SNP, Labour & Tory’s Manifestos

SNP, Labour & Tory’s Manifestos
BBC News
17.04.12


SNP manifesto at-a-glance

The SNP council election manifesto has pledged to put jobs and families across Scotland at the forefront of its campaign.

The party also wants to win more seats and councillors than any other party.

Here is a look at the main policies:

* Build 5,000 council houses.

* "Maintain momentum" on projects to help cities compete internationally.

* Keep small business bonus scheme.

* Work with Scottish government to re-channel pension fund billions, currently invested beyond Scotland, into infrastructure projects.

* Transparency in council contract awards.

* Develop individual social enterprise strategies.

* Grow tourism by working with private and public sector groups.

* Guarantee learning or training opportunity to every 16 to 19-year-old.

* Maintain teacher numbers in line with pupil numbers and secure places for all probationers under the teacher induction scheme.

* Freeze council tax until 2016.

* Every three and four-year-old and every looked-after two-year-old child to get legal entitlement to at least 600 hours of pre-school education per year.
* Introduce the living wage by April 2013.

Labour council pledges at-a-glance

Scottish Labour has pledged to put job creation at the heart of its plans for local government.

The party’s pledge came as it launched a policy document ahead of the 3 May local authority elections.

Here is a look at the main points:

* Action for new jobs and training opportunities.

* Investment for schools and support for decent childcare.

* Support for carers across our communities and dignity for our older citizens.

* Action to tackle fuel poverty.

* Better care for all pensioners, with action to reduce energy bills.

* Scotland-wide jobs plan to guarantee apprenticeships and 10,000 job placements for unemployed youngsters.

* Support "co-operative councils", getting local people more involved in decision-making.

* Support living wage for councils and their contractors.

* Reverse "unfair cuts" to local bus services.

* "Immediate" boost to childcare.

* Campaign against housing budget cuts.

* "Proper" support for social work, so no older person has to "suffer the indignity of a 15-minute care visit" and support for sheltered housing.

* Reinstate cancelled education programmes, like homework clubs and school buses.

* Build 50 new primary schools in South Lanarkshire.

* A new council care home in Penicuik, Midlothian.

Tory manifesto at-a-glance

The Scottish Conservatives have pledged to give communities a chance to run local services, as they launched their council election campaign.

Party leader Ruth Davidson also backed council tax cuts and business rate changes.

Here is a look at the party’s main pledges:

* Action to reverse the "decades-long trend" of centralising power in national government, in favour of handing more responsibility to town halls and communities.

* Councils should be more responsible for their own income.

* Double the business tax incentive scheme, by putting 100% of cash raised by non-domestic rates, above target, back into local authorities.

* Support continuation of the small business bonus scheme and business improvement districts.

* Fund councils centrally through grants, based on population, social need and rurality.

* Further cut "ring-fenced" funding, under which central government requires councils to spend money in certain areas.

* Remove councils from being overseen by the Standards Commission and Public Standards Commissioner for Scotland watchdogs, and let them draw up their own conduct and complaints procedures.

* Change regulation on allocating social housing to let landlords take into account income, property ownership, age and local connections when deciding who gets a home.

* A zero-tolerance policy on anti-social behaviour in social housing, an increase in the number of evicted tenants being given "intentional homeless" status, and a consultation on simplifying the eviction process.

* Remove the top cap on planning fees for large businesses, currently 10 times lower in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK, which would affect a "small" number of developments but would boost council funding.

* Introduce a right to bid for community and voluntary groups with an interest in taking over particular council services.

* Reform right-to-buy laws to give local communities a "right of first offer" on sales of land and other assets, as well as giving them powers to bid for private land and property that comes up for sale.

* Schools should be able to operate outwith council control, where appropriate, and communities would be able to set up their own schools.

* Give schools greater control over budgets, their right to consider alternative service providers and further open their facilities to community use.

* Look to increase pre-school education funding, especially for vulnerable two-year-olds, and train teachers to identify dyslexia in pupils.

* Let voters change the structure of their councils, including referenda in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh to oversee the election of "powerful" provosts who would take on some chief executive and local authority leader powers.

* Introduce locally-elected police commissioners.

* Extend direct payments for personal care.

* Information on detailed council spending decisions, including salary information, to be publicly available.