Tory Council Election Manifesto

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FINANCE

• Deliver a zero-based budget for 2013-14, forcing each council department to justify what it does to ensure value for money from all services.

• Review what the council is obliged to do by statute and assess whether services can be delivered better by, or with, someone else.

• Revisit the alternative business models programme to examine the potential of all sectors to deliver better and

more effective services.

• Seek to reduce council tax if possible.

• Give a commitment to a three-year funding package from the 2013 budget onward to give the Third Sector certainty for its budgets and establish a high-profile role for a councillor to advocate on behalf of this sector.

ECONOMY

• Deliver a larger return of business rate receipts from central government.

• Support all our town centres, not simply the nine presently designated.

• Reduce unemployment, with a particular focus on youth employment.

• Continue support for the Edinburgh to Glasgow rail improvement programme.

• Say no to a tourist tax.

TRANSPORT

• Deliver the renewal and maintenance of roads and pavement infrastructure.

• Make pavements safe to walk on and ensure potholes are fixed quickly and done correctly first time.

• Review parking charges to ensure that parking provision meets the need of local residents and local businesses.

• Find a more efficient use of existing road space through a re-examination of traffic flows.

• Encourage more cycling in the city both for getting to work and for leisure and improve cross-city routes.

• Deliver a tram, within the current contract, on time and at the best possible price.

• Enable an expansion to car clubs in suitable parts of the city.

CULTURE/LEISURE/SPORT

• Establish a new cultural body, similar to Edinburgh Leisure, to run and maintain the King’s Theatre, the Festival Theatre and the Usher Hall. We would encourage this body to use outside experience.

• Increase investment in parks and libraries.

• Pilot a trust management approach for some community centres.

• Continue support of and invest in Edinburgh Leisure.

• Help the festivals grow and be more commercially successful.

• More private sponsorship to run our festivals.

EDUCATION/CHILDREN

• A more devolved system to give headteachers and school staff more freedom.

• Parental choice at the centre of decision-making.

• Pursue choice, diversity and efficiency, allowing schools to develop vocational and subject specialisms.

• Extend the use of underused school buildings.

• Pursue partnerships with new providers: business, philanthropists and experts to work together to deliver better education.

ENVIRONMENT

• Continue to increase recycling levels across the city.

• Increase the number of dog waste bins and bags available especially around our parks and green spaces.

• Manage and maintain the trees in our city and make sure it is done in a more efficient way.

HEALTH

• Expand older people’s services across the city to help people live longer lives in their own homes.

• Invest more resources in home services, making sure each person gets what they need as well as providing better community services to allow individuals to socialise and stop isolation.

• Promote the use of direct payments.

• Work with the Third Sector to facilitate the appropriate services.

HOUSING

• Prioritise housing development on brownfield sites.

• Pilot a self-build project on an area of land where the council will put in some infrastructure and individuals can build their own homes.

PLANNING

• Planning guidance to be reduced and clarified.

• Promote the World Heritage Site status including the designation of a buffer around the site where it is not already abutted by a conservation zone.

• Reintroduce a self-financing Edinburgh stair partnership, seeking sponsorship from the private sector.

CRIME

• Work with business and the Third Sector to make sure that our streets are safe.