The Scottish Green Party this week launched their plan to revive local democracy by devolving more powers to local councils and transferring greater tax raising powers from central government. The plans, set out in the party’s mini manifesto, include introducing a legal duty on Scottish Ministers to explain why decisions are not made locally and giving local government the right to challenge national bodies to take on their functions.

The Scottish Green Party, currently on 10% in the polls and on track to return at least one MSP in the South of Scotland, also pledge to shift more tax raising powers from central to local government.

Green MSP candidate for the South of Scotland region Sarah Beattie-Smith said;
“Scotland’s system of local democracy is neither local nor democratic. Our local authorities struggle to make ends meet, raising just 18% of the money they spend, in sharp contrast with the European norm of raising 50-60% of revenues locally. Giving councils the power to raise taxes locally, where there’s demand, would make them more accountable to local people and better equipped to provide the public services we all rely on.”

“As a Green, it’s also really important to me that power is devolved to, and used by, local communities. Too often, the direction of travel in Scotland is to centralise power and therefore deny local people a voice. Scotland can unlock the power in our communities and a Green vote in May will help to do just that.”