SNP 2021 Manifesto for South Scotland

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INVEST IN OUR HEALTH SERVICE

This will include:
• Renewing or upgrading primary and community facilities, for example the Cottage Hospital in Castle Douglas
• Planning and enabling the refurbishment of hospitals
• We will establish a fast track cancer diagnostic centre in every health board area to help better support patients with non-specific symptoms suspicious of cancer. NHS Dumfries and Galloway will be one of the first three and will be up and running by the end of May.
• We will create a new centre of excellence for rural and remote medicine and social care to provide expertise and advice on the delivery of care in different rural, island, and remote settings in Scotland.

SUPPORT OUR RURAL ECONOMY

• We will create a new £15 million fund to support food processing and manufacture to develop local
supply chains and transition to low or zero carbon operations.
• We will maintain our doubled investment in the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund at £6.2 million, and invest £10 million in wider initiatives including rural hotel infrastructure, and the deployment of Seasonal Rangers to encourage responsible tourism in rural hot-spots.

INVEST IN HOUSING AND SUPPORT COMMUNITIES

• Since taking office, we have delivered 96,750 affordable homes, nearly 67,000 of which were for social rent – including over 24,500 in the South Scotland region. We will deliver a further 100,000 affordable homes by 2032, backed by investment of £3.5 billion over the parliament – supporting 14,000 jobs a year.
• We will work with regional transport partnerships to reinstate or develop new railway branch lines across rural Scotland and commuter lines in urban areas, delivering enormous benefits to communities and the regional economy, in terms of sustainable tourism and to meet our green travel objective.
• We will improve links to Carlisle and undertake the necessary feasibility work to allow the Borders
railway to be extended for the benefit of local communities and the wider economy.
• We will continue work to improve connectivity in South West Scotland, as part of STPR2, including enhancing public transport and exploring options to reduce journey times to Stranraer and Cairnryan, such as:
• The potential merits of new stations and services to improve connections to Glasgow on the South Western line
• The reopening of the rail link between Stranraer and Dumfries and a new line from Stranraer to
Cairnryan
• A continuous programme of improvements for the A77 and A75, and the development of better freight facilities, especially to support the timber industry in the area.
• We will work with local authorities to develop a Rural Visa Pilot as a rural and remote migration initiative.

WORK TOWARDS NET ZERO

• Over five years we will provide an additional £100 million to Scottish Forestry to increase new planting, £30 million to Forestry and Land Scotland to expand Scotland’s national forests and land, and a further £20 million will go to increase nursery stocks.

INVEST IN EDUCATION AND SUPPORT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE

• Over the next parliament we will invest £2 billion – in partnership with local government – in a Learning Estate Investment Programme including Dumfries High School
• In the last year alone, the SNP has provided a free school meal to over 13,500 pupils in the South Scotland region. We will go even further and make sure no child is hungry in the classroom by providing free school breakfasts and lunches to every primary school pupil, all year round.

BUILD A FAIRER SOCIETY

• Child poverty is in every part of Scotland. We want to lift children out of poverty in the South Scotland – that’s why we will double the Scottish Child Payment to £20 per child by the end of parliament and nearly double the planned investment in the Parental Employability Support Fund.
• We will build a wraparound childcare system providing care before and after school, all year round, where the least well-off families will pay nothing.