A City Government for Glasgow
A new SNP administration will introduce an ambitious programme of transformation as Glasgow’s first City Government. We will work with everyone in our city to deliver progressive change.
An SNP City Government will be more than just an administration. It will provide leadership and vision for ‘Team Glasgow’, bringing together everyone in the city who has the ideas, skills, knowledge and commitment to make a difference.
Our City Government will be an enabling force, working to make good things happen – no matter whose idea it is – and removing barriers to progress.
And an SNP City Government will throw open the doors of the City Chambers. We want to rebuild trust with the citizens we serve, and that means letting the light in on the way the Council works and making a fresh start. The era of deals and decision-making behind closed doors will end: the SNP will bring transparency, openness and accessibility to Glasgow’s democratic life and the way the Council carries out its business.
Above all, we will be a City Government that listens and responds to our citizens about what they want from their local services, what they expect in return for their local tax contributions, and what their hopes and ambitions are for Glasgow, for their communities and for their families.
- Appoint an independent expert, who will command the confidence of Council staff and the public, to carry out a root and branch review of the Council’s governance, without fear or favour. They will be asked to closely examine how decisions have been made, public money spent and business conducted in the past, and make recommendations to ensure that the future governance of Glasgow is of the highest standard.
- Redesign the Council’s democratic structures and standing orders to ensure that decisions are subject to genuine scrutiny and debate, and are communicated transparently to the public.
- Improve reporting of the Council’s achievements and progress in delivering our pledges, meeting targets and fulfilling statutory duties, with more honesty about difficulties and challenges.
- Extend the broadcast and recording of key Council meetings and committees. We will strengthen and enhance the role and remit of the Petitions Committee and develop new ways for the public to influence decision-making.
- Review the Council’s departmental and senior officer structures to break down silos and focus on the delivery of strategic outcomes for people and communities. The SNP believes community planning and community empowerment should not sit in a separate department, but be part and parcel of the way the Council carries out every part of its work. We will also conduct a review of all ALEOs, with an option to abolish or reform those which are not effectively contributing to outcomes for people, and enhance democratic scrutiny of those that remain.
- Embed consultation and conversation with citizens and communities as an integral part of the way decisions are made about how resources are spent and how services are designed.
- Publish a draft City Charter for consultation, setting out the standards and expectations we will set for ourselves as a City Government and on which Glaswegians will be able to hold us to account.
Working with Others for Glasgow
Our vision for Glasgow won’t be achieved by a Council that works in isolation, plays favourites, constantly seeks to assert control or obsesses about who gets credit for things.
Improved services; empowered communities and citizens; a growing economy; and a fairer deal for all Glaswegians: these will only be achieved by working in genuine partnership with organisations across and beyond the city, sometimes pooling resources and sharing services where appropriate, but above all sharing ideas and expertise to drive forward innovation and change, prioritise prevention and reduce inequality.
We need to do this to deliver the best possible value for the public pound, as Westminster austerity continues to hit all public services hard. But the SNP believes that it’s also the best way to deliver value to our communities and to improve people’s lives.
- The Glasgow City Region is a powerful tool for planning and building a strong, sustainable future economy for everyone who lives across west central Scotland - who are all connected to and affected by Glasgow’s successes and challenges, even if they don’t live in the city itself. We will build on the foundation of close joint working with our neighbouring local authorities established through the Glasgow City Region Deal to inform our future work to reform and improve services and deliver value for public money; regenerate the physical landscape of the region; and attract investment and create jobs.
- Labour’s decision to walk out of Scotland’s national body for local government has left Glasgow without a voice when it comes to the allocation of funding. The SNP will rejoin COSLA, and put Glasgow back where it belongs,at the top table, fighting for the best deals for our city.
- The SNP recognises that third and community sector organisations are delivering vital preventive services that reduce demand on the Council and make a real difference to people and neighbourhoods. The Council and the third sector should work as a partnership of equals. Our City Government will establish effective strategic partnerships with third sector organisations and reform the current system of grant funding to give a better focus on shared working towards agreed outcomes.
- Scotland’s Government is Glasgow’s biggest partner and most important ally. Our government has as big a stake in Glasgow’s future as everyone living here, because a successful Scotland needs a thriving Glasgow. That’s why the SNP government has invested in Glasgow, from 80% of the funding for the Commonwealth Games to funding for new affordable homes, from the £21m Pupil Equity Fund that has gone directly into the city’s schools, to the pots of money that have gone to local level to be used for community choice budgeting, to name just a few. Glasgow will benefit even more from the SNP doing the day job in the City Chambers and at Holyrood. An SNP City Government will never shy away from making the most robust and passionate case for Glasgow’s interests, but we will not pick fights for the sake of it. We will focus on building a positive, constructive relationship with the Scottish Government – one that actually delivers the best results for Glasgow.
