Building Back Better at The Local Level

By Dillon Kennedy

It is official, with local council elections in Scotland just a mere 7 months in May 2022, The Scottish conservatives need to spread the message to ensure that they win council seats previously held by the SNP and hold onto the councils in which we are the administration.

At the last council elections, the Scottish Conservatives won 276 seats which is 25.30%. We must show the people of Scotland, why voting for the Scottish Conservatives as their councillor means that they will work hard to deliver for their constituents. We face an opponent which could take some of the councils away from us and that is of course the SNP, who at the last election in 2017 won 431 seats which represent 32.3% of seats.

The main factor that hampered the party in 2017 at the local level was the vote the year previously to Leave the European Union, which many Scots felt they were being ripped out of against their will, not a view I hold. But now that this prime minister has delivered Brexit, we must move on and show the voters why having a conservative-led council in their local area will ensure that recovery from the past 18 months of the pandemic will be at the forefront of local politics.

The Scottish conservatives must campaign on what are the people's priorities whether that be on education, public transport, the upkeep and repair of our pothole-riddled road network or even localised public services. Let's take Perth & Kinross Council (my local authority) as an example, we have a conservative-led administration, with 17 conservative councillors, our goals as we go into this election is with the mindset of we are retaining our position as the administration. Now in my council area , we have many of our existing councillors standing down which means we must fill those vacant councillor slots with candidates that we know can retain those key seats. normal People like local business leaders who can bring fresh ideas to problems and their business mind to balancing the local budgets. This is what we need to look at if we are going to regain councils and take back councils previously held by the SNP and Scottish Labour.

We must utilise social media to get our key messages and pledges out there and take some of the "thunder" from the SNP political campaign machine. We know that the SNP will use all their activists and volunteers to use tactics such as wearing bright Hi-Vis Jackets with the party logo to show the general public that they are out in force. It is these tactics in which they have successfully won election after election from local level to even UK parliamentary level and we must counter that with our own enthusiasm and drive to win. If we win here at local level we must then continue and utilise this drive for the next general election in 2024 and even the Scottish parliament election after that.

Alongside a strong social media presence, we must have a strong message in the vein of "Build Back Better" that be rallied around and used to drive the various issues that must be front and centre of any local campaign. We must show that voting conservative means having a council that has the people in mind and that we want to make a difference in their towns, villages and cities all across Scotland,and make communities a more prosperous place to live.