We want progressive politics that help people and planet - Kayleigh O'Neill

Kayleigh O'NeillKayleigh O'Neill
Kayleigh O'Neill
​The Scottish Greens recently met in Dunfermline for our annual autumn conference. It was a great weekend of catching up with members, discussing policy and organising work for the year ahead. We also announced new policies that will help our local communities, create a fairer society, and cut climate emissions.

We announced free bus travel for asylum seekers and more free ferry trips for islanders under the age of 22. Our party understands the barriers that people face and acts in a way that is fair for everyone.

Lorna Slater, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy, and Biodiversity, announced that we will create six gigawatts of solar power by 2030, which is ten times what we make now!

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She also announced a levy on cruise ships docking in Scottish ports and shared updates on the first steps we have taken towards a carbon land tax.

First Minister Humza YousafFirst Minister Humza Yousaf
First Minister Humza Yousaf

Across the country and in government, Greens are delivering for everyone, whether you live in Kirkwall, Kirkcudbright and all in between. As a councillor in Edinburgh, it is my pleasure to bring green values to my ward, city and the Chambers we vote in.

At our autumn conference my emergency motion passed which looked at empowering and funding local government.

This motion was brought forward after First Minister Humza Yousaf’s clumsy announcement on a council tax freeze, which was not discussed with Cosla or other important bodies that work tirelessly for local government.

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As the co-convenor of the Association of Scottish Green Councillors, I wanted to make it very clear that we do not agree with the SNP’s knee-jerk announcement, that we had serious concerns about the term “fully funded”, and we urged our MSPs to oppose the freeze.

We are worried about how a council tax freeze would impact on already-strained frontline public services.

I’m particularly worried about the most vulnerable groups of society who rely on these services more and would experience further crises and isolation where provisions are not found.

Council tax is a ludicrously broken system, and we need proper council tax reform. Now is not the time to sit back and hope that the years coming will just get easier.

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We need radical change and a progressive voice at all tables. I’m very proud to be part of the movement that is ensuring we have the fairest system for all.

Kayleigh O'Neill, Green councillor for Forth ward

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