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10th April 2017

Manifesto

Introduction

Scott Farmer, SNP Group LeaderForeword from Cllr. Scott Farmer

Leader of Stirling Council SNP Group

Although the Scottish National Party was the largest party at the 2012 elections, we have had an undemocratic Tory/Labour coalition run this Council for the last 5 years. This is your opportunity to change that and vote for an SNP group dedicated to providing quality services.

Stirling SNP has a team of individuals who are representative of our diverse society, with a wealth of talent and life experience.

We are the only party in this election fielding enough candidates to take overall control and rid Stirling once and for all this appalling Tory/Labour Administration.

The economy and economic growth will be at the heart of an SNP Administration. We will harness the potential of the City Regional Deal and ensure the benefits are felt across all our communities.

Stirling Council has lost the trust of its residents through the ill-fated Priority Based Budgeting Process (PBB). Communities were led to understand they had a role to play when in reality, decisions had already been taken or worse still, their views were ignored. We believe in genuine consultation and will never take our communities for granted.

The SNP believe in involving our communities. We support participative budgeting. It commits the Council to making available a portion of its budget for the community to decide its priorities. Community Empowerment under the SNP will deliver real meaningful change for our communities, both Urban and Rural, with exciting challenges ahead.

The SNP believe that power lies with people. Communities are the life blood of our local democracy and we will ensure that communities are at the heart of decision-making, not having it imposed from above.

We know that our different communities have varied needs and accept the principle that onesize- fits-all is no longer applicable or acceptable. We believe that the best decisions are made by those who are most affected by them and we are determined to embrace your ideas so we can flourish and change our communities for the better.

Underpinning this manifesto is the key principle of empowering our communities to shape their future as we work to make Stirling a fairer, more equal and more prosperous community.

We believe we have a manifesto that will deliver quality services in partnership with all our communities.

Join in our vision to make Stirling a great place to live and work, support Team Stirling in delivering for all our communities.

Scott Signature

 

 

Cllr Scott Farmer, SNP Group Leader


Meet our Candidates

Ward 1, Trossachs and Teith.

Evelyn Tweed
Fergus Wood

Ward 2, Forth and Endrick.

Graham Lambie
Ian Muirhead

Ward 3, Dunblane and Bridge of Allan.

Graham Houston
Rosemary Hunter

Ward 4, Stirling North.

Susan McGill
Jim Thomson

Ward 5, Stirling West.

Scott Farmer
Morag Fulton

Ward 6, Stirling East.

Alison Laurie
Gerry McLaughlan

Ward 7, Bannockburn.

Maureen Bennison
Alasdair MacPherson


EducationEducation

Early Learning and Childcare.

Funding has been provided by the SNP Government at Holyrood to Councils to allow them to offer free childcare facilities to families. We will work with parents and providers to deliver local and coordinated, affordable, after-school and holiday childcare from nursery to P7, 8am to 6pm, all year round

Nursery places will be provided for all our three- and four-year-olds and those two-year olds who stand to benefit.

This means that parents can choose a nursery or childminder that best suits their needs and ask the local authority to fund it, so long as the provider meets the agreed standards.

We will talk to parents about how we can best align the nursery day with the school day.

Education for All

We will maintain teacher numbers. We also understand the role undertaken by classroom assistants and support the work they do.

We are committed to the development of Regional Education Hubs to ensure that pupils who need it receive the specialist help they require.

We welcome the Pupil Equity Fund from the SNP Scottish Government which has allocated £1.4million per annum additional resource to our primary and secondary schools to close the attainment gap (see Appendix).

Head teachers will be given free rein to use these funds as they see fit.

The SNP will work to ensure that parents are supported to play an active role in their child’s learning and that parents and communities play a bigger role in the day-to-day lives of their schools.

We will carry out a detailed assessment on the condition of outdoor play areas within schools and invest in good quality provision for our children.

Music Tuition

We will continue to provide music tuition with no increase in fees, and will maintain the existing musical tuition categories namely: Woodwind; Brass; Strings; Percussion; Piano; Voice; Guitar; and Scottish bagpipes. We are committed to providing high quality musical learning opportunities for all of our pupils, with expert music tuition a key part of that journey.


Social care, Equality and DiversitySocial Care, Equality and Diversity

Properly supported Social Care

Our social care services were set back 2 years when the Tory/Labour administration reversed the decision to work in collaboration with Clackmannanshire Council. This has meant an overspend on care budgets, as managers grapple with the unnecessary changes. We will work with our professionals and external partners to sort out this problem and deliver high standards of care.

