In 2017, Stirling Labour published a Stirling manifesto which contained a series of commitments that would be pursued by Labour Councillors if elected. Over the last year the Labour Group of Stirling Councillors have shown what a seat around the table and a great deal of hard work can do to deliver Labour commitments that work for the many, not the few. Here is the first of a new regular series of articles on how your Labour Councillors are delivering on promises for Stirling.
Our manifesto committed us to “ensure tenants are always put first and that landlords live up to their obligations”.
That’s why Cllr Danny Gibson has led on moves to investigate the need for a rent pressure zone in Stirling, saying “landlords who don’t want to live up to their responsibilities with repairs, or squeeze as much out of people’s pockets as they can, should take note that we’re watching them and we will ensure that tenants are treated fairly now and in the future”.
In “jobs and economy”, we promised to “lead the way by ensuring Stirling Council sets the standard we want all organisations to aspire to”.
That’s why this month your Labour Councillors have set a “gold standard” in paternity pay for council employers and adopted Unison’s “Apprenticeship Charter” to ensure our young people have key rights and their managers key responsibility in ensuring we are developing a workforce with the skills we need now and in the future. We’ve also ensured that the Living Wage at Stirling Council is set higher than the Living Wage Foundation recommends.
We promised to “poverty proof the school day, ensuring every child has the support they need to learn.”
We have a lot still to do here, but this month Cllr Margaret Brisley ensured that nearly 1500 children will benefit from a significant rise in a key Stirling Council poverty fund. The clothing and footwear grant will rise from £50 to £130 per child, which research suggests is the cost faced by parents ahead of a new school.
Labour Cllr Chris Kane has set up and chaired a Short Life Working Group looking at ways the council can tackle the appalling tragedy that is the Tories’ “Universal Credit”. His report will be presented at a full meeting of Stirling Council next week, but has already delivered on a key recommendation to help tackle digital poverty with a £200,000 investment in digital support across the council’s libraries. The Labour Group continue to ensure that the council work in partnership with organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau to help our citizens deal with universal credit, which Chris says is “fundamentally flawed and devastating to the most vulnerable people in our communities”.
We promised to “invest in new equipment for play parks”.
Earlier on this month, the Partnership Administration announced a £250,000 boost for play parks which will see new equipment installed across 22 parks in the seven wards that make up the council area.
We said we would commit to making Stirling a dementia friendly city and district.
Again, we have much still to do, but Cllr Christine Simpson is a member of the Council’s Adult Social Care Panel, where she works to promote and further our manifesto commitments on health and social care. Recently Christine was at Stirling’s King’s Park to hear how the public space has become “dementia friendly.”
We said we would “put pressure on the Scottish Government to overhaul the planning system to put more power in the hands of our local communities, not the hands of developers or distant government bureaucrats”
That’s why we highlighted that it took 382 days for SNP Ministers to agree with their own appeals panel NOT to allow building on Airthrey Kerse, and why we highlighted that Scottish Government Ministers have decided to make the final decision on whether to overturn Stirling Council’s decision to not build more houses on the Bannockburn Battlefield.
Your Labour Councillors will always stand up for STIRLING and its many communities.
Your Labour Councillors will never shy away from putting pressure on the SNP Government, as they demonstrated with their condemnation of the SNP spin on this year’s budget offer to Scottish Local Authorities. They’ll also continue to put pressure on the Tory Government on issues including Universal Credit and their uncaring attitude to communities affected by RBS closures.
We’ll also call out government measures, both at Holyrood and Westminster, if they make delivering our local manifesto more difficult – as we did when the SNP Government’s published a draft transport bill that undermined our ambition to deliver a community owned public transport company.
Your Labour Councillors have a great deal of work still to do in the coming years, but we stand by our manifesto and will strive to implement as much of it as possible during the current Administration at Stirling Council. We’ll continue to deliver regular updates on our progress on this website.
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