Everyone should be able to easily find out how the Council works, how and why decisions are made, and how to have their say. This is especially true of the biggest decisions, like setting budget priorities. People care about their community and want to make things better, fairer, and greener. Scottish Greens will make it easier for everyone’s voice to be heard, and for Glaswegians to see how their input can create real change, rebuilding trust between communities and the Council.
A fair, transparent, accountable City Council
- Guarantee a proportionate, representative Council, in which all Councillors have a say, and committees have a more meaningful role in developing policy.
- Take steps to ensure that Council and committee decisions are binding, and that there are clear routes to accountability if decisions are ignored.
- Ensure committee meetings, whether in person or online, are open to the public and broadcast live. Make recorded meetings more accessible by use of subtitles, and minutes more informative so people can better understand council decision making.
- Continue reform of the Council’s arms-length structures, bringing more of their services back under democratic control and strengthening accountability.
- Strengthen community involvement in decisions around planning and licensing applications, permissions to use public facilities, traffic regulation orders, and public processions. We will improve how information is available online and consider the potential for decentralised decision making.
- Involve young people and other under-represented groups more meaningfully in making decisions.
Better, more accessible Council services
- Refocus the Council’s communications on giving people information they really need and want, making this a specific Cabinet-level responsibility.
- Review the council website, My Glasgow app, and Council social media to make them valued tools and trusted sources of useful information.
- Create a service redesign team to oversee major improvements to how people can interact with the Council on the things that really matter to them. This will include reviewing public notification processes and ways of reporting issues and concerns.
- Make information from the Council accessible for everyone, with BSL, easy read, and versions in community languages as standard and in-person support to make sure digitally excluded people are not left behind.
Fair funding for public services
- Use the review secured by Green MSPs to end the regressive Council Tax and replace it with a fairer system of property taxation. Under the present system, we believe rates should be set by individual Councils to suit local circumstances.
- Increase the use of participatory budgeting, giving communities active involvement in local budget decisions.
- Push the Council to publish annual budget proposals early so that they can be scrutinised by everyone, improve the transparency of existing spending plans and use effective engagement techniques to ensure people’s voices are heard.
- More fully embed social and equality impacts and climate emissions in budget decisions.
- Campaign for local carbon and waste taxes and for the return of the power to set non domestic rates locally. This would devolve more fiscal power to local government so we have the tools needed to invest in making Glasgow greener and fairer.
- Support a fiscal framework with the Scottish Government that promotes local democracy, devolved decision-making and stability for public services.
Fund the Third Sector better
- Ensure the Council learns lessons from its handling of the Glasgow Communities Fund, moving away from competitive grant processes that pit essential services against each other. Instead we will develop partnership approaches to funding of core services, initially focusing on financial and legal advice and on equalities and gender based violence services.
- Remove political influence over grant funding and consider the role of external, independent management of grant programmes.
- Commit to multi-year funding wherever possible, with allocations increasing, not tapering down, each year to account for increasing costs.
Grow grassroots local democracy
- Realign Area Partnerships - the lowest level of community planning structures - with neighbourhoods, not electoral wards, and expand their membership so they encompass a wider range of organisations working in communities, such as Housing Associations, third sector organisations, parent councils, business groups.
- Strengthen the requirements for Community Councils to be representative of the ethnic, gender and age balance of their community and invest in intersectional equalities training for community councillors.
- Consider how Community Councils can facilitate the development of Citizens’ Panels or other wider community engagement forums, whilst protecting their democratic status.
- Improve support for Community Councils and be more active in ensuring there are no dormant Community Councils, ensuring communities have a statutory voice in key local decisions.
- Campaign for all councillors to receive a fair full time wage to make the role accessible to people from all backgrounds, and explore expansion of working rights for councillors, including job-sharing, recognition of sick leave, parental leave, and other rights given as standard to employees.
Rethinking the Council’s civic role
- Review the role of the Lord Provost and the wider civic office so that it better reflects the diverse and changing nature of Glasgow as a global city, and is more accountable to citizens, both directly and via their elected Councillors.
- Feed into wider discussions around the potential for directly-elected Provosts, who need not be an elected Councillor, so that we appoint the best possible civic head to represent Glasgow.
- Run an annual citizens’ initiative through the Provost’s office, giving citizens a direct chance to make city policy, such as that which led to Berlin's world leading car free zone.
Pay all Council workers fairly
- Settle historic equal pay claims and implement a new pay and grading structure as soon as possible.
- Review senior executive pay and explore a pay disparity policy, which would mandate that the highest paid employee’s salary cannot be more than an agreed multiplier of the lowest paid.
- Support a no-detriment policy for anyone earning under the median wage in future pay restructuring.
Better support key workers
- Improve conditions for frontline workers across the council family, in particularly addressing concerns of cleansing workers, home carers, and janitorial staff.
- Respond to the needs of the ageing workforce in some key areas, and proactively look to bring new entrants into these services, including by offering appropriate incentives.
- Pilot a four day working week with a reduction of weekly working hours by 20% but no reduction in pay.
- Explore ways our workers can build community wealth, including time-release for volunteering, and introduce a localised staff discounting scheme working with small businesses and social enterprises.
- Support statutory leave on full pay for miscarriage, bereavement, compassionate reasons and adoption, as well as guaranteed flexibility for mental health days.
- Give increased support to workers going through major life changes such as bereavement, becoming carers, transitioning gender and going through menopause. Ensure all line managers receive training to prepare them to participate in this support.