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Summary

  1. The future of Scotland's councils dominated campaigning
  2. In the evening edition of Reporting Scotland Jackie Bird interviewed Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

That's all from our Holyrood Election live page coverage on 26 April 2016

And that's your lot from Holyrood Election on 26 April 2017, when the future of Scotland's local government dominated the campaign trail.

To mark the issue we provide a montage of local government and election montages. 

Montage of montages of local government and the Holyrood election
bbc
Montage of montages of local government and the Holyrood election

Campaigner calls for parties to make policies easier to understand for people with learning disabilities

One in fifty people in Scotland has a learning disability - so what's the voting process like for them? 

Well, efforts are being made to make it more accessible, as BBC Scotland reporter Ian Hamilton found out.

Peter McMahon
bbc
Peter McMahon campaigner

Peter McMahon, an enthusiastic campaigner for people with a learning disability, as he has, says that political parties do not do enough to make it easy for people like him to understand their policies. Mr McMahon says: 

They need to make it a lot plainer with symbols or pictures to help people that can't read or write. 

The policies that matter most to people with learning disabilities are health and welfare he says. 

 According to Enable Scotland people with learning disabilites too often face exclusion and the charity calls on people to exercise their vote.

The charity has details of how to vote and the help that is available at every polling station across Scotland at Enable to Vote.  

Pollock candidates clash over budget cuts in the city of Glasgow

Our politics editor Brian Taylor was back out on the election trail today in Pollock.

He met with candidates standing in the area and asked if they can be the constituent's "champion"

Labour candidate Johann Lamont said she wants to stand up for her own constituents who are worried about education and inadequate care.

Ms Lamont said these are areas that need funding and the SNP want to take money out of Glasgow.  

SNP candidate Humza Yousaf said this is "rubbish" and that constituents have felt let down by Johann Lamont.

Mr Yousaf said constituents are being "hammered by a Tory government and that Labour stood shoulder to shoulder with them to encourage a "no" vote.

Pollock candidates in Silverburn shopping centre
BBC

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate Ian Leech said both Labour and the SNP are at fault and have failed at austerity

Mr Leech said both parties have carried through cuts and that people are worried and using food banks and soup kitchens. 

Lib Dem candidate Isabel Nelson said she has a proven record of being a champion in Glasgow and Pollock. 

Ms Nelson said she campaigned successfully in the area to stop dampness.

Conservative candidate Thomas Haddow said the SNP government have introduced higher cuts in Glasgow during the budget.

Mr Haddow said his party don't want to take money out of Glasgow. 

Tonight on Scotland 2016 there is a housing debate, kicking off at 10.30pm

Tune in at 10.30pm for our Housing Debate where we'll be putting your questions to our panel of politicians #Scotland2016

Willie Rennie says his party will work constructively in the next parliament

Scottish Lib Dem leader calls for thorough investigation into Edinbugh schools crisis

Jackie Bird asks about Mr Rennie about PFI building in schools and asks if that has not come home to roost for those in the Labour-Lib Dem coalition, in Holyrood at the time.

The schools were all built or modernised under a Public Private Partnership agreement
Getty Images
The schools were all built or modernised under a Public Private Partnership agreement

Mr Rennie accepts there needs to be a thorough investigation into the schools crisis in Edinburgh, but says he thinks the model of finance is probably unrelated to these issues.  

Lib Dem leader says education is an urgent situation which requires an exceptional measure

Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie says education is an urgent situation which requires an urgent and exceptional measure.

Mr Rennie says that's why he believes putting a modest increase on income tax rates of 1p across all bands to raise more than £500m each year to invest in education is a measure to deal with the problems.

Willie Rennie and Jackie Bird
BBC

He says this can be invested in nursery education which is the best area to invest in. 

Mr Rennie says when the SNP came to power ten years ago Scotland had a top education but now it is just average. 

He says the SNP have focused on other things such as independence instead of education. 

Scottish Lib Dem leader insists people are coming back to his party

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie says Scotland used to have the best education system in the world and now its just average.

Mr Rennie says we no longer have a world leading mental health strategy, climate change targets must be met and civil liberties must be protected.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie
BBC

He says the Lib Dems are pioneering on these issues and that more people are coming back to his party.

The Scottish Lib Dem leader insists his party are getting back to its best after the difficult of coalition and insists his party punched well above its weight in Holyrood.

Local government reform tweet from Glenn Campbell

BBC Scotland's Political Correspondent Glen Campbell says local government has been dominating the campaign trail today

Glenn Campbell

BBC Scotland Political Correspondent

BBC Scotland's Political Correspondent Glen Campbell says local government has been dominating the campaign trail today.

