We Scottish Conservatives believe in ensuring power is taken from Whitehall and Holyrood and given to local people. As a result we have a main East Ayrshire manifesto and key policy pledges that we are promoting nationally.
Points in the East Ayrshire Local Government manifesto:
Look at measures to reduce youth unemployment and provide support for young people. Young people are they key to our future and must be given every possible chance to find employment. Many young people have little support at home and must be given help and assistance to get the right start in life.
Ensure a supply of good quality affordable housing. Much has been done to improve the local housing stock but there is still an ever growing demand for social housing. We must continue to release sites for new build social rented housing.
Seek to improve the shopping experience in our towns. A thriving local economy depends on local people spending their money in local shops. We must make our towns and villages attractive and safe places to visit.
Examine the issues of parking and charges. If we are to attract people to our towns we must ensure that there is adequate and reasonably priced parking available.
Encourage new businesses to move to the area and provide support for existing businesses. Unemployment can only be tackled by attracting new businesses to the area and at the same time providing help and assistance to existing businesses to allow them to expand and develop. We must look at incentives to set up in East Ayrshire through rate relief and reasonable rents.
Continue to support a programme of school rebuilding. If children are to flourish they need a clean attractive and properly equipped school in which to learn.
Tackle the issue of litter and graffiti blighting neighbourhoods. We need people to take a pride in their local community and by setting a good example encourage them to keep them clean and free from graffiti and vandalism.
Challenge the misuse of drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol abuse are blight on society. We must give appropriate support to addicts whilst ensuring that they do not interfere with lives of others going about their daily business. People should not feel intimidated and be fearful when visiting our towns and villages
Work to improve the condition of roads. Lack of maintenance over many years and two severe winters have taken their toll on East Ayrshire roads. We need to pressure the Scottish Government to provide additional funding for road repairs.
Ensure that the elderly in our communities are well cared for. With an increasing elderly population we must ensure that they are supported to stay in their own homes living an independent life for as long as possible. This means not only do we need to provide suitably trained staff to provide assistance but that the accommodation suits peoples needs.
Fight the proposed reduction to bus services being imposed by SNP funding cuts. The changes to the Bus Service Operator Grant imposed by the Scottish Government are a threat to bus services across East Ayrshire with the possibility of 40% cuts in some areas. With many people in rural areas reliant on buses and the moves towards reducing car use for environmental reasons we must fight any proposed cuts.
Retain Council tax freeze as long as possible through greater efficiency. Families need all the financial support they can at this time Council tax has now been frozen for five years in a row. Whilst this cannot go on indefinitely we must ensure that all possible efficiency improvements have been made before raising the Council tax level. This also depends on the Scottish Government fully funding it’s ever growing demands on local Councils.