Election manifesto for the municipal elections 2021
Voting on election day Sunday, 18 April 2021, between 9 am and 8 pm.
Advance voting begins on Wednesday, 7 April 2021 and ends on Tuesday, 13 April 2021.
More information about the voting can be found here.
We are here to enhance your family’s quality of life
The Centre Party in Espoo has a clear local mission - to enhance your and your family’s everyday quality of life, by ensuring that the City of Espoo provides all its residents with the services they need, enjoy and deserve. To this end we practice resident-centric and community-driven politics, which builds on localism that energizes and citizen participation that empowers. By working collaboratively, responsibly and proactively in local government, we aim to make Espoo the best place for you to live, work, progress and thrive - whatever your social, economic, educational or cultural background.
We value family life, caring communities, entrepreneurial spirit, opportunity for rewarding work and easy access to outdoors and nature. These form the basis for our election manifesto.
All our work and policies in Espoo aim to support and align with the Centre Party’s central vