THE Scottish Conservatives are to put opposition to a second independence referendum at the heart of their local government election campaign.
Leader Ruth Davidson will call on voters to send a message to the SNP on independence as she unveils the party’s manifesto for the May 4 vote in Edinburgh.
The party said it will also seek to empower councils in the manifesto, entitled Localism for Growth, as it sets out plans to reverse what it describes as “a decade of SNP centralisation”.
Ms Davidson said the vote was an opportunity for people “to make clear the priorities they want in Scotland”.
She said: “It’s to ensure we have local councils focused on your school and your local services, not on a divisive referendum campaign most people don’t want.
“We have two key points to make at this election. After 10 years of SNP centralisation, we want to make the case for localism – so decisions are put back in the hands of your local community.
“And, after a decade of constitutional division, we want to send a message to the SNP: we don’t want your unwanted independence referendum.
“Every Scottish Conservative councillor who is elected on May 4 will demand nothing less.”
The party’s local government spokesman Graham Simpson added: “Scotland is fast becoming one of the most centralised countries in the western world.
“The SNP Government reserves for itself the right to make the vast majority of economic decisions, so local authorities have been relegated to mere service providers.
“We need to empower councils and give them a renewed sense of meaning and purpose. They can and must be the engines of growth”.
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