MACKAY INTRODUCES “SCOTLAND’S 600” FOR COUNCIL ELECTIONS

RECORD NUMBER OF CANDIDATES STANDING FROM STRANRAER TO SHETLAND

The SNP’s Local Elections Campaign Chairman and Local Government Minister Derek Mackay has told SNP Conference that Local Government and national Government should be about partnership, not petty politics.

As he outlined plans to field over 600 candidates – for the first time, in every local authority – Mr Mackay highlighted a number of areas in which politicians in different tiers of Government must work together to deliver a number of key policies, including:

• delivering the council tax freeze until 2016,

• protecting police numbers,

• building new affordable homes

• delivering the Living Wage

• raising educational attainment

Mr Mackay was joined on stage by a number of councillors, including two recent defections – Councillor Irfan Rabanni, who left the Labour group to join the SNP in Glasgow, and Councillor Marie McGurk, who joined the SNP Group on Renfrewshire Council from the Lib Dems.

During his speech, Mr Mackay said:

“As a Councillor for over a decade and the former leader of a local authority I know the crucial and often under-appreciated role councils play in delivering the services that hold the very fabric of our society together.

“Compare our strong record in local government with the mess in England, where they have the worst of all worlds. Deeper local authority cuts, council tax rises and widespread redundancies.

“Where we are protecting local police numbers and keeping 1000 extra police on the beat, in England they are falling by 16,000.

“SNP Councils will work in partnership with the Scottish Government, combining local and national leadership to deliver the best for our communities, working together in the interests of the people of Scotland.”