Nicola Sturgeon: Council election not about SNP vs Labour, but the people of Glasgow
YESTERDAY saw the launch of the SNP's manifesto for the council elections in Glasgow.
I'm very proud of our manifesto - proud of the way it was developed and proud of the fact that every single word was written here in Glasgow by our councillors, our candidates and our members.
It can be read online here and we're also distributing a handy newspaper format version to households across the city.
Putting a manifesto together is a collaborative process. It involves a lot of people - more than you might imagine!
But the most important stage in drafting a manifesto takes place before a single word is written. Consulting with people and finding out what matters most to them before you write your manifesto is absolutely essential.
Over the past 18 months Glasgow SNP has surveyed almost 20,000 Glaswegians in communities across the city asking what issues they think the Council should be prioritising.
What did they tell us? They told us they are worried about unemployment and lack of opportunities, especially for our youngsters.
Education is another top priority, along with care services and support for unpaid carers.
They want the basics covered too - streets swept, bins emptied on time and potholes fixed.
So we're pledging to improve council services in all of these areas and many more.
A lot of people also told us that they felt disconnected from the council and don't have enough say in the decisions that affect them.
I find that very sad - Glaswegians care passionately about their city and ought to be part of the local decision-making process. So our SNP council candidates are making a very strong commitment to being a more open and transparent council, to really listening to people and responding to their concerns.
The fact that our manifesto is full of good ideas is also evident from the fact that Labour have copied some of them in their own manifesto, like our plan for a Petitions Committee in the Council and a Carers' Champion to make sure that the needs of disabled people and carers are always considered.
That's fine by us. No party has a monopoly on wisdom and we should work together with our colleagues from other parties where we can.
I appreciate that for many people in the media the council election in Glasgow is being viewed primarily as a contest between the SNP and Labour. And I understand that. Labour has been in power in Glasgow for as long as anyone can remember and the prospect of a new broom in the City Chambers is an exciting one.
But we must always remember that this election is not about the SNP or Labour - it's about the people of Glasgow.
It's about the people who live here having their say about their communities and who they want to represent them and take decisions on their behalf.
That's the real story here.
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