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SFP municipal election platform 2021

The municipal elections will be held on 13 June 2021. You have an important role to play in these elections!

The Swedish People’s Party of Finland (SFP) actively strives, at all levels, to build and support a Finland with two strong national languages, Swedish and Finnish. We give voice to a Finland that focuses on the individual and seeks solutions that work equally for all of us. We need strong urban areas as well as a vital and successful countryside. The decisions adopted in your municipality affect you and your daily life and that is why we all, you and I, form the municipality. That is why the municipal elections are so important. It’s about how our municipality and city, yours and mine, will be developed and led for the next four years.

The SFP believes that all municipal residents should feel safe and secure and enjoy life in their home municipality. Services must work smoothly when you need them. We want our children to get the best start imaginable. We want our day-care centres and schools to offer comfortable environments where children can thrive. We want our seniors to receive the help and support they need. We want to see pleasant living environments that are adapted to your situation. We also want to have a clear urban policy for our larger cities, featuring well-functioning public transport and appealing residential areas.

The Swedish People’s Party of Finland wants to see safe municipalities where everyone feels included. In our municipalities, we strive to create opportunities for a good life so that you can develop, grow and live happily. In our municipalities, we emphasise co-creation and engagement. We need places where people can meet and spend time together. We also need Swedish-speaking spaces in municipalities where Swedish is the minority language.

We want to build a good linguistic climate all around the country and in every municipality. It is important that everyone feels included and is not afraid to use their own language.

We want our municipalities to follow the times and to open-mindedly renew themselves. We want our municipalities to promote the creation of new activities and the establishment of businesses. Investments in employment and entrepreneurial activities are key elements of a well-functioning municipality. While digitalisation enables a smoother daily life, we also need human contacts.

Municipalities play a central role in promoting smart energy solutions. The SFP supports efforts to make Finnish municipalities climate neutral by 2030.

Everyone has the right to shape their own future. The ongoing health and social services reform must ensure equal services to all people.

A municipality where all people are equal is a healthy and thriving municipality. Equality is a core value in all our work, including that carried out in municipalities. The SFP emphasises the importance of having an equal number of women and men in municipal leadership positions. The party wants all municipalities to sign and implement the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life.

We oppose segregation and expect our municipalities to actively work to include newcomers to Finland in the local community. Every municipality must be free of racism.
 The SFP promotes diversity and inclusion and also wants integration to be possible in the Swedish language. Service in the Sámi languages must be offered regionally. Services must also be available in sign language. Nordic cooperation is unique in many ways, and active municipalities can benefit from cross-border cooperation.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to an increasing number of people working remotely, and holiday homes have taken on a new role for many of us. This places new demands on services offered in the temporary home municipality. The possibility of having two home municipalities must be explored.

The Swedish People’s Party of Finland is close to you at every stage of your life. We want it to be easy for you to contact your elected representative and us – whatever your question is.

The best school

Swedish-speaking basic education is one of the cornerstones of a bilingual Finland. High-quality early childhood education lays the foundation for a thriving society. Finland’s success is based on good and equal education. Schools must have access to adequate resources. The SFP works for a school environment that emphasises both learning and well-being.

  • All children have the right to participate in high-quality early childhood education. This right cannot depend on the home district or the parents’ employment. We want language learning in the other national language to begin in early childhood education.
  • All children and young people have the right to a safe school free of bullying. We must continue our efforts against bullying and increase resources targeted at preventing all forms of it.
  • Teaching and education must be equal and free from rigid gender norms.
  • Pupil welfare is growing in importance, and we want to ensure that schools can offer support in the form of school psychologists, pupil welfare officers and adequate resources for pupil and study guidance.
  • We need well-functioning morning and afternoon care that provides diverse activities both indoors and outdoors.
  • We want children to have access to hobbies in connection with their school day.
  • The school must be based on contact teaching. Distance education can function as a complement, on special grounds. Both contact and distance education must be provided sustainably and equally. Every child must have access to good teaching materials – whether traditional or digital.
  • Diverse language education must begin in preschool. We want more and more children to have access to language immersion and language showers.
  • The school environment and the way to school must be safe to all. We promote healthy school buildings that offer cosy, enjoyable and engaging environments for learning.
  • Cooperation between vocational education and workplaces is important, but a good balance between on-the-job learning and theoretical teaching must be ensured.
  • We will continue to invest in high-quality upper secondary education in Swedish and Finnish.
  • We will allocate more resources to vocational education in order to raise its quality and attractiveness in all our regions.

