IN JUST over two weeks’ time Glaswegians will go to the polls to decide who they trust to run their city.

The SNP has put forward its case, the most comprehensive and transformational plans laid before the city electorate.

Our manifesto is dedicated to tackling the cost-of-living crisis and financial hardship, the climate emergency and making a full recovery from the pandemic.

Ours is a call for the people of this city to give the SNP the opportunity to continue turning around decades of Labour misrule and failings, to protect Glaswegians from the misery piled onto our poorest by the Tories and delivering on the needs and ambitions of this great city.

We have faced significant challenges over the past five years, not least the tragedy and upheaval created by two years of Covid. But we have a proud record of real achievement and much to build on.

Under the SNP, Glasgow’s record of improvement in education has been a true success story, with the number of school leavers heading to positive destinations not just matching but exceeding the Scottish average for the first time.

We have provided 1140 hours of free early years education ahead of the national target date. Free school meals have been expanded and our pioneering Holiday Food programme has provided free meals, activities and fun for around 26,000 children during the school holidays.

We have helped secure record funding for 5500 high quality, energy efficient new homes, transformed homelessness services from facing official sanctions under Labour to one which has put us on course to eradicate rough sleeping.

We are also devolving £23m for Glasgow’s communities to spend on their local priorities.

And on top of work already under way to put publicly-owned buses back on the streets of Glasgow after almost four decades, we have secured a commitment from the Scottish Government to deliver Clyde Metro, a new mass transit system similar to those which our international peers have had in operation for many years.

This will be transformative not only for Glasgow but also for the west of Scotland.

There is clearly much to do, such as fully turning around the impact of Labour’s historic underinvestment in our environmental services. But we have a strong record of delivery and built a foundation for further progress in the years ahead.

But in those five years, for our opponents Glasgow has simply been somewhere to be fought over, regardless of the consequences.

For Labour, it’s their sense of entitlement, that somehow they have a divine right to govern this city and will do anything to disrupt the change brought by the SNP.

And for the Tories, it has been the politics of the schoolyard and attempts to hoodwink Glaswegians that they’re not in any way responsible for the policies of Boris and their Westminster bosses.

The thing which struck me most about Labour’s plans is the sheer lack of any plan. Just like the party’s recent budget for Glasgow, there’s no vision, no ambition, no strategy.

With the best will in the world, despite what Anas Sarwar wants people to believe, councils – or for that matter the Scottish Government – has no power whatsoever to hit energy firms with a windfall tax.

Councils cannot issue rebates on water charges or cut rail fares.

It’s as if Mr Sarwar feels uncomfortable talking about issues which the city council does have influence over, such as making sure city schools continue to deliver and improve the attainment and life chances of our children.

Or how we can encourage employers to ensure they deliver fair work practices, such as paying the Glasgow Living Wage. 

In fact, even where Labour has relevant ideas they are actually work the SNP is already progressing.

For example, pledging to deliver 6500 affordable homes when we have already secured the funding for that. Or better still, the promise to put in place a new pay structure for staff.

In case they’ve forgotten the SNP is already doing this because we are fixing Labour’s discrimination against many thousands of women workers. This mess which has left the city hundreds of millions of pounds out of pocket is something else the SNP has had to clear up.

Everything we do is for Glasgow.

That’s been the SNP city administration’s guiding principle for the past five years. And, as we look towards the next five, it’s the solemn pledge that we take into this election and make to every Glaswegian.

May’s election will be contested on which party has the best ideas and ability to deliver for Glasgow.

But what is happening with the Tories at Westminster is entirely relevant to how this city is governed.

Boris’ boys here in Glasgow go into hiding rather than accept any responsibility for Tory policy.

Be it the tens of thousands of Glaswegians thrust further into poverty by the Universal Credit cut, the rape clause or Brexit, Glasgow’s Tories pretend it’s nothing to do with them.

The truth is, Boris Johnson is their boss.

And when, during the pandemic, many Glaswegians were denied visiting loved ones, often in tragic circumstances, Boris threw parties in Downing Street.

How can his foot soldiers be seen as credible, trusted or focused on the needs of Glaswegians?

In the last few days, it’s emerged the Tories will ship asylum seekers to Rwanda, a grubby and appalling way to treat people fleeing famine, war and persecution.

Whilst the Glasgow SNP has fought tooth and nail for a compassionate and humane approach to asylum seekers arriving in our city, Boris’s boys tried to deny their children the ability to learn English in our schools.

The Glasgow Tories and their Westminster bosses are cut from the exact same cloth.

The choice in this election is between continuing to move Glasgow forward with the SNP or to take it backwards with a sham Tory/Labour alliance, two parties who cannot muster a single positive thought or idea for Glasgow between them and whose past and present behaviour has so often been the very cause of the deep-seated issues the city faces.