11 April, 2017 - 11:00

As candidates we're all dedicated local campaigners. We're determined to put power in the hands of our communities. Kim Long

The Scottish Greens today (11 April) launched their national manifesto for the local council elections, prioritising the protection of public services such as schools and social care.

The Greens are mounting their biggest ever Council campaign, with a record 218 candidates aiming to build on existing councillor numbers in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeenshire, Midlothian and Stirling, and make breakthroughs in many other councils.

A recent poll by Ipsos MORI showed the party making significant 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.

The Green manifesto commits councillors to:

-Keep class sizes down and replace teachers and support staff lost to cuts

-Campaign to pay social care workers a ‘Living Wage Plus’ of £9.20 per hour, helping local authorities recruit the best staff

-Campaign for cheaper and more frequent bus services

-Introduce a broadband action plan for every council within a year of being elected

-Prioritise new housing that is affordable, low-carbon and connected to local services

-Protect precious green and open space

Kim Long, Green candidate for Dennistoun in Glasgow, said:

"It's great that more people than ever will have the chance to Vote Green in these elections. As candidates we're all dedicated local campaigners. We're determined to put power in the hands of our communities.

"Our councils need more Green voices. We will speak up to protect public services, give our schools the resources they need, support our care staff and tackle the housing crisis.

"Green councillors are renowned for their hard work. Now we need more Green councillors elected in towns and cities across Scotland, working with local residents and putting power back in communities where it belongs.

"Green MSPs secured an extra £160million from the Scottish Government for councils to spend on local priorities this year, while other parties' posturing achieved nothing. Council chambers across Scotland need our bold and constructive approach."

Read the Green manifesto and see the full list of candidates here.

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