Tue 13 Feb, 2018

Allan Young

Glasgow

As Glasgow City Council’s SNP administration prepare their first annual budget for the city, your Green councillors are working hard to ensure that vital services are protected.

Green MSPs at Holyrood last month won substantial concessions from the SNP and ensured an extra £170 million for local authorities in the national budget, £17.6 million of which is going to Glasgow. We want to make sure that the SNP use this chance to protect key services and begin to reverse historic cuts, ensure a fair pay deal for staff, and back radical measures for a fairer, greener local economy.

In a council chamber where no party has an overall majority, the final budget deal must reflect a diversity of ideas. Discussions are ongoing, and Greens have shown we are willing to engage constructively to secure the best deal we can for local people. We call on the administration to take on board our ideas and deliver a budget which both breaks from the past and invests in a sustainable future.

These are the key tests that my colleagues and I will use to decide if we can support the SNP’s budget:

  • Protecting essential services :
    The extra money that Green MSPs won for Glasgow means that the Council will have the cash to protect schools funding - including for pupils with additional support needs. Glasgow can begin to reinvest in services which have borne the brunt of cuts, such as street cleansing, parks, libraries and homelessness services.

  • A fair pay deal for workers :
    The SNP minority administration must at least match the Scottish Government’s public sector pay deal, and move towards improved pay and conditions for Council workers.
  • A fairer, greener local economy :
    Infrastructure spending must support a low carbon future, including more 20mph safer streets, improving conditions for walking and cycling, and connecting communities to public transport. Local people must also have more of a say over economic decision making - Greens will back measures that strengthen democratic accountability, invest in community-led budgets, and give a greater voice to young Glaswegians.

People in Glasgow voted for change last year. Now the new administration has a chance to signal a new direction after years of under-investment. Greens have already secured an extra £17.6 million for this year’s Glasgow budget. We’re looking to ensure that those additional funds are directed into services which people value and rely on, and for transformative ideas to make the city fairer and more sustainable.  

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