Health and well-being for everyone.

The Swedish People’s Party of Finland works for a society where everyone feels safe and happy. This means that municipal services must continue to be available close to the residents. All residents have the right to good healthcare and elderly care when they need it. Municipalities must be able to provide adequate support services for those in need of them. All of us need help at different stages of our lives. For example, guidance for families, support at schools, youth services, social services and elderly care must function on the individual’s terms – in both Swedish and Finnish. The Swedish People’s Party wants Finland to be the world’s most child-friendly country, which is why we also strive to make the daily lives of families with children as smooth and easy as possible.

  • We emphasise investments in preventive activities that promote health. Investments in exercise, sports and culture sectors, including adult education centres and folk high schools, clubs and societies, nature paths, libraries, music institutions and art schools boost well-being and add to the vitality and attractiveness of our municipalities.
  • Areas to walk your dog and dog parks are needed in our cities and municipalities. We also need enough waste bins to ensure a comfortable environment for everyone.
  • Municipalities must offer all ages diverse opportunities for physical activity. Playgrounds, skateparks and other exercise places, such as outdoor gyms and workout stairs increase people’s well-being and comfort. Planning must always take into account the users, irrespective of their functional ability.
  • In order for health and social services to work in the best possible way, we need private operators and the third sector to complement public services. We believe that service vouchers should be used more comprehensively in municipalities and hospital districts to shorten waiting times for medical care.
  • The coronavirus has posed challenges to societies around the world, including ours. The SFP will continue the efforts to suppress the virus locally, regionally and nationally. Once the vaccine is here, we want to ensure that you can get one in your own municipality.
  • Security is important throughout one’s life. We consider high-quality care for the elderly a matter of honour. Senior counselling offered by municipalities is important for the functional ability, health and well-being of senior citizens.
  • Young people have the right to do well. We want to see well-functioning youth services that support safe growth and prevent exclusion. Outreach youth work, guidance services and youth workshops help young people take their first steps into adulthood. The SFP wants a limit set on the maximum number of pupils per school psychologist and welfare officer, which means that the acute shortage of qualified personnel must be addressed.
  • We strive to prevent increasing feelings of loneliness among both the young and the old.
  • We want free contraceptives to be offered to all under-25-year-olds in municipalities. This has been seen to reduce the number of abortions among young people.
  • Hobbies are an important part of well-being. We believe that all young people have the right to meaningful and free leisure activities. Children and young people must also have the opportunity to influence the leisure activities offered by the municipality. All participants, irrespective of their gender or age, must have equal access to cultural activities, leisure activities, training times and venues provided by municipalities.
  • Youth councils, councils for older people and councils on disability fulfil an important function in municipalities. Engaging more people from a variety of backgrounds helps us build a better society. We also emphasise the use of participatory budgeting to increasingly include residents in the municipalities’ decision-making process.
  • We strive for good cooperation between the municipality, state and third sector. We want to secure long-term operating conditions for the third sector.
  • We work to ensure that everyone, including people with disabilities, has the right to employment and self-determination and the opportunity to influence their own life.
  • Integration services are becoming increasingly important for our municipalities, and they must work well to ensure that newcomers to Finland feel part of society. Municipalities must improve the quality of integration services offered to newcomers outside the labour market.
  • The prevention of violence against women and domestic and intimate partner violence, as well as services for victims of violence must be a natural part of municipalities’ activities. In order to promote health and well-being, municipalities must develop cross-disciplinary, long-term and systematic activities aimed at preventing violence.
  • We want municipalities to introduce gender sensitive budgeting and an evaluation of the gender impact of decisions.
  • Health and social services are on the verge of major changes. The patient must continue to be the focus of attention in the future. Well-functioning cooperation between different parties and professional groups must continue to be developed.
  • The upward trend in drug use is concerning. We need a wide range of services and forms of care to support both substance abusers and their families. We need broader access to low-threshold consultation, support for families and multiprofessional cooperation involving, for example, the municipality, school, care providers, home and police.
  • We want municipalities to make child-friendly decisions with a long-term view. To do so, municipalities should increasingly evaluate the consequences of decisions for children.
  • We want to change the age limits for free breast cancer screening from the present 50–69 years to 40–74 years. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in Finland.

