TFN's guide to charity council election manifestos
Scotland goes to the polls on Thursday, 5 May to elect councillors In all 32 local authority areas.
What happens at a local level has a massive impact in the country’s voluntary sector.
So there’s a lot to play for.
With that in mind, TFN has been rounding up charities’ council election manifestos.
We’ll publish as many as possible – to provide an easily accessible portal where everyone – from policy makers to parties to the public - can see the breadth of the sector’s activity and demands.
They are presented here in no particular order. If your organisation would like to be included, send a link to your manifesto to TFN editor Graham Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This list will be updated frequently, so make sure you check back.
Scottish Community Safety Network
This manifesto urges councillors to, among other things, advocate for a continued commitment to Universal Basic Income, prioritise the eradication - and local need for - foodbanks in every ward, in every community and encourage greater local collaboration between community groups and local services to help reduce poverty and increase equality.
Paths For All
Paths for All wants to see communities where everyone has the opportunity and capability to be active every day for healthier, happier and greener local communities. Its call to candidates, Walking Forward, details the huge benefits walking brings for people and communities and sets out key ways that candidates can support people to walk more for recreation and travel.
RNIB Scotland’s local authority manifesto states that to deliver services that can meet their needs, it’s vitally important that local authorities appreciate the challenges that visually impaired people face. It says we need health and social care services that prevent avoidable sight loss and help people come to terms with it when it isn’t. There must be no diagnosis without support.
Scottish Women’s Budget Group
Councils elected in 2022 have a triple set of challenges to contend with: the cost of living crisis, Covid-19 pandemic recovery and the need for practical action on climate change. The group’s manifesto says that, reflecting this, gender analysis must be hardwired into decision making and the gendered nature of poverty must be recognised.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament says that, contrary to popular belief, disarmament is a local issue as well as a national one. The campaign group says this is a chance to draw local candidates and local voters into a national conversation. Local authorities can take many practical steps to express Scottish opposition to nuclear weapons – for example, CND is asking all local authorities to pass resolutions to divest public funds – such as their pension funds - from all industries related to nuclear weapons.
Download the manifesto here.
The Poverty Alliance manifesto includes measures such as prioritising poverty as an issue, boosting incomes, improving local services, and strengthening communities. The charity has said candidates standing in local authorities across Scotland should back the manifesto and promise to tackle poverty in their own communities as a result.
Children 1st is calling on council candidates across the country to pledge to put children at the heart of their campaign commitments ahead of the upcoming May elections. The charity has written to every candidate in Scotland, to share their election manifesto, ‘Putting Children First’. Children 1st is asking council candidates to deliver pledges to keep children and families safe, loved and well, by 2027.
Scottish Older People's Assembly
SOPA asks that candidates in Scottish local government elections prioritise the following requests to ensure that older people can live well and contribute fully to their communities: support the appointment of an older people’s champion in every local authority, create age-friendly communities and deliver affordable digital inclusion for older people.
Scotland's Mental Health Partnership
This is a group made up of 17 professional bodies and third sector organisations representing, among others, those with lived experience, providers, clinical professionals, carers, community support networks and the wider third sector on a national level. It is calling for actions that will promote better mental health and wellbeing for the whole population, prevent mental ill health and distress among communities and groups at highest risk and provide an appropriate choice of support, care and treatment in the right place and at the right time for those experiencing severe mental ill health.
Includem’s council elections manifesto, which focuses on the ABCs of NEEDS NOW, built from the views of children, young people and families. Hearing from those we support was insightful – and what they called for in Access to support, the Basics and Connections in communities highlights what is needed to secure and protect the wellbeing of individuals and communities.
Read more here.
For far too long, people with mental health problems have been struggling to cope without the right support. The pandemic only made the situation worse. As we approach the Scottish local authority elections in May, SAMH is calling for candidates to stand up for Scotland’s mental health by creating a mental health strategy that will, among other things, ensure everyone has access to person-centred support in their community.
Every hour in Scotland someone starts to lose their sight. There will be over 200,000 visually impaired people in Scotland by 2030. Ahead of the local authority elections in May 2022, we have published our renewed Local Authority Manifesto: Time to Focus on Sight Loss. The manifesto sets out a vision for a more inclusive Scotland for blind and partially sighted people.
Collectively the third sector and TSI Scotland Network has been recognised for its outstanding role through the pandemic, creatively working to meet need in communities and adopting new approaches with statutory partners to tackle issues as they arose. As we work together to ensure recovery is achieved across Scotland, we seek your commitment at a local council level to tackle the barriers that the third sector experience.
Read the national manifesto here.
Keep Scotland Beautiful
Keep Scotland Beautiful is Scotland’s charity for the environment, with a vision for a clean, green, sustainable country. We work to help combat climate change, reduce litter and waste, and protect and enhance the places we care for. We aim to change behaviour to improve our environment, the quality of people’s lives, their wellbeing, and the places that they care for. We support the ambitions of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Community Transport Association
These local elections are an important opportunity to review and renew the essential relationship between community transport and local government. Local government is a key partner for the community transport sector. Many operators receive critical financial support from their local authority. Many rely on council grant funding or are commissioned to deliver local services. In partnership with our members across Scotland, we’ve developed CTA’s manifesto for Scotland’s local elections which sets our priorities for local councillors.
Aberlour Children's Charity
Every child has a right to a decent standard of living that meets their physical and social needs and supports their development. All children should be safe, warm, fed and able to play and learn. Yet not all families have an adequate income to meet these needs. They are now acutely vulnerable to rising food and energy prices. Across Scotland one in four children are living in the grip of this poverty. Aberlour Children’s Charity is a member of the End Child Poverty coalition.
Good walking, wheeling and cycling and public transport makes a massive difference to people’s quality of life and the places where they live, work and spend time. This is the time for local government to act – to create better places, improve our health, and protect the planet.
This manifesto outlines the key policies and investments that must be made to begin to tackle child poverty in Scotland. None of these policies alone will end child poverty in Scotland, but together they would help loosen the grip of poverty on the lives of tens of thousands of children and make a huge difference to children currently denied the opportunities that growing up in Scotland should offer everyone.
Friends of the Earth Scotland
This manifesto sets out some of the priorities for action that parties should champion in their manifestos, and the policies that should be taken to deliver them. It covers: a just transition, divestment, economy, energy, planning and transport.
Glasgow Disability Alliance
Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA) is an organisation run by disabled people, for disabled people. We are a diverse community of 5,500 disabled people with all kinds of impairments and conditions. That is a lot of voters! Our common bond is our shared experience of disabling barriers and of working together on solutions to break these down. GDA supports disabled people to connect with each other, to build confidence to tackle the barriers we face, to speak out and influence change, so we can contribute and participate in our own lives and in our city– including the decisions which affect us.