Council elections: Labour promises free wi-fi and ‘Oyster cards’ for Glasgow

Labour plan to introduce public wi-fi if they win the council election in Glasgow. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Labour plan to introduce public wi-fi if they win the council election in Glasgow. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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LONDON-style Oyster transport cards will be introduced in Glasgow if Labour’s holds on to power in next month’s local council elections, the party has said.

Free public wi-fi internet access will be also be set up throughout Scotland’s biggest city, Labour council leader Gordon Matheson said.

But a pledge to freeze the council tax for the next five years met with ridicule from the SNP – after Mr Matheson previously called for an end to the freeze.

The SNP is working hard to secure power in Glasgow, after the current Labour regime became a minority administration earlier in the year following a spate of defections.

The Nationalists believe they can capitalise on Labour’s turmoil in the city, which also saw former council leader Stephen Purcell controversially quit.

Mr Matheson set out 100 pledges in Labour’s manifesto for the city yesterday, including more jobs for young people.

“Labour has the record, the vision and the team to win the council election in Glasgow,” Mr Matheson said yesterday.

“But there is a choice in this election. The SNP are fighting hard. Their Glasgow leader – the woman who wants to lead this city – says this is a stepping stone to the referendum.”

The Oyster-style transport smart card will operate across all forms of transport in the city – buses, trains and the subway.

Glasgow would be the first Scottish city to get them. But it is dependent on private operators getting on board. Labour believes this can be achieved with the prospect of more passengers and the influence of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), which provides a region-wide approach to the issue.

The SNP government pledged in last year’s Holyrood election to freeze the council tax for five years, but Mr Matheson had claimed that this was “unsustainable” and called for the freedom to increase it.

SNP group leader in Glasgow Allison Hunter said yesterday: “Labour are just trying the same trick that backfired on them so spectacularly last year – people weren’t fooled then, and they won’t be fooled now.”

{|Read Labour’s Glasgow manifesto in full (PDF)|Labour Glasgow manifesto)