Scotland politics

Scottish election: Party focus on business and policing

Holyrood chamber
Image caption The Holyrood election takes place on 5 May

Low-carbon jobs, policing and business start-ups were the themes adopted by three of Scotland's four main parties.

SNP leader Alex Salmond was in Fife, where he focused on the potential to "re-industrialise the country through low-carbon jobs".

Scottish Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott continued campaigning against a single police force.

And Scots Tory leader Annabel Goldie was in Perth, where she discussed party plans to help entrepreneurs.

Mr Salmond campaigned with SNP candidate for Central Fife and Glenrothes, Tricia Marwick, at Tullis Russell paper mill in Markinch.

The pair surveyed work on the construction of a green energy plant to reduce costs at the 200-year-old employee-owned firm.

Mr Salmond said: "Scotland has great industrial traditions and enormous energy wealth.

"We have the ideas and the ingenuity to power Scotland's future. At Tullis Russell they are leading the way as new technologies revitalise old industries.

"This plant will not only protect jobs at Tullis Russell it will create jobs in construction and green energy generation.

"And by 2020 we can create 130,000 jobs in our green and low carbon industries."

Later Mr Salmond was scheduled to visit Murray McBay and Co shellfish firm in Johnshaven with SNP candidate for Angus North and Mearns, Nigel Don.

Mr Scott was in Aberdeen where he joined the Lib Dems' Aberdeen South candidate, John Sleigh, at Nigg Police Station.

After his visit, Mr Scott said: "Grampian's chief constable says centralisation could cost 400 jobs in the north east.

"If Labour, the SNP and the Tories got their way, there would be 3,000 fewer police officers on the streets across Scotland.

"Only the Liberal Democrats are standing up for local policing."

Along with Tory list candidates Murdo Fraser and Liz Smith, Miss Goldie visited Macnaughton Holdings in Perth where she outlined party plans for a business start-up fund.

Enterprise training

She said: "We will create a Scottish business start-up fund to support individuals access enterprise education, vocational training, and to provide grants and loans to assist in the creation of new businesses.

"Over the next four years, this will have funding of £154m to boost the economy.

"Scottish Conservatives are also committed to delivering a step change in enterprise education in Scotland."

Miss Goldie said the party would make it compulsory for colleges and universites to offer enterprise training, in partnership with local businesses.

She added: "It is common sense to put our faith in our entrepreneurs so we nurture new businesses, design new products and create new jobs."

It was manifesto day for the Scottish Labour Party, which is making public its pledges ahead of the 5 May poll.

In Glasgow, an election rally was due to be held later in the People's Palace for the George Galloway Coalition Against Cuts party.

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