Tories plan to scrap new Sunday parking charges in manifesto

Tories have said their election manifesto will tackle 'a decade of wasted opportunity'. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Tories have said their election manifesto will tackle 'a decade of wasted opportunity'. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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EDINBURGH Tories want to scrap plans to introduce new Sunday parking charges and suspend the remaining phases of the Capital’s 20mph rollout.

The party also promised to reject the current business plan for extending the tram network as city Conservatives unveiled their council election manifesto.

We will deliver value for public money and work constructively as we have in opposition

Cameron Rose

Other promises cited in the party’s 40-point plan include improving the condition of roads and pavements and making waste collection and street cleaning services more reliable.

Stating it was “time for change”, the Tories claimed they were ready to take action to counteract “a decade of wasted opportunity”.

Group leader Cameron Rose said: “Edinburgh is a spectacular city. It has a world-class heritage and world-renowned things have happened here.

“It has amazing people with amazing abilities but in recent times it has been let down by the SNP/Labour council administration. It is time for change and the Edinburgh Conservatives have a plan to give our city the council it deserves.

“Our superb team of candidates, full of experience in all walks of life, will deliver value for public money and work constructively, as we have in opposition, to implement the best policies for Edinburgh.

“Pragmatic, able, constructive and ambitious; now is the time to vote for a better council with the Edinburgh Conservatives.”

The pledge to scrap Sunday parking charges comes after councillors last year gave the green light for charges of up to £3.50 an hour to be brought in between 12.30pm and 6.30pm in the city centre.

Councillors voted overwhelmingly in favour of the proposals but business experts warned the new charges would drive away shoppers. When it comes to reducing congestion, the Tories pledged to improve roadwork co-ordination and improve traffic light responsiveness.

Their manifesto also includes plans to create an annual “Edinburgh Index”, which would combine an assessment of a wide range of areas such as road conditions, recycling rates and the cost of council tax collection.

Scottish Conservative leader and Edinburgh Central MSP Ruth Davidson said: “This year’s local government election in Edinburgh is vitally important.

“Voters have a clear choice – elect strong local voices who will focus all their energies on improving local services or voting to go back to the divisions of the past.

“The simple fact is every SNP councillor elected here on May 4 will use their position to agitate for another referendum, while every Scottish Conservative elected will oppose one. We said no to independence and we do not want another independence referendum.

“Let’s focus on improving our local services instead. That’s what your Edinburgh Conservative and Unionist councillors will do every day.” The Tories also said they wanted to speed up housing provision and develop a new cultural trust for museums, art galleries, theatres and libraries.

Conservative manifesto proposals unveiled

• Improve the condition of Edinburgh’s roads, paths and pavements;

• Improve waste collection and street cleaning to make it more cost efficient and reliable;

• Create an Edinburgh Index, to be published annually or more frequently;

• Speed up housing provision, especially on brownfield sites. Measures to achieve this to include a reduction in planning delays and a removal or reduction of the 25 per cent affordable housing requirement for targeted brownfield sites;

• Suspend implementation of the remaining phases of 20mph zones and carry out a review;

• Reject current business case for extension of tram line as too long and expensive.