Diversity Charter

We will invite the public to consider setting up a charter to look at how we provide facilities for our communities and in particular, disabled persons – such as pavements, play parks, parking, carer provision and public transport. This list is not exhaustive but we will ensure all Council policy puts equality at its heart.

Care Village delivery

It has taken many years of consultation and planning, but the innovative new Care Village promised by the SNP run Council in 2010/11 will be built in the grounds of Stirling’s Community Hospital, following the recent approval of detailed plans.

The £35m development is due to start in January 2017 and the majority of the new facilities are expected to be operational by autumn 2018.

It is a joint venture by Stirling Council, NHS Forth Valley and the Scottish Ambulance Service and the plans will see the creation of a new Care Hub for older people who require additional short-term care.

Community Planning Partnership and the Third Sector

Community Planning is at the heart of effective service delivery and the SNP believes that it is through partnership working with the Voluntary/Third Sectors, Health, Police, Fire, and further Education Sectors that we can improve the outcomes for our communities.

In Stirling the SNP will work with our partners to tackle the wide divergence of health inequalities between our communities. We will tackle in-grained deprivation both Urban and Rural, ensuring that our partners and our own Income Maximisation Officers target those at risk.

Credit Unions

We will undertake to develop accessible Credit Unions and do everything in our power to mitigate against the devastating impact of Tory austerity and the so-called “Welfare Reforms”.

Welfare Reform

UK Welfare Reform changes are hitting the poorest in our society very hard. Local government and voluntary services are working together to help those affected by Welfare Reform.

The Scottish Government has been granted powers over some Welfare Reform and is currently consulting on the best way to mitigate the damaging effects of the current UK Welfare Reform.

We will work with Scottish Government to ensure the smooth implementation of the new Scottish Social Security system.

We will ensure Council officers are fully trained on the new changes, policies and procedures.

We will work with the third sector and our local charities to deliver the much needed support for families and individuals in crisis.

Planning Policy

We will revise policy to ensure that the Stirling Area Access Panel are consulted in an advisory capacity on all planning applications. They are best placed to advise on accessibility requirements for the disabled.

Stirling Castle by night

Communities and Community Safety

Safety

Where we stay is at the heart of our daily lives. Stirling and the many towns and villages that make up the Stirling Council area are a great place to stay but lives are being ruined by the minority who do not look after their properties, who litter our streets and allow their pets to run wild.

For too long the places where we live and work and play have been allowed to deteriorate, partly due to a lack of maintenance.

Central to our manifesto is a pledge that we will reverse this trend and ensure we work with communities to look after our public spaces and to use our enforcement powers to make others behave.

We will do this by:

  • Investing in our play areas. Over the next 5 years we will invest to bring all of our play areas up to an excellent standard.
  • Allocating more money to the garden maintenance assistance scheme, for those unable to do it themselves.
  • Prioritising the upkeep of our estates.
  • Ensuring that both parties to a tenancy agreement, the Council and the tenant, meet their commitments to each other.
  • Using our enforcement teams to tackle anti-social behaviour crimes.
  • Working with Police Scotland
  • Requiring that private landlords maintain their properties.

Community Empowerment Act

The SNP Government introduced the Act in 2015 to give people a stronger voice in the decisions that matter to them. It gives communities the right to identify needs and request action to be taken on them through ‘participatory budgeting (PB)’.

It also gives community groups the right to buy, or otherwise have greater control over assets.

Participatory Budgeting

This is an internationally recognised method of funding which gives people influence over what happens to them, their families and their communities.

Keep our local service providers in public hands

The Tory/Labour administration took us to the brink of privatisation of sports facilities, in January but thanks to the backlash from local residents, they backed down. We hope they have learned their lesson. The SNP pledges that sports (and culture) or other essential services and facilities will never be privatised.

Voting Rights

16 and 17 year olds now have the right to vote in Scottish Parliament and local government elections. We very much welcome younger people being given the opportunity to participate in the future of their lives.

HousingHousing

Affordable Homes

There is a well-documented shortage of housing throughout the Stirling Council area.

Scottish government grants to Stirling Council, Rural Stirling and Forth Housing have allowed over 400 social rented houses to be built in the past 3 years, compared to 560 private homes in that same time.

More need to be done in both sectors and an SNP administration will work with the Scottish Government and our partners to build more affordable homes for people.

£3 billion of Scottish Government grant is being made available to Councils to build new affordable homes. We will ensure Stirling gets a fair share, given the identified need in our areas.

Right to Buy

Social houses for rent have been safeguarded by ending Right to Buy. This will provide housing in future years for people who can’t afford to buy properties.

