Ferryhill, added, “Aberdeen residents are short-changed on environmental issues. Traffic congestion and pollution affect everyone’s health, and nobody wants to send their child to a school with an incinerator next door, which is the plan for Tullos school. But investing in better public transport will improve air quality, connect people, and make our streets safer.”
In prosperous parts of Aberdeen, the environmental consequences of the oil and gas industry can seem far away – but the industry has also brought inequality, high cost of living and a fragile economy, as exposed by the oil price shock. Rather than watching Aberdeen become another coal town, Greens want to build a more diverse, sustainable foundation for the city’s economy, drawing on renewable energy, technology, creative industries and tourism.
It may seem an impossible vision, given the political stalemate of Aberdeen City Council. But bringing an outside perspective, Mr Finnie said, “Greens in the Scottish Parliament have been working constructively across parties. Labour now support our calls to ban fracking, and we secured an extra £5.5 million for public services in Aberdeen through the SNP government’s budget. A strong group of Green councillors can transform local politics in Aberdeen, and make a positive difference in people’s lives.”
The full manifesto can be found here: aberdeen_manifesto.pdf
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