New Hope: Scottish Liberal Democrat priorities for Glasgow 2022
We believe in a local council that will meet the needs of its citizens, will treat all individuals and agencies with respect and dignity, and deliver the effective services which impact our daily lives. We believe that local decision making is fundamental to well run, responsive services. We oppose the SNP government’s year on year cuts to council budgets and we will fight for a better deal for Glasgow.
Key policy highlights
- Reverse council cuts to essential services – we will increase the rate of bin collection in tenements areas and from public wastebins, remove the bulk uplift charge, and reopen the libraries and sports grounds.
- Reverse the cuts to public transport – we will review bus service provision and insist on improved timetables from bus companies, we will pressurise the Scottish government to reinstate reduced train services, increase the Underground operating times to meet demand, and push for a smart card system for public transport.
- Improve the local environment – we will introduce a rapid response unit to address public concerns on potholes, street parking, street lighting and litter.
- Improve housing provision – we will crackdown on poor landlords and housing associations who are slow to repair the property, lobby the government for extra funding to provide accommodation for all homeless people and review the housing application process to ensure faster response times.
- We will fully consult citizens on changes and keep them informed of decisions that affect them.
- We will force Glasgow City Council to show true leadership in tackling the city’s problems, not pretend that they do not exist.
Liberal Democrats will work for long term solutions, evidence-based, in the public interest, and addressing real concerns.
Detailed policy plans
• The priority is high quality, responsive services – we will ensure effective and efficient services which respond to people. There will be public access to council committee meetings and Town Hall events to give the public an opportunity to question councillors.
• Develop community power – support community councils to grow and become more effective. Provide one-stop access to grants and funding for local organisations, particularly those focusing on the environment and climate change.
• Economic revival – review all procurement practices to support local businesses, fair employment practices and the green economy. Use empty shops and offices for public agencies, employment or leisure opportunities, or residential accommodation where practicable. Support apprenticeships and award bursaries for specific areas of shortage.
• Education – the council budget must reflect the need for more money for education. We will increase breakfast club provision and after school activities, and increase nursery provision. Social work/community support will be based in schools serving areas of deprivation, to ensure comprehensive support for children in need. Education practices in Glasgow’s schools will be evidence-based, focusing on improved outcomes. We will increase school autonomy to meet the needs of their learners, with appropriate accountability measures. We will re-engage with international surveys, re-establish measures of literacy and numeracy, and support an independent evaluation of initiatives. We will increase provision for children with additional support needs. Further financial support to schools serving areas of deprivation is required, to provide extra tuition and activities, particularly in post-pandemic circumstances.
• Mental health – introduce mental health first aiders in all council employment areas and increase support to drug addiction services, including support to voluntary groups who work in this area.
• Social care – campaign for more resources. Provide more day centres and support local organisations.
• Leisure and culture – re-open libraries, community centres and sports facilities. Open school facilities at weekends to local organisations. Introduce an entitlement card for young people to support access to clubs and facilities.
• Homes for all – support the work of housing associations to deliver more houses, bringing empty houses and other properties into use. We will use the Housing First approach to get the homeless off the streets. Crackdown on rogue landlords and provide an action line for outstanding repairs.
• Greener and cleaner communities – support green energy use for buses, create and maintain green spaces including more allotments, plant more trees, create continuous safe routes for cyclists and pedestrians, create more on-street cycle storage and car club spaces, assist schools to reduce car travel, support smart ticketing systems for transport and local control of bus timetables, increase the number electric charging points including at all council properties, monitor air quality and modify traffic management accordingly. We will mandate photovoltaic panels on all new builds.
• Improve the city environment – create a rapid response unit for road and pavement repair and the removal of refuse. We will regenerate old buildings, remove eyesores and make good use of empty spaces. Improve street and park lighting, and improve late night and Sunday transport services, to promote public safety, particularly for women and other vulnerable groups. We will support community groups to improve green spaces, remove the bulk uplift charge, re-instate the food waste collection, improve refuse collection from street bins, and address the rat infestation issue.