The unfair Bedroom Tax

The Scottish government compensates Stirling Council, Rural Stirling and Forth Housing tenants who would otherwise have to move home.

We will ensure that everyone who is entitled, receives compensation for this unjustified tax.

Scottish Government is looking to abolish this unfair tax at the next budget.

Private Rented Housing

The private rented sector is growing in Stirling and should be supported. However we will not tolerate landlords who abuse their position and fail to look after their tenants or indeed the quality of the building and gardens.

We expect high standards and will set up a local landlord/tenant forum, similar to the Housing Advisory Group (Council tenants).


City DealRegional City Deal

Supporting investment Local MSP Bruce Crawford, MP Steven Paterson, and Cllr Scott Farmer – Leader of the SNP Group on Stirling Council – back a refocussed Regional City Deal that delivers for every community.

The SNP is committed to a refocused Regional City Deal that delivers for all our communities of Stirling and Clackmannanshire; one that tackles inequalities and deprivation and builds on economic growth.

The deal cannot just be focussed on the City of Stirling. The role of the Council is to ensure that the benefit that this huge investment of cash will bring is shared through the whole of the Council area. From Tydrum in the west to Fallin in the east the impact of the Regional deal must be clear to all.

The City Region Deal is an opportunity to bring over £600m of infrastructure investment to our area; to grow businesses and increase local government revenue, which can then be used
to invest in our local services.

Successful businesses, no matter how small, create employment and sustain communities. It is imperative that the Stirling City Region Deal plays its part in the development of the rural as well as the urban economy of Stirling.

We will work with communities to agree with them how the regional deal should be tailored to develop local economic growth, and help them develop ideas that will achieve this aim, providing much-needed facilities for local people.

 


Roads and Transport

Improve the condition of our Roads

Stirling’s roads are deteriorating at a faster rate than those in the rest of Scotland. Investment in roads is badly needed, otherwise our roads and paths are only going to get worse. The SNP is committed to year on year improvements.

20’s Plenty

We want 20mph to become the default enforceable speed limit on our residential streets and other urban roads, where appropriate.

There is sufficient evidence to prove that reducing speed limits in residential areas reduces accidents. Research has shown that the risk of death or serious injury for pedestrians struck by cars increases significantly at higher impact speeds (source RosPA).

Scotland’s Road Safety Framework, issued by Transport Scotland, seeks casualty reductions and offers guidance on achieving these reductions.

http://www.transport.gov.scot/guide/good-practice-guide-20mph-speed-restrictions

“Introducing such speed restrictions will help us to reduce the number of accidents, casualties and fatalities on Scotland’s roads. 20 mph speed restrictions can also help promote active travel choices and can result in improvements to both the local and wider environment”.

There is further evidence to prove there is a 7mph reduction in speeds where 20mph speed limits are introduced.

In consultation with residents, we will seek to introduce a 20MPH formal speed limit without humps, bumps and chicanes. The costs are minimal and the benefits are huge.

We want our streets to be safer, particularly for our children and our elderly.

Parking policy/Resident Parking

Parking remains a problem. We will enforce the right of residents in the City centre who purchase parking permits, to be able to use them.

Eliminate pavement parking

Inconsiderate parking must be stopped. Parents, children and disabled persons are particularly at risk, having to step onto busy roads because of inconsiderate drivers. It is against the law and enforcement action will be taken.

Eliminate inconsiderate parking

Pavement and cycle path parking must be stopped. Parents, children and disabled persons are particularly at risk, having to step onto busy roads because of inconsiderate drivers.

Cyclists are forced off their safe paths into traffic. It is against the law and enforcement action will be taken.

Speed-Activated Signs

Communities know only too well the beneficial impact speed-activated signs have on drivers’ behaviour. The SNP-run council introduced them in 2009 only for them to be removed from budgets by the Tory/Labour administration in 2012.

Along with the introduction of 20mph speed limits, we believe this will help reduce accidents.

Reinvest in Public Transport

The Tory/Labour administration cut transport subsidies by a third, leaving vulnerable communities without transport links. They saw the error of their ways and put some investment back, but nowhere near enough. We seek to work with local communities and transport providers to re-establish essential services.


Rural AffairsRural Communities

Our rural communities need to be assessed against different criteria. We believe our move towards local empowerment will go a long way to ensuring equality, however we accept there is a need for specific issues to be considered in the context of rural living.

Rural transport

We will work to restore the B12 10:10 and 16:05 lifeline bus services between Forth & Endrick and Stirling. Similarly we will review the need for better rural east-to-west links and the provision of much-needed early morning transport to get people to their places of work.