Questioned on whether she would look at cutting the number of councils in Scotland as part of a planned review, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said she would "not rule anything out".

Council issues
bbc

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said there would be "no reference" to local government reorganisation in Labour's manifesto, saying her focus was more on devolving powers from Holyrood to councils and communities.

Willie Rennie, the leader of the Scottish Lib Dems said it was "typical" of the SNP to try to "hoover up powers into Edinburgh".

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the Tories had long argued that many "back-room functions" of councils could be shared, but said she did not support Ms Sturgeon's review.

It's Willie Rennie's turn in the hot seat tonight as he's interviewed by Jackie Bird

Jackie Bird will shortly interview Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie.

Here he is coming up in the lift at BBC Pacific Quay...... the last time he visited (not today!) and with some young companions quizzing him.

View more on twitter

Coming up on Reporting Scotland reports from Pollock, voting with a learning disability, the economy and energy

Our political editor has been on his travels - yesterday he was in Orkney, today he's a bit closer to home - having some retail therapy in the constituency of Glasgow Pollok.  

Click here to watch Brian Taylor's constituency profile.

He will be reporting live from Pollock during Reporting Scotland

BBC Scotland Political Editor Brian Taylor
bbc
BBC Scotland Political Editor Brian Taylor in the Glasgow Pollock constituency

Also on the programme BBC Scotland reporter Ian Hamilton reports on the efforts being made to make voting more accessible for people with a learning disability.

Our Business Correspondent David Henderson and our Environment Correspondent David Miller look at two of the big battlegrounds of this election business and energy.

Do local issues influence the way we vote?

The BBC's Scotland 2016 reporter Kenneth Macdonald looks at the statement that all politics is local. Click here to watch.

In an unscientific experiment he went along to North Kelvin meadow in Glasgow where locals are fighting to keep it a green space.

Thomas Phillip "Tip" O'Neill Jr. (December 9, 1912 – January 5, 1994)
bbc
Thomas Phillip "Tip" O'Neill Jr. (December 9, 1912 – January 5, 1994)

Voters in Scotland go to the polls on 5 May to elect their next MSPs.

Is there a 'housing crisis' asks Philip Sim and Scotland 2016

The rival parties in Holyrood's election race have traded claims amid talk of a "housing crisis" in Scotland, with each proposing new targets and schemes to build new affordable homes.

What are the true figures behind the industry in Scotland, and what do the politicians plan to do about it?

housebuilding
Getty Images

Willie Rennie will be interviewed by Jackie Bird on Reporting Scotland

Reporting Scotland
bbc

Let's doff our cap to Belgian mathematician Victor d'Hondt for his role in electing the next Scottish Parliament

The d’Hondt system allocates additional seats to political parties or independent candidates according to the number of regional votes cast for that party or independent candidate divided by the number of seats (constituency and regional) already gained in that region, plus one. 

The party with the highest total after this calculation gains one additional member. 

The divisor for that party, or individual, is then increased by one (because of the victory in the first round) and the calculation is repeated. 

Scottish Parliament and Victor d'Hondt
Scottish Parliament/wikipedia

Again, the party, or individual, with the highest total wins a seat. This process is repeated until all seven regional/list seats are allocated. 

Victor d'Hondt (20 November 1841 – 30 May 1901) was a Belgian mathematician who devised the now legendary d'Hondt system. 

Everything you wanted to know about the Additional Member Sysem

As promised here's everything you wanted to know about  the Additional Member System (AMS) but were afraid to ask : 

  • There are 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) and there are two ways an MSP can be elected. 
  • Each elector (voter) has two votes. 
  • Scotland is divided into 73 constituencies and each constituency elects one MSP. 
  • These are known as constituency MSPs and are elected by 'first past the post' in exactly the same way as MPs are elected to Westminster. This is the elector's constituency vote. 
  • The regional vote is used to elect 56 additional members. Scotland is divided into 8 parliamentary Regions and each region elects 7 regional MSPs. 
Ballot box
bbc
  • In the second vote the voter votes for a party rather than a candidate. 
  • The parties are then allocated a number of additional members to make the overall result more proportional. 
  • The regional MSPs are selected from lists compiled by the parties. 
  • These MSPs are also sometimes referred to as List MSPs.
  • Features of the Additional Member System Voters get two votes - to elect 1 constituency MSP and 7 regional/ list MSPs Each person living in Scotland has a total of 8 MSPs to represent them. 

Is David Coburn carping on about Patrick Harvie and is it out of plaice in this campaign?