A pioneer in climate and environmental questions

We want Finland to be a pioneer in questions related to the climate and the environment. Finland strives to be climate neutral in 2035. To curb climate change and preserve biodiversity, we must adopt a wide range of measures on many different levels. Many municipalities are frontrunners in finding climate solutions that are adapted to regional conditions and support sustainable trade and industry as well as climate-smart jobs in the municipality.

  • We want to promote climate-smart development. Municipalities play a crucial role in Finland’s climate targets and their achievement. The use of renewable energy must be encouraged and that of fossil fuels phased out, especially in heating.
  • Sustainability must be promoted in zoning and construction, as concerns construction material as well as energy consumption. We must build with the future in mind and ensure that there are adequate resources for maintenance. We want to see more wood construction in municipalities in order to reduce our climate stress.
  • Municipal procurement is an important tool in climate efforts, for example, to promote climate-smart solutions and local production.
  • We want traffic emissions to be cut in half by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. We want to increase the number of charging stations for electric cars and refuelling stations for biogas cars, as well as promote a parking policy that supports climate-friendly cars.
  • We want more and more people to use sustainable means of transport. We want to ensure good connections, good traffic planning and vehicle-free areas.
  • We promote well-functioning public transport and a variety of mobility services – life without a car must be easy, especially in cities.
  • Well-functioning public transport means routes connecting suburbs to the city centre as well as cross-city routes. Regional traffic linking central cities and smaller municipalities further away must be developed. Stops must provide cover from the weather.
  • Fast and reliable network connections improve conditions for remote work and support the digital competitiveness of the whole country. This also applies to the archipelago and rural areas. Good network connections call for cooperation between the state, municipalities and various network operators.
  • The Baltic Sea is threatened by eutrophication and climate change. We strive to reduce the load on it, for example by enhancing wastewater treatment and increasing the recycling of nutrients.
  • We want municipalities to address the decline in biodiversity by targeting adequate resources for spreading information and supporting voluntary environment protection measures.
  • As part of persistent climate efforts, we want municipalities to focus on reducing unnecessary waste in their operations. This calls for well-functioning waste recovery, reuse and treatment, including an adequate number of collection points.

A well-managed economy and the best possible conditions for trade and industry

The municipal economy is strained in all of the country, and the coronavirus pandemic has further exacerbated the situation. We wish to emphasise the importance of our values under these difficult economic conditions. A well-managed municipal economy provides the best possible conditions for well-functioning daily operations in the municipality. After the health and social services reform has come into effect, municipalities play a key role in the health and social services reform but also in the creation of the foremost operating conditions for local businesses and industry.

  • We want cooperation between municipalities and trade and industry to be smooth to ensure the best possible conditions for investment and entrepreneurial activities. Primary industries create employment and generate added value both locally and nationally. Municipalities led by the Swedish People’s Party of Finland often enjoy a better employment situation than many others. The good work put in so far must have the chance to continue.
  • To boost employment, we must adopt measures on various levels. Municipal employment services must work effectively so that job-seekers get job offers as quickly as possible.
  • Concerning municipal and real estate tax, we support a moderate tax policy that prevents the levels of taxation from rising too high.
  • We believe that zoning and land use should support the founding of companies and the development of trade and industry.
  • We strive for smarter and more sustainable procurement. Procurement must increasingly emphasise quality criteria, take climate stress into account and allow partial tenders. It should be natural that our food is produced responsibly.
  • Municipalities must be good employers. Municipal employees are an important asset. We must look after their well-being and occupational health.
  • We wish to secure municipalities’ ability to make considerable investments in growth.
  • We want to promote smart cities and municipalities. Municipalities should open doors for innovation.
  • We want to strengthen cooperation between companies in municipalities and ideally in entire regions.
  • We want municipalities to actively promote work-related immigration.
  • We want to ensure that higher education policies take into account the municipalities’ and regions’ long-term needs for competence and workforce.