SNP pledges “can do” councils in local election manifesto

By Oliver Hotham

The Scottish nationalists launch their pledges for next month's local elections today, pledging to "put the people first" and run proactive councils.

The manifesto promises to continue the freeze of council tax, deliver free nursery hours for children, pay the living wage to council workers and keep free bus passes.

The party also promises implement the "Building for Recovery" programme, which will see many more houses and schools built and is intended to create jobs and help local communities.

Party leader and Scottish first minister Alex Salmond will say the party's councillors would bring "energy and competence".

"As this manifesto makes clear, together, at national and local level, the SNP will be working hard to create jobs, protect family budgets and to make Scotland fairer," he continued.

"In areas where the SNP is already in administration much has been achieved, but we know there is more still to do."

The nationalists, which claim to be putting a record number of candidates up for election this year, are arguing that they have protected council budgets despite the cuts from Westminster.

All 32 of Scotland's local authorities are holding elections this year.