Protecting services

Local Manifesto 2017

Councils educate young people, provide care and support services to people, and make our neighbourhoods better places to live. Green councillors will continue to fight to protect and improve these services.

Our commitments

  • Your voice heard on council spending

    We’ll give you much more say over how council money is spent, by making sure everyone council has a participatory budget target and plan.

  • A local say over schools

    We’ll keep schools in council control but give pupils, parents and teachers a real voice in how schools are run and how money is spent. We believe every council should have a parent, pupil and teacher on their education committee.

  • A Living Wage for carers

    We’ll champion those who care for the youngest and oldest in society by introducing a Living Wage Plus for care workers.

Schools and childcare

Scottish Greens believe in education that offers children and young people much more than qualifications – one that supports their development as adaptable individuals equipped to explore the opportunities and face the challenges that our fast-changing world brings.

Green councillors will:

  • Support schools to deliver the fundamental skills of literacy and numeracy for all children.
  • Fight to keep school class sizes down and replace teachers and support staff lost to cuts.
  • Support creativity and critical thinking in the school curriculum, alongside confidence, resilience, global citizenship, practical life skills and outdoor learning.
  • Fight to keep school class sizes down and replace teachers and support staff lost to cuts.
  • Campaign to protect rural schools from closure and maintain quality library resources in all schools
  • Emphasize learning over standardised testing
  • Support pupils at risk of falling behind and support alternative provision for those for whom mainstream provision isn’t working, in order to reduce exclusions and children dropping out.
  • Campaign for more staff and better support for children with additional support needs, including making this a promoted post, and greater support in schools for any children from marginalised groups, including refugees and asylum seekers and LGBTI+ young people. We support the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign.
  • Work towards the very best early education for children by improving qualifications, wages and conditions for nursery staff.
  • Make free childcare hours more flexible to support parents in shift work or irregular employment to be able to use them.Plan for enough nurseries and schools in areas where populations will rise, and ensure buildings are high quality flexible spaces, built by the public sector to last and with environmental sustainability in mind.
  • Create or support schemes like the Edinburgh Guarantee to give every young person leaving school the opportunity to work, train or study.
  • Campaign for education committees to include parents, teachers, trades unions, and young people.

Social care, health and independent living

Scottish Greens believe high quality social care is essential to support people’s health and maintaining their individual freedom, choice, dignity and control of their lives, and like NHS healthcare should be free at the point of use. Investing in social care helps to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and get people home from hospital quickly. This not only relieves pressure on key NHS services, but keeps people connected to their homes, friends and families. Social care staff and unpaid carers do vital work and we will campaign for better pay, conditions, support and recognition for all carers. Social care in rural areas has particular challenges. The cost of dealing with all these challenges is beyond the capacity of local authorities, and we need a national review of the funding of social care. One particular source of increases to the cost of delivering social care is increasing privatisation of services, and we should seek to reverse this trend.

Green councillors will:

  • Campaign to pay social care workers a ‘Living Wage Plus’ of £9.20 per hour, helping local authorities to recruit the best staff and retain those with experience.
  • Ensure the living wage is implemented fairly, protecting people’s working conditions and pushing for sleepover shifts to be paid at the living wage.
  • Support fair working practices by tackling zero-hours contracts, ensure social care workers are paid for shift handovers, for time spent travelling between jobs and travelling expenses.
  • Recognise that all social care workers should have better pay and conditions, including personal assistants and staff working in day centres.
  • Value social care staff and support their professional recognition by creating more opportunities for staff to develop their skills, gain qualifications and plan their careers in the sector.
  • Support and enable locally-led social care partnerships and social enterprises to provide good quality care at home.
  • Promote continuity of care, keeping carers and the people they support connected and tackling loneliness.
  • Support the development of ‘rapid response’ care teams, who can provide care quickly in urgent circumstances and help people avoid stressful trips to hospital.
  • Provide better local support for unpaid carers. All local authorities have a duty to create an individual support plan for carers, we will push for all carers to receive high quality support for their own physical and mental health needs, including access to respite care and counselling.
  • Take steps to improve unpaid carers’ financial health, like providing income maximisation advice to all carers and providing concessionary travel for carers on income support.
  • Make sure income assessments for care charges don’t include Carer’s Allowance, while we work to eliminate care charges entirely
  • Support young carers by minimizing childrens’ practical caring responsibilities whenever possible, providing access to peer support and developing local forms of financial support.
  • Ensure that the development and delivery of health and social care integration and provisioning of services is fully informed by the views and suggestions of disabled people who use those services.
  • Investigate ways that more health and social care services can be delivered via publicly owned services and partnerships with local disabled people’s organisations

Crisis and anti-poverty services

Scottish Greens believe councils have a key role to play in tackling child poverty and helping people avoid crisis. Local councils can help tackle inequality, and we will prioritise progressing equalities, working closely with those whose opportunities are reduced due to class, race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief.

Green councillors will:

  • Campaign to secure funding for support services for those who have experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence.
  • Work to prevent homelessness with measures to empower tenants at risk of homelessness through better advice and access to legal aid, and improve the standard of temporary accommodation available.
  • Help people to claim the social security benefits they are entitled to by supporting ‘income maximisation’ projects through the NHS and advice services.
  • Support social workers to manage workloads and focus on prevention, and support the delivery of community sentences for offenders.
  • Welcome refugees and asylum seekers into our communities and push to ensure relevant support services are available to meet their specific needs.

Reducing and managing waste

Scottish Greens are actively working for a zero-waste Scotland. Reducing waste with less packaging and more recycling means we can avoid incineration, save the cost of landfill and safeguard natural resources for the future. Council investment in bin collections and street cleaning is vital to make our neighbourhoods more attractive. 

Green councillors will:

  • Support a zero-waste policy for all councils by 2025.
  • Improve bin collection services, extend doorstep recycling, promote composting and provide a ‘Rapid Response Squad’ service to deal with overflowing recycling containers.
  • Support local businesses to reduce packaging and to find recyclable and biodegradable alternatives.
  • Enhance community warden services and take firm action against fly-tipping and irresponsible dog-waste.
  • Introduce “reverse vending machines” for people to return packaging, starting with plastic bottles, to ensure producers are responsible for their waste and to promote zero waste designs. 
  • Oppose the large scale incineration of waste. 
  • Work with other Councils to maximise the efficiency of waste management and capture the value of recycled waste through the Scottish Materials Brokerage Service.
  • Encourage rural communities to develop community-based composting, reuse and waste minimisation facilities.

Keep up to date with our campaign

Read more

  • Protecting services

  • Connecting communities

  • Creating homes

  • Revitalising local democracy

  • Rainbow Greens Manifesto

  • Disabled Greens Manifesto

  • Womanifesto 2017

  • Young Greens Manifesto

  • Easy read Manifesto 2017