We commit to creating a rural transport strategy that provides regular, reliable, joined up transport that is financially sustainable and works for rural dwellers. We will at the earliest opportunity carry out a full review of the options which could help to achieve this, including the role of the current Demand-Response Transport, the future of timetabled bus services, and alternatives such as community transport and timetabled minibus services.

Roads, pavements, bridges, drainage

We commit to investing in road safety and improving the quality of roads and related infrastructure. We aim to increase expenditure year on year, at least in line with inflation.

We commit to a long-term financial strategy that allows sustained investment in re-surfacing in order to bring our roads up to Western European standards, with consideration given to using prudential borrowing. Interest rates remain at an historic low, it makes sense to buy money now and pay back at advantageous rates over the long term.

A review of road safety requirements.

20’s plenty across the board without the construction of speed humps, etc – making a smooth running flow of traffic safer.

Rural economy

We aim to develop rural economic action plans. We propose a rural business forum where businesses can help inform the council of specific actions which would help foster and encourage rural enterprise.

We will seek Scottish and Westminster government funding for rural business currently at risk due to withdrawal from the European Community.

It is essential that the City Regional Deal benefits both urban and rural communities.

Killearn Hospital is an ideal location for growing the rural economy. We will work with our business community and land owners to consider business plans for development of this long standing eyesore.

Our rural communities, through their community action plans has identified a number of schemes worthy of taking forward – District heating schemes, high-street-scape improvements, rural business space, improved sports and leisure. An SNP administration will work with communities to deliver these – through participatory budgeting.

Super-fast broadband to every household by 2021

Broadband is key to a successful and thriving rural community – we will work with agencies to provide funding solutions for those areas which are not benefitting from the national rollout.

There are a number of wireless providers who are able to bring high speed broadband to hard to reach rural communities, and this can be done in a very short timescale, for example the Briskona solution. By providing mast infrastructure the council can speed up the roll-out.

Business

Promote the small business bonus scheme.

Explore how new powers over rates reliefs could be used to best advantage to boost the economy and revenues.

Planning policies

A review of planning policies affecting rural living.

A commitment to a planning policy that helps sustain young people and new rural business, with specific emphasis on enabling young people to build new homes in rural areas and allowing succession in farming families.

Introduction of innovative policies which enable the building of affordable housing by local residents in agreed designated areas.

Empowering rural communities/devolution of power

Commit to develop and build on the localities programme and create a model that works and gives real power back to the grassroots.

Enact participatory budgeting to allow rural communities to have a say on how their money is allocated to the services in their locality.

Re-assess and advise governments on a revised role for community councils.

Increase the community council administration grant to community councils.


Economy

The economy and economic growth will be at the heart of an SNP Administration. We will harness the potential of the City Regional Deal to pump prime our economic growth, ensuring that the benefits are for all our communities. We will invest in employability and training, breaking down the barriers to employment for those that are furthest from the labour market.

The Council will lead by example in delivering apprentice and trainee opportunities. In awarding significant contracts we will ensure that contractors engage in Social Contracts which provide benefits across our communities.

We will ensure that Stirling’s Economic Strategy delivers on our key sectorial strengths, such as food and bring, tourism and the growth in digital connectivity.

We will provide opportunities for inward investment and indigenous business growth. We will drive forward the implementation of the rural economic action plan including the creation of a rural business forum to engender rural enterprise.

We will work with our business development partners in a focused approach to support business start-ups and on-going business across both Urban and Rural Stirling.

We will continue to develop bespoke training for our urban and rural communities, highlighting the Scottish Government’s rates relief and business support packages, while looking at resilience planning given our possible exit from the European Union.

We will examine measures to stimulate business activity rates to complement local taxation reform proposals.

Public sector procurement

We will work with national bodies to ensure our local small and medium-sized enterprises have the opportunity to win public sector contracts.

Support for small businesses (SME’s)

Small businesses are often at the heart of our communities.

From April 2017, 100,000 premises will be removed from the burden of business rates entirely.

We will work with SME’s and our business partner such as STEP to provide low cost start up facilities, with the potential to grow. We see Kildean as an ideal location for growth of small and medium sized businesses.

Social Enterprise

The Stirling Council area has a thriving network of social enterprises. They deal with diverse and wide ranging issues such as environment, social exclusion or unemployment. They form an essential part of our lives and we seek to work in partnership to maintain and grow locally run enterprise companies.

Shared Services

The SNP believe that working in partnership across services and across traditional Local Authority Boundaries holds the potential to realise significant efficiencies and savings in
transforming how our services are delivered. We will examine how we can share our services to ensure that there is additional resource available to improve the quality and delivery of front line services for our communities.

