The Conservatives have published their own manifesto for the Glasgow City Council elections with policies including the publication of all spending items over £500, ending staff using working time on trade union duties, an elected Lord Provost and police commissioner, and a right to bid and a right to buy for community groups to take over the running of council services and council buildings.
So far as the Council Tax is concerned there is the "ambition to reduce Council Tax by 10% over four years." There would be a "Strategic review of Council spending including publication of council assets to investigate selling of surplus assets" to reduce the Council's debt (which is around £1.3 billion) and thus also its interest payments – which are £98 million a year.
Spending cuts would be applied to taxis, the advertising budget, external training and conferences, consultants, equality officers. They would "cease membership of the West of Scotland European Forum and other unnecessary bodies." There would be a "Strategic review of the number of senior managers with a view to reducing by 10% or more." A "review of staff terms and conditions including sick pay, non-standard working practices, overtime and leave entitlement."
They would "introduce competition and outsourcing in areas of Council where it will generate reductions in expenditure."
Several other Conservative Groups in Scotland have also produced their own manifestos.
Fife's Conservative Manifesto also backs a reduction in Council Tax as a "freeze is not enough." It backs restoring the Right to Buy "with realistic discounts." They "will promote the removal of speed bumps when resurfacing."
In Edinburgh the Conservative Manifesto "will seek to reduce the Council Tax if possible." It stresses more festivals to promote tourism, devolving more power to schools and a greater role for voluntary organisations.
In Stirling, where the Conservatives have already helped deliver a Council Tax cut, they now aim to bring Stirling "down to the bottom half" of the Council Tax league table among Scottish local authorities. Their manifesto opposes "silly schemes" on traffic calming and would freeze parking charges. They would "re-establish the right to buy." Smaller items include expanding the farmers market and inter-school competitions in sport and debating.
> Today's Scotsman reports on the SNP's push to oust Labour from Glasgow.