Scottish Greens launch biggest ever council campaign
This morning co-convenors of the Scottish Greens former Leith councillor Maggie Chapman and Patrick Harvie MSP launched the party’s biggest ever council campaign at the Remakery on Leith Walk.
There will be more than 200 candidates up for election in May more than double the 80 who stood for the party in 2012.
The Greens say they want to increase existing councillor numbers in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeenshire, Midlothian and Stirling, and are confident of electing the party’s first councillors in many of Scotland’s remaining 27 local authorities.
Green councillors could hold the balance of power on many councils, and the party’s candidates – who are due to meet this Saturday in Glasgow for the party’s Spring Conference – are pledging to use their influence to put power in the hands of local communities to protect local services.
Patrick said: “Our councils need more voices speaking up for good jobs and strong public services. Social enterprises are a great example of the kind of economy we should be encouraging.
“Green MSPs have demonstrated their commitment to protecting local services, by securing an extra £160million from the Scottish Government for councils to spend on local priorities. It’s this bold and constructive approach that more Green councillors will bring to our local authorities.”
Maggie said: “More people than ever will have the opportunity to elect Green councillors this May. All our candidates are dedicated local campaigners and believe strongly in putting power in the hands of local people.
“As a councillor for Leith Walk I was able to push forward initiatives such as participatory budgeting – where communities decide how funds are spent – and a living wage for council employees. These have both become national initiatives since being adopted by a Council. I have no doubt that more Green councillors will mean more support for vital public services such as schools, social care, leisure and culture.”
Susan Rae who is standing as a Green candidate for the Leith Walk Ward said: “Greens are delighted to have the Remakery in Leith Walk, but then it is the perfect place for an innovative social enterprise to be. It has a strong sense of identity and abounds with creativity, expertise, artists, business folk, makers and radical thinkers working within the community to strengthen and grow it – the essence in fact of Green thinking.
“We need more Green Councillors to drive our initiatives forward, to prioritise housing, support community groups, continue to fight for higher wages and encourage a bold and radical approach to strengthening our community, and our City.”