Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Scottish Council Elections, 2012, An Introduction

In less than a month, Scots go to the polls to elect their councillors for the next four years. Nominations for candidates have closed and councils have published lists of the candidates, although I have not seen much campaigning yet.

The local election campaigns do not make the headlines to the same extent as a General Election but our councillors can have a significant influence on local environmental issues through local policies and their implementation of national policies. Particular environmental issues in my area include, not in any particular order:
  • Fuel Poverty - a significant proportion of households are now in fuel poverty in Glasgow
  • Air Pollution - Parts of Glasgow regularly fail to meet air quality standards
  • Sustainable public transport - public transport use has declined over the past year and operators are threatening to cut services further
  • Recycling - Glasgow has the poorest recycling record of all local authorities in Scotland
  • Biodiversity - Although Glasgow is a predominantly urban local authority, biodiversity and access to open places is still important
  • Local development plans - through local development plans, councilors have the ability to influence how green the city is for decades to come
  • New Housing - by insisting on the highest standards for new housing, councilors can set the city on a more sustainable path.

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