View more on twitter
UKIP MEP David Coburn and a fish
PA
UKIP MEP David Coburn and a fish

A wee lull in the campaigning, a perfect time to look at the Scottish Parliament electoral system

The system used for Scottish Parliament general elections is a mixed member system comprising a first-past-the-post component, under which seats are allocated in single member constituencies, and a proportional representation (PR) component based on regional party lists. 

These two elements are then linked through a formula known as the d’Hondt method or system. 

Holyrood and the ballot box
BBC
Ah the d'Hondt system

This electoral system is known as the Additional Member System (AMS). 

Part 1 of the Scotland Act 1998 sets out the processs by which Members are elected to the Scottish Parliament.   

Tell us more you cry....... very well we will!

BBC's The Social delve into a series of one minute manifestos kicking off with the Lib Dems

This week we'll bring you BBC's The Social's take on the parties manifestos. 

Nathan begins with a look at the Lib Dems. 

View more on twitter

So where do the Lib Dems stand on local government and the council tax?

Scottish Lib Dem logo with Willie Rennie head shot
BBC
  • against any plans to "hoover up powers into Edinburgh" from local authorities
  • local policing plans to be approved by local authorities 
  • giving councils the powers to set local domestic and business taxation 
  • a "fairer system of local taxation to replace the Council Tax" 
Local government services
bbc

So where do the Scottish Conservatives stand on local government and the council tax?

Scottish Conservatives logo with Ruth Davidson head shot
BBC
  • against SNP proposal for review of local government
  • increase in council tax in top two bands 
  • capped increases in council tax, and protection for families in B and E and F homes 
  • yet to outline full council tax reform choices, however the Conservative independent commission recommended the council tax freeze should end and rates should be allowed to change within upper and lower limits set by negotiation between local and central government 
Monopoly house on £1 coins
BBC
The Tories want to cap increases in council tax

So where do Scottish Labour stand on local government and the council tax?

Scottish Labour logo with Kezia Dugdale head shot
BBC
  • no reference to local government reorganisation in manifesto
  • abolish the council tax 
  • introduce a system based on the value of a property 
  • empower local government and broaden the burden of local taxes through the devolution of tax raising powers including a tourist tax, land value tax and surplus from the crown estate
Hand holding 1p coins
Thinkstock
Labour want to abolish the council tax

So where do the SNP stand on local government and the council tax?

SNP Party slogan and Nicola Sturgeon head shot
BBC
  • review of local government
  • Scotland's four highest council tax bands are to pay more under new SNP proposals 
  • the band E household pay about £2 per week more, and the average household in the highest band about £10 a week more to raise £100m a year for education 
  • the council tax freeze will also end in 2017, with councils then able to increase the tax by up to 3% a year

Nicola Sturgeon visits a school
bbc
Nicola Sturgeon has not ruled anything in proposed review of councils

The future of Scotland's councils dominates campaigning with SNP review plans facing opposition

Now this may be an election for Holyrood but its local government that is dominating the campaign trail today.

Questioned on whether she would look at cutting the number of councils in Scotland as part of a planned review, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said she would "not rule anything out".

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said there would be "no reference" to local government reorganisation in Labour's manifesto, saying her focus was more on devolving powers from Holyrood to councils and communities.

Holyrood, teaching and bins
bbc
The SNP intend to have a review of council services if returned to government

Willie Rennie, the leader of the Scottish Lib Dems said it was "typical" of the SNP to try to "hoover up powers into Edinburgh".

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the Tories had long argued that many "back-room functions" of councils could be shared, but said she did not support Ms Sturgeon's review.

Scottish Greens commit to supporting unpaid carers on visit to Leuchie House National Respite Centre

The Scottish Greens have underlined their commitment to supporting unpaid carers by visiting Leuchie House National Respite Centre in East Lothian.

Manifesto pledges from the Greens include using new devolved powers to raise the carer's allowance by 50 per cent from £62 a week to £93, and looking at the creation of a Young Carer's Grant.

Leuchie House
bbc
Leuchie House

After visiting Leuchie House, Alison Johnstone, Health and Social Care spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP candidate for Lothian, said:  "Scottish Greens have made care a central theme in this election as we see the need for bold action from Holyrood to recognise the undervalued role of carers in our society."  

Scottish Lib Dems against SNP plans to 'hoover up powers into Edinburgh'

Willie Rennie said it was "typical" of the SNP to try to "hoover up powers into Edinburgh".

The Scottish Lib Dem leader said: "What we need to be doing is not meddling around with the boundaries of councils. That's a distraction. What we should be doing is pushing powers right back down into communities."

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie campaigns in Orkney
bbc
Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie campaigns in Orkney

Campaigning in Kirkwall, Mr Rennie also attacked the SNP for "paying lip service" to the challenges facing island communities.

