The Scottish Conservative and Unionist party has put improving education and delivering more affordable housing at the heart of its manifesto for Aberdeenshire in next month's council elections.
The local party is looking to build on a trio of recent by-elections wins in Huntly, Inverurie and Banff with a record 23 candidates standing for election across all 19 wards.
Group leader Jim Gifford said the Scottish Conservatives would deliver a world-class “Gold Standard” education for every child and work to reduce the attainment gap.
The party also recognises the issues around the supply of homes in Aberdeenshire, and has pledged to deliver an ambitious programme of house-building for sale or rent across all tenures.
The manifesto also vows to fight to ensure that all taxes collected locally are spent locally.
This follows failed SNP tax grab plans that would have seen millions paid by households from the north-east diverted to the Central Belt were it not for the strong opposition provided by the Scottish Conservatives across Scotland and at Holyrood.
Mr Gifford said: “We have our biggest ever list of candidates fighting in every ward of Aberdeenshire for the upcoming elections.
“If we are able to form an administration, we would seek to put education and housing improvements at the forefront of our agenda for this area.
“We are ready to stand up for the interests of people in Aberdeenshire, unlike the SNP, who are obsessed with independence and will blindly toe the party line from Edinburgh.
“It was the Scottish Conservatives who stood up to plans to raid north-east households of millions of pounds of council tax rises. The SNP were going to take that extra income to the Central Belt until we forced a U-turn from the government.
“And it is the Scottish Conservatives who are speaking up for employers in this area who are being hammered by business rates rises that threaten jobs and investment.
“Now, more than ever, the people of Aberdeenshire need a council leadership that will oppose the independence-obsessed, centralising SNP government and fight for a better deal for the North East.”
|Aberdeenshire Conservatives Manifesto 2017.pdf||2.55 MB|