The West Lothian Courier asked all the political parties for 400 words on what they offered the electorate. This is what I wrote.
The top priority of the West Lothian Liberal Democrats is to fight to reverse the SNP’s cuts to classroom assistants in the area. School is now a lot more confusing and difficult for many children with conditions like Dyslexia because they have lost the vital help that classroom assistants give. We also want to see these conditions identified sooner and proper support put in place before children fall too far behind. Too many parents have had to persevere for years before their concerns about their children were taken seriously. That delay puts children through too much educational and emotional trauma and this must be addressed urgently. It’s also important to make sure that support continues in secondary school.
Liberal Democrat Councillors across Scotland are renowned for tireless work for their communities, whether it’s building more council houses, cutting crime, improving social care or getting the Council on a secure financial footing. While council house building in West Lothian is welcome, it simply isn’t enough to match the need. Almost 4000 people have been waiting more than two years for a Council house. Faster progress to reduce the wait is vital.
Liberal Democrats in the UK Government have ensured that 77,000 people in West Lothian on low and middle incomes have had a £200 per year income tax cut and, by next April, 4560 will have been taken out of tax completely. We have also delivered the biggest ever cash rise in the State Pension - £5.30 a week compared to Labour’s derisory 75p. The Scotland Act, delivered by a Liberal Democrat Secretary of State, is the biggest transfer of power to Scotland in 300 years.
In Holyrood, Willie Rennie and our MSPs have punched above their weight, securing £40 million in extra funding to give a lifeline to Scottish colleges, making sure that more young people have the chance to continue their education. We have stood firm against plans to create a single police force which would mean that Police Officers would be allocated according to national direction rather than local need.
Liberal Democrats are helping ordinary people at all levels of Government. If you want councillors who will fight for more classroom assistants, to give children the best possible start in life, to create jobs, to build more council houses, improve recycling and make sure people have excellent care services that meet their needs, vote Scottish Liberal Democrat today.