He said the Lib Dems would give families and businesses help with ferry fares and restore discounts for air travel for business passengers, channel extra money to farmers and ensure every home had high-speed broadband.

Scottish Tory leader does not back SNP review of councils

Ms Davidson said the Tories had long argued that many "back-room functions" of councils could be shared, but said she did not support Ms Sturgeon's review.

The Scottish Conservative leader said: "We don't see the need at the moment to have a wholesale review of local authorities.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson campaigning at Ace Winches in Turiff
bbc
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, campaigning at Ace Winches in Turiff, says she does not back SNP review of councils

"We don't think that's good for service provision, we don't think it's good for people, to change the number of councils we have in Scotland, but we do want to see closer working between them.

Campaigning at Ace Winches in Turiff, Ms Davidson promoted her policies to support business, including a freeze in rates and additional funding for technical training.

Will the Scottish tax rate go up or down after the election...here's the take of the Daily Politics

As housing is raised as an issue on the campaign trail house prices fall....

Labour on the campaign trail and Kezia Dugdale pledges 60,000 new houses over five years

Kezia Dugdale said there would be "no reference" to local government reorganisation in Labour's manifesto, saying her focus was more on devolving powers from Holyrood to councils and communities.

Ms Dugdale said: "That's the way to enhance local democracy and improve what happens at a local government level.

Kezia Dugdale
BBC
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has pledged to have 60,000 new houses built across the next term, while visiting a residential building site near Motherwell

"We would do that for example around skills policy, where we can match the needs of young unemployed people with the job opportunities in any given community."

Campaigning at a housing site in Ravenscraig, the Scottish Labour leader said she would use Holyrood's new powers to support first-time buyers, and pledged to have 60,000 new houses built across the next term.

SNP on the campaign trail: Nicola Sturgeon would not rule out cutting council numbers

Questioned on whether she would look at cutting the number of councils in Scotland as part of a planned review, Nicola Sturgeon said she would "not rule anything out".

The SNP leader said: "The provision of our public services in terms of structures and governance in Scotland is changing. We now have new partnerships which bring health and local government together, so we've got to make sure the overall structure and governance reflects that change and the other changes under way.

Nicola Sturgeon
BBC

"Structural change is less important that substantive changes - but you have to make sure the structures you have don't get in the way of those substantive changes."

Visiting a cider brewery in Dunbar, Ms Sturgeon set out a range of measures a re-elected SNP government would take to boost the rural economy, which she said was "key to Scotland's long-term success".

Campaign round up......local government, housinjg and the economy the focus today

Local government and the economy have been the key topics for Scotland's politicians in a busy day on the Holyrood campaign trail.

Kezia Dugdale, Ruth Davidson, Willie Rennie and Nicola Sturgeon
BBC

Party leaders discussed whether there should be a review of the number of councils and health boards in Scotland after the SNP manifesto pledged to "look again" at how local services are structured.

local government images
bbc
Local government is one of the topics of the day

UKIP would introduce introduce a new intermediate tax rate of 30% on income tax ranging between £45,300 and £55,000

UKIP leader Nigel Farage
BBC
  • taxes should not be higher at all in Scotland
  • introduce a new intermediate tax rate of 30% on income tax ranging between £45,300 and £55,000
  • the higher rate of 40% to begin at the threshold of £55,000
  • work closely with the UK government to identify companies that are not paying their fair share of tax

UKIP MEP David Coburn
bbc
UKIP MEP David Coburn

Here's the view from Holyrood and it's snow joke.........

The Scottish Greens will 60p rate of income tax for Scotland's highest earners over £150,000

Scottish Green Party co-conveners Patrick Harvie and Maggie Chapman
bbc
  • against George Osborne's 40p higher rate threshold rise above inflation
  • the current basic rate of income tax replaced with a rate of 18% for the first £7,500 of cash above the personal allowance
  • a rate of 22% would be applied to income above £19,000, plus a new 43p rate, starting at £43,000
  • 60p rate of income tax for Scotland's highest earners over £150,000
Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie
BBC

Scottish Lib Dems will increase all income tax rates by 1p

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie
bbc
  • against George Osborne's 40p higher rate threshold rise above inflation
  • 1p increase in Scottish income tax rates
  • when resources allow, to introduce a zero-rate of tax above the personal allowance
  • a "fairer system of local taxation to replace the Council Tax".

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie
bbc

Cider, hats and knitwear were all featured on today's campaign trail...

Conservatives plan no change to basic, higher or additional rates of income tax

Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson
bbc

  • in favour of George Osborne's 40p higher rate threshold rise above inflation
  • no planned changes to basic, higher or additional rates
  • maintain the 45% rate of tax on those earning more than £150,000

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson
bbc