West Lothian’s SNP group have pledged to end music tuition fees, fully fund free school meals and improve mental health care if they win the next council election.
Their manifesto, launched this week, promises to end “top-down” service delivery and for advisers to listen to what communities want.
“The SNP wants our local communities and organizations to experience a new system of local government as dynamic members, involved in solving local problems,” he says.
READ MORE: West Lothian election 2022: Who can I vote for? All the candidates running
The party promises changes to committee structures to allow for greater public access and greater inclusion in decision-making.
There are also bold promises on education, with a commitment to ensure the abolition of music tuition fees, to fund free school meals, lunch and breakfast, for all primary school children and special needs and to support initiatives to ensure that every child has access to advice. .
On housing, an SNP council pledges to build 1,000 new energy efficient social housing units. There is also a promise to work in partnership with other social housing providers to maximize the number of homes available for rent and to work with the Scottish Government and energy providers to reduce prepaid card meter tariffs.
The administration would also “immediately install solar panels and storage batteries on all new social housing and launch a program to renovate existing stock.”
To improve the living environment, the manifesto also promises a review of the council’s anti-social behavior policy.
Supporting the development of a national care service, the SNP calls for a refocusing of the Integrated Joint Council to promote further integration of health and social care provision, specifically to address the pressure on services for GPs, reducing bed blockage and home care.
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There is also a commitment to improving community-based mental health care.
For voluntary organisations, there is a promise to prioritize the local third sector in all competitive bids, ensuring that West Lothian finances support local businesses and spending council funds locally. The party is also committed to increasing funding and will ensure the sector is represented in budget negotiations.
Speaking at the launch, group leader Janet Campbell said: “The SNP wants to work with the communities in West Lothian who know the priorities in their area best, not provide services in a top-down way. We want to harness the ‘huge capacity that exists in our communities and working in partnership to create the services that local people deserve’
On the growing pressure on the built and natural environment, Councilor Diane Calder said: “An important goal of a new SNP administration will be the protection of our environment – both urban and rural – from damage, overdevelopment and exploitation.We are committed to the many groups of volunteers who care for our natural environment and will ensure that their voices are heard within West Lothian Council”.