A new era for employment relations for Glasgow City Council
The people who work for Glasgow City Council are its most vital asset. They are the people who actually deliver the services that Glaswegians use and rely on every single day, and in a very tough financial climate for public services, we rely on their commitment and experience more than ever.
But instead of showing staff how much they are valued, the last five years of Labour rule in Glasgow have seen more attacks on the terms and conditions of council staff than ever before, with more strikes and industrial action as a result. Significant numbers of lower-paid staff – the vast majority of them women – have waited over a decade for settlement of their equal pay claims.
The SNP knows that the Council’s staff want nothing more than to be able to do their jobs effectively and with pride and we want to create the conditions that will allow them to do that. If we are elected as the City Government, we will launch a new era of partnership working with staff across the Council family and their trade union representatives, including:
- a pledge to retain our staff within the Council family, not transferred or outsourced to private corporations.
- a Workforce and Staff Governance Board, comprising trade unions, cross-party elected representatives and senior officers.
- a political lead for Workforce and Staff Governance, who will be charged with ensuring that our manifesto pledges relating to staff are implemented across the Council family and that the principles of partnership working are embedded in our relationships with trade unions.
- a review of Human Resources policies and procedures across the Council family, to ensure that they reflect and respond to our commitments to partnership working and fair treatment.
- trade union representation on the board of each remaining ALEO.
- a commitment to no compulsory redundancies and the principles of collective bargaining and negotiation and all Council family staff paid the Scottish Living Wage. We will use new Scottish Government procurement legislation to ensure that, wherever possible, businesses and organisations who carry out work on behalf of the Council adhere to fair work practices and decent pay.
- refusal to implement the UK government’s current trade union bill or future attempts to diminish workers’ and trade union rights.
- ensuring that the Public Sector Equality Duty is fully adhered to in all of the Council’s dealings with our employees.
- working with trade unions and others representing women who were victims of discriminatory pay policies with the aim of resolving and settling all outstanding equal pay claims within this Council term.
- consulting staff on the impact to their working lives of wider changes of policy and ways of working within the Council, and actively seeking and listening to staff’s ideas about how to improve frontline service delivery.
- Listening to, and rewarding, staff ideas which improve services.
Championing diversity and equality
The SNP believes that Glasgow’s diversity is a fundamental source of our city’s vitality and spirit. Glasgow’s Council should be driven by a desire to respect and protect the equality and human rights of every Glaswegian and to nurture their wellbeing, and to work to combat prejudice and discrimination. Everyone who uses the Council’s services, or who works for the Council family, should be treated with equal dignity and respect, and have an equal chance to participate in civic society.
Under an SNP City Government:
- There will be regular independent gender and equalities audits of our policy and budget decisions, and an Equalities Policy and Budgeting Group to enable participation in the process. We will work not only to eliminate inadvertent discrimination against women and girls, BME communities, LGBT+ people, people with disabilities and people from different faith groups, but also aim to actively promote equality for disadvantaged groups. We will work in partnership to identify and respond to unmet need in service provision. In particular, we will seek to remove the barriers to secure, decently-paid work that cause women and minority groups to be more likely to experience poverty.
- We will review the way Equality Impact Assessments of Council policies are carried out, to ensure they are relevant, meaningful and accessible and ensure our Equalities Strategies are regularly refreshed and updated across the Council family.
- Equally Safe, the Scottish Government’s national strategy to eradicate violence against women and girls, will be a core task of every part of the Council’s business, from education to planning. We will ensure that organisations providing support for women and girls who have experienced violence and abuse are adequately and sustainably resourced.
- We will work with LGBT Youth Scotland and the TIE (Time for Inclusive Education) campaign to roll out a programme of training and guidance for LGBT+ inclusive education in every one of the city’s schools.
- We will work with LGBT+ organisations to establish a permanent Pride House LGBT+ centre in the city, to ensure that organisations providing support for LGBT people at different stages of life are sustainably resourced, and to achieve our ambition of making Glasgow the best place in Europe for LGBT people to live in and visit.
- We will establish a Refugee and Asylum-Seeker Voices Forum and look at how the Council could respond to Westminster legislation restricting our ability to provide support for asylum-seekers.
- We will ensure regular and ongoing engagement and discussion with organisations representing BME communities and minority faith groups to ensure that, as Glasgow’s population becomes more ethnically diverse, the city is able to respond positively and effectively.
- We will work with the police and other partners to ensure a co-ordinated approach to tackling hate crime, including hate crimes against people with disabilities.