Councils educate children and young people, provide care and support services to people, and make our neighbourhoods better places to live. Green Councillors will continue to work to protect and improve these services.
Since 2017 Green Councillors have:
Delivered more teachers and safer schools
- Delivered record teacher recruitment and investment in classroom ventilation across Scotland, thanks to funding secured by Greens at Holyrood.
Led on urgent action on the climate crisis
- Secured the adoption of a Climate Change Charter for Health and Social Care in Edinburgh; committed to the Edinburgh net-zero 2030 target; supported closing the gap on emissions, changing work practices, appointing climate champions and reporting publicly on progress; secured agreement to install recycling facilities in schools and successfully called for cycle lanes to schools along key corridors.
- Worked to make streets safer for children with permanently car-free schools in Glasgow.
- Supported bike buses to school across Scotland.
Ensured the vulnerable were protected
- Delivered a 10% increase to foster and kinship carers’ allowances, and reversed cuts to Citizens’ Advice centres and women’s aid organisations in Glasgow.
- Won agreement in Edinburgh to adopt John’s Campaign in hospital wards and care homes, ensuring that the families of those suffering from dementia have full access to their loved ones and are included in all decisions about their care.
- Ensured that Playscheme holiday provision for disabled children in Edinburgh was retained after the lockdown period.
Championed public transport
- Secured funding for a free public transport pilot in Glasgow.
- Carried out a consultation on longer and standardised hours for bus lanes in Edinburgh.
- Secured an extra £5.5 million for ferry funding in Orkney.
THRIVING SCHOOLS AND EARLY YEARS PROVISION
Scottish Greens believe in education that offers children and young people much more than qualifications – education that supports their development as confident individuals equipped to explore the opportunities and face the challenges that our fast-changing world brings. In government we have secured reform of the qualifications and inspections system, and funding for the biggest rise in teacher recruitment in a generation.
CREATING A HEALTHY AND CARING SCOTLAND
Scottish Green Councillors believe everyone has a right to the best physical and mental health, and access to high quality care, which is free at the point of use, maintaining individual freedom, choice and dignity.
The pandemic has shone a light on the results of a decade of under-investment
in Scottish health and social care and the growing inequalities in public health and life expectancy. Waiting lists across social care are unacceptably high - as are staff shortages across services - making delivery of the preventative agenda and person-centred care harder to achieve.
Green Councillors will ensure that Health and Social Care is delivered locally, with community involvement at its heart, and that staff are properly valued.
SUPPORTING PEOPLE IN CRISIS
Scottish Greens believe councils have a key role to play in tackling poverty and helping people avoid crisis. Local councils can help tackle inequality and we will prioritise an equalities-led approach, working closely with those whose opportunities may be 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.
- Implement rent controls with a ‘housing first’ approach to 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.
- Ensure that every person leaving prison, hospital, residential rehabilitation, or fleeing domestic violence is provided with accommodation that meets their assessed needs.
- Help people to claim the social security benefits they are entitled to with ‘income maximisation’ teams embedded within communities.
- Welcome refugees and asylum seekers into our communities and push to ensure relevant support services are available to meet their specific needs as well as support for people with No Recourse to Public Funds.
- Push to take asylum housing and support out of private hands, so it is run by councils in partnership with the third sector, ensuring dignified, safe housing based in communities, not hotels.
- Commit to discussions across local authorities on how to expand participation in dispersal schemes for people seeking asylum throughout Scotland.
- Campaign to give people seeking asylum the right to work.
- Provide free bus travel to refugees and asylum seekers.
- Support a holistic approach to food policy, tackling the health, social and environmental impacts of food.
- Support community food projects which work to ensure good food is available to all.
- Work with businesses to identify healthier, local and ethical food choices, including plant-based food, and promote these through council catering and public information campaigns.
BETTER PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Being able to travel broadens our opportunities. Scottish Greens want to improve our public transport options,
while reducing car use, making it possible for everyone to access the services and places they need. This will require both new infrastructure and new models for ownership, management and integration of transport services.
Green Councillors will:
- Connect communities with better bus services, actively support rural bus services in order to maintain thriving towns and villages and champion the creation of a publicly owned bus company in areas without one.
- Support the complete transition to electric vehicles for public transport and the development of a charging point network for electric cars.
- Integrate low carbon modes of transport through deploying Mobility as a Service, Demand Responsive Transport, and delivering integrated transport hubs and ticketing systems.
- Ensure connectivity of bus and rail services by using powers under the new Transport Act when franchising to require providers to offer integrated through-tickets with fare caps.
- Increase the reach and quality of digital connectivity to create alternatives to travel.
- Review accessibility of public transport provision and deliver recommendations that make public transport as inclusive as possible, with particular focus on transport connections and the needs of those making multi-stage journeys.
- Promote the National Entitlement Card (NEC) scheme and support marginalised communities through the process, to ensure the highest possible uptake of free bus travel for under 22s.
- Support extending NEC eligibility, particularly the current three-year period of validity for people with chronic or degenerative conditions, and work to improve the NEC application process to ensure it is as accessible as possible.
- Implement a workplace parking levy in areas where this would be appropriate and beneficial to encourage shifts in travel to work practices, reduce congestion and improve air quality.
- Work with the Scottish Government to formulate an innovative fleet replacement strategy for Islands Councils, to add capacity and replace ageing ferry fleets with renewable fuelled vessels, ensuring lifeline services are maintained.
- Support and plan for the reopening of rail lines and stations, including through the Strategic Transport Projects Review and other means, such as identifying sites in Local Development Plans, protecting strategic rail corridors and supporting rail in City and Growth Deals.