Health and Social Care Integration

We will work constructively with our Forth Valley NHS and Clackmannanshire Council partners to protect the vulnerable and those in need.

Loch view


environmentPlanning and the Environment

Local Development Plan

There has been two reviews carried in in recent years, involving extensive public consultation. The end product is indicative of the public’s recognition that houses have to be built. The SNP are of the view that the current plan balances the need for housing with the desire to protect green spaces, in particular our designated green belts.

Work to protect our unique natural and historic heritage.

SNP Councillors and local activists worked hard to ensure that Gillies Hill in Cambusbarron was protected from quarrying. A future SNP Administration will ensure that the Council is shoulder to shoulder with our communities in protecting Gillies Hill from quarrying by any future operator.

We rely on tourism and want our visitors and residents to enjoy the natural beauty and biodiversity throughout the Council area.

Both as a centre for Tourism and for the benefit of our citizens, the environment will play a central role in any future SNP Administration.

A Greener Stirling

By continuing to set ourselves ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions we will protect our environment for future generations. We will encourage communities to be involved in the land they live in, and support community ownership.

Fuel poverty and energy efficiency

The SNP in 2011 introduced solar power into Council owned properties, which has saved our tenants thousands of pounds in energy costs.

We will continue with this scheme and seek ways to work with partners to better insulate homes and further reduce crippling energy costs.

We will encourage all council tenants and others to move to a ‘lower cost ‘utility provider.

Renewable Energy – We will work to support the growth of community and locally owned renewable energy projects, such as wind and small scale hydro schemes.

Regeneration

We have outlined above our determination to overcome environmental deprivation.

The bigger problem however is economic deprivation.

Poverty is no longer restricted to the sick or unemployed. Working families are suffering.

Welfare Reform, zero hours contracts and low wages have devastated parts of our communities.

An SNP administration will fast track proposals for the regeneration of areas left behind by the economic downturn.

There is a role for businesses to play in regeneration as well as local government. We see public transport as essential.

Community groups and organisations will be encouraged; and start-up funding will be provided to set up enterprises or any other project beneficial to their local community.

Invest in our Local Play Parks

An SNP Administration will invest £900,000 in our local play parks over a 3 year period.

Young families don’t always have access to the larger parks. Local facilities are vital in many ways, in particular improving the health and wellbeing of our children.

Scott and Morag

Morag Fulton with Scott Farmer

artsArts and Culture

The SNP recognises the enormous contribution that the arts make to both our quality of life and our economy. As a major economic driver for the Stirling area, we want to support our creatives by facilitating their ideas and ambitions.

In our administration we want to be recognised as a local government who is willing to take time to discuss artistic ambitions and find ways Stirling Council can help to turn your ideas into a reality. Whether that may be by exploring Council controlled properties as venues or simply by hooking key partners up to achieve our goals cooperatively, we will be led by your vision and approach every project with a can do attitude.

The growth in creative technology in Stirling is most welcome and we see that all artistic forms can enhance and benefit each other.

We will continue to actively support our Gaelic and traditional music culture, but want to embrace every artistic genre to make Stirling’s offering as diverse as possible, to ensure visitors stay in Stirling, constituents lives are enriched and our young people’s horizons are opened by a recognition of the possibilities open to them, right here on their doorsteps. We want to reverse the trend of philistinism in local government and to broaden our scope beyond the utilitarian to make Stirling an enriching place to live for both the pocket and the soul!

Appendix

Primary Schools:

Aberfoyle: 10,800

Allan’s: 20,400

Balfron: 14,400

Bannockburn: 64,800

Borestone: 115,200

Braehead: 42,000

Bridge of Allan: 20,400

Buchlyvie: 8,400

Callander: 14,400

Cambusbarron: 18,000

Cornton: 51,000

Cowie: 52,000

Crianlarich: 9,600

Deanston: 8,400

Doune: 16,800

Dunblane: 18,000

East Plean: 57,600

Fallin: 66,000

Killin: 10,800

Kippen: 10,800

Our Lady’s RC: 31,200

Raploch: 94,800

Riverside: 69,600

St Margaret’s RC: 28,800

St Mary’s RC: 54,000

St Ninians: 58,800

Strathblane: 10,800

Strathyre: 6,000

High Schools:

Balfron: 15,600

Bannockburn: 62,400

Dunblane: 12,000

McLaren: 33,600

St Modan’s 84,000

Stirling: 57,600

Wallace: 118,000

Castleview School has been allocated 25,200.


Download

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Promoted by Alycia Hayes on behalf of Stirling SNP, both of: Pickersgill House, Balquhidder Station, Lochearnhead, FK19 8NX.