Localism for Growth, the Scottish Conservative election manifesto for local government, fleshes out the long-standing Conservative vision for local democracy and devolving power down to councils and communities. By being more responsive to what local people want and need, councils will be able to do a much better job in terms of economic stimulation and service provision.
It’s not rocket science, or even that radical, except for a Scottish government fixated on winning independence and grabbing as much power and control for itself as it can. The systematic erosion of power and funding suffered by local authorities at the hands of the SNP has crippled them, and left people alienated from local government.
Electing more Conservative councillors is a first step to combatting the increasing centralisation by the SNP at Holyrood, and there are plenty of things, large and small, which councils can do to increase their own democracy and accountability. Dave Dempsey has sketched briefly some of these, and I will be publishing my own list shortly.
But we will only be able to realise the Scottish Conservative election manifesto for local government when the Scottish Conservatives can form a government at Holyrood. Roll on 2021!