The planning system should deliver positive benefits for people, wildlife and the natural environment. We need a planning system based on sustainability, climate resilience, carbon restoration and protecting and restoring biodiversity and natural habitats. The planning system must manage development in a way that creates vibrant communities and healthy environments, with communities put at the heart of decision-making.

Green Councillors will work:

  • to bring vacant and derelict land and property back into productive use, in cases where there is clear land banking/neglect.

  • to support the introduction of 20 minute neighbourhoods, where feasible, into planning decisions and to liaise with the relevant bodies to ensure their introduction. Our ultimate aim should be to ensure that people can access the services they need…. Where they want them.

  • to ensure that all new residential developments prioritise pedestrians and cyclists over cars.


We agree that Scottish education needs to deliver excellence in terms of ensuring children and young people develop a broad range of skills and capacities at the highest levels, while also ensuring equity, so that every child and young person can thrive and have the best opportunity to succeed, regardless of their social circumstances or additional needs. The Greens’ Co-operation Agreement will deliver 150 new teachers to the Highlands.

Green Councillors will work to ensure;

  • Additional Support Needs are properly funded, reversing recent trends. Charities supporting children with additional needs also need support.

  • School buildings are made more energy efficient, releasing more money to be spent on education.

  • Greater use of outdoor learning, such as forest schools.

  • Professional Development courses in climate issues and the circular economy continue to be available to council staff, councillors and teachers.

  • Parents, teachers, trade unions and young people are involved in Council education committees

  • School and community food growing projects are supported

  • Young people can access schools-based counselling by qualified mental health practitioners


The Pandemic has exposed how stretched the NHS is. What we can directly do now to lighten the load, is invest more on preventative health initiatives - making sure everyone has access to good nutrition; access to green spaces; outdoor exercise opportunities; vitamin D supplements, and lower pollution.

These preventative practices also save the NHS £millions every year.

We have consulted with local health professionals successfully practising the NHS’ Realistic Medicine ethos to collate these issues and solutions.

Green councillors will work towards;

  • Ensuring the Good Food Nation Bill works for the interests of Highlanders, improve access to good quality food; support local growing initiatives, and help link these to the people who would benefit; increase the number, quality and accessibility of green spaces in towns.

  • Greening the NHS. Healthcare contributes to 5% of Scotland’s C02 output through inhalers, anaesthetic gases, and the travel of patients to clinics and GP surgeries. There is also a lot of plastic waste and medicine waste. We will work with healthcare professionals to find solutions to reduce these impacts.

  • Increasing Active Travel. Exercise improves overall health.

  • Rural Healthcare. Greens support parity of provision for people living in rural areas.

  • Liaising with organisations like NatureScot to create Greenspace projects which improve mental health through access to nature.


What you need… where you want it. The Green new vision for Highland communities will ultimately ensure that almost no-one needs to travel more than 20 minutes to access basic essential services.

There is a postcode lottery in the Highlands. As an example, one village of 1000 people has a health centre, pharmacy, food shop, primary school, library, sports pitches and pavilion, and a post office. Twelve miles away, another village of the same size has just a primary school and post office.

Our vision is to provide all these services in every village of at least 1000 people, and across town neighbourhoods. This can be achieved by councillors, planners, health providers, community councils and businesses working together. Green Councillors will co-operate with these to form alliances to achieve this, wherever possible. Why go to Raigmore Hospital for a ten-minute consultation when you could just as easily do it over the internet from home, or from a private room at your chemist’s?

The Green vision is to reduce the need for travel, and strengthen the livelihoods of our communities. People will generally work from home or in the local community, unless the job requires it. Workshop and small office spaces will be available in the local community, to address issues arising from working from home.

Journeys into the city will be occasional and usually done by reliable, integrated, environmentally-friendly public transport. Realtime information boards at bus stops will notify of any delays.