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Greens pitch for first-preference votes in council elections

Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie met local candidates (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie met local candidates (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Scottish Green Party’s co-leaders are urging supporters to rank Green candidates number one on ballot papers in the council elections.

Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater campaigned in Stirling on Friday, with less than a week to go to election day.

They met local candidates and held up signs in the city centre.

Mr Harvie said Green councillors would bring “constructive pressure” to councils on environmental issues.

He said: “If people do think global and act local and give their number one preference to their Green candidate, we’ll be able to change local government in really constructive and exciting ways.

“Addressing the climate emergency and the cost-of-living crisis in a coherent way.”

Discussing Green priorities if the party had the opportunity to enter council administrations, Mr Harvie said: “We work with others where there’s genuine common ground.

“That’s what Green councillors will do, but we’ve also shown in the Scottish Parliament that you don’t need to be in a formal agreement to get results.

“For years we were an opposition party doing that constructive opposition, bringing forward good ideas and trying to push the government out of its comfort zone.”

Mr Harvie, who is the Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings and Active Travel, was asked about the overdue ferries at Ferguson Marine and the fact a document relating to the vessels’ contract appeared to be missing from official records.

The issue was brought up at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, with Nicola Sturgeon saying other documents already in the public domain provided the information.

Mr Harvie said: “Let’s focus on what matters, getting the vessels finished, getting them in service for the communities that need them and then the inquiry will look at the lessons that need to be learned.”

Ms Slater said: “We are hoping to get Greens elected all over the country, we absolutely know that’s possible.

“We know that the climate crisis is more on people’s minds than ever before.”

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