Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Cutting waiting times and improving public transport links key to Lib Dem manifesto

Cutting waiting times for appointments and improving public transport are two key areas of the Lib Dem's Highland manifesto
Cutting waiting times for appointments and improving public transport are two key areas of the Lib Dem's Highland manifesto

The Liberal Democrat party is seeking to overcome challenges and provide solutions to long-term Highland problems should voters instil their faith in their candidates on May 5.

The party state that the Highland Council region is unique and differs from every other part of Scotland.

Due to this, they say the area requires “different solutions and services”.

The party states: “One size does not fit all and we need to be flexible.”

older people's champions
The Lib Dems are hoping to secure seats within the Highland Council chamber. Picture by Sandy McCook.

Party pledges ‘new hope’ for Highlands

The Liberal Democrats, within their manifesto pledge, are offering the people of the Highlands “new hope”.

The party say they have led the recovery process for the Highlands for the past two years.

The party promise that voters will find “hope and passion” in their candidates.

Bid to end ‘longest ever waits for medical appointments’

Outlining the challenges that lay in wait, the Liberal Democrats say there is a need to improve attainment levels in schools. Calls have also been made for investment into roads to ensure they are brought “back up to standard”.

The party also wish to address the “longest ever waits for medical appointments” alongside the climate emergency.

The Lib Dems promise to cut waiting times.

Reliable and effective public transport, the need for additional social housing and easily accessible care at home for the elderly are other key areas the party is seeking to address.

With the current energy crisis a key point for all parties, the Lib Dems are no different, with rises in energy costs and inflation feared to be driving people into poverty.

‘More funding is required’

The party promises that, if elected, candidates will increase the year-on-year amount allocated to the revenue roads budget beyond the £60 million pledged by Highland Council.

Lib Dems say: “More funding is required”.

Schools are a big motivating factor for the party.

Providing new education facilities, like those planned in Tain, Nairn, Broadford and Ness Castle will be supported, alongside addressing overcrowding issues at the likes of Culloden Academy. The party also promises to improve the condition of rural schools.

historic culloden academy
Culloden Academy is one of the schools targeted for an expansion in coming years. Picture by Sandy McCook

In order to raise attainment, the party pledge to lobby the Scottish Government to improve national guidelines to fund more secondary teachers, allowing for smaller class sizes to allow more one-on-one time with youngsters.

Affordable housing high on the agenda

A promise of greater care for the elderly is promised by the party, who seek to ensure that “every elderly person in need has access to care at home” maintaining their independence.

The need and want for more affordable housing across the Highlands is also listed as a key priority in the party’s manifesto.

The Lib Dems promise to build more council houses across the region enabling young people to continue to live in their villages and towns and not have to leave.

They also promise to work with businesses and agencies to provide well-paid jobs across the Highlands, in a bid to reverse the depopulation trend.

Transport improvements required

Transport is high on the agenda of the Liberals with urgent discussions called for with community transport organisations and national providers, such as Stagecoach.

The party say this action will ensure that “nobody feels disconnected or disadvantaged through lack of reliable access to public transport”.

Improved transport links are promised by the Lib Dems.

Addressing rising costs to households by providing increased investment in welfare services is one way the Lib Dems say they will ensure people are “not left stranded and at serious risk of poverty”.

Sustainable ways of managing and improving waste recycling are mooted to ensure the Highlands plays its part in addressing climate change challenges.

Promise to ‘listen, raise your issues and keep you informed’

The party promise that Liberal Democrat councillors will always “listen, raise your issues and keep you informed”.

The manifesto concludes: “Back us this May and I promise you that Liberal Democrats in the villages and towns of Highland will show you the meaning of hope, health and prosperity once again.”

142 candidates to battle it out

A total of 142 candidates have put their names forward for election on May 5.

Seventy-one seats are up for grabs across 20 multi-member wards.

One ward has already been determined as only three candidates came forward for the three-member ward of Caol and Mallaig.

Voters will take to the polls on May 5

The full breakdown of allegiances to parties is as follows:

  • Independent – 40
  • Other – 12
  • Scottish Conservative and Unionist – 21
  • Scottish Green Party – 11
  • Scottish Labour Party – 14
  • Scottish Liberal Democrats – 21
  • Scottish National Party (SNP) – 23

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]