Council elections: Greens warn of Tory threat

The Scottish Greens today called on voters in this week's council elections to reject candidates who have been campaigning on national rather than local issues, and urged them to use their first preference votes for Green candidates to stop Tories who would cut council services, facilities and jobs.

The Greens, who are engaged in their biggest ever Council campaign with a record 218 candidates, have a local manifesto that pledges to put power in people's hands by protecting local services, connecting communities with better transport and broadband, and creating more affordable homes.

A recent poll shows the party making gains, with eight percent of first preference votes, ahead of the Liberal Democrats and four times the support received in 2012 when Greens fielded 80 candidates and secured fourteen councillors.

Yvonne McLellan, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens' elections and campaigns committee and candidate for Kilwinning in North Ayrshire, said:

"The services our councils provide really matter, whether it's education, social care or housing. We've seen candidates from other parties, most notably the Tories, campaigning in a local policy vacuum, talking about national issues that are irrelevant and in some places not even bothering to attend local hustings. These elections are to decide who oversees investment in our schools, parks, day centres, swimming pools and libraries, not what happens at Westminster or with our constitution.

"In some areas we could see the final seat in a ward being a contest between a Green and a Tory. If people want to protect their local services, then number one votes for Green candidates will deliver councillors who genuinely care about their communities.

"On the doors, voters are telling our teams that they want councillors who understand local issues and get things done, and the hard work of Green councillors and community campaigners has been welcomed. This Thursday, voters have a chance to reject any candidate who has tried to manipulate these council elections for national purposes."