SNP pushes for city deals across urban regions

Westminster will face pressure to support a string of city and growth deals across urban areas of Scotland, the Scottish National Party (SNP) warned today.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

The party’s 2017 general election manifesto, launched by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this morning, says its MPs will campaign for a UK government funding commitment to a growth deal for Ayrshire and city deals for Tayside and the Edinburgh region.

The manifesto also demands a commitment from the UK government to match Scottish Government investment in Aberdeen and Inverness, promises a new enterprise agency for the south of Scotland and seeks funding for an all-purpose "deal" for Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles.

The party says it will press the Westminster government to include onshore wind, "the lowest cost renewable energy technology", in its industrial strategy, as well as an "increased focus" on offshore wind, tidal energy and wave power.

The SNP complains that Scotland’s renewable energy potential has been undermined by the UK government’s "ideologically driven" cuts to support for renewables.

It says its MPs will work to ensure that low-cost green energy schemes "get the long-term certainty needed to support further development and reductions in cost".

It also pledges to build a regulatory environment that supports investment in new energy storage schemes, including pumped hydro power and batteries, and to make Scotland a leader in the development of carbon capture and storage technology.

The manifesto takes the UK government to task for pushing ahead with the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in Somerset, complaining that the electricity generated will be sold for more than twice the current retail price.

"SNP MPs will hold the UK government to account over its support for the Hinkley white elephant," it says.

On transport, the SNP says connecting Scotland to High Speed Two must be a priority. It wants to see a high-sped connection between Glasgow, Edinburgh and the north of England as part of any UK-wide high-speed rail network.

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