With local council elections fast approaching I joined counterparts from across the Parliament last week to back the Electoral Commission’s voter registration campaign.
Scotland’s councils are on the front-line delivering the services we all rely on in our day-to-day lives which is why these elections are so important.
Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to meet with Labour councillors and candidates in areas across the country in my role as Scottish Labour’s spokesperson on local government.
In each area, I have been impressed with the way our candidates have gone out into their communities to listen to the views of local people. These views have fed into local manifestos focussed on local priorities.
Across the country, local authorities are under tremendous financial pressure. In their last budget, the SNP chose to pass on 89% of their budget cut to local government – a move which has undermined local services and cost 13,500 local authority jobs.
Against this backdrop, there can be no doubt that tough decisions will have to be made. Our priority will always be to promote jobs and fairness and to protect vital services.
We all have a stake in how council services are delivered which is why it is so important for people to register to vote and to have their say whether by post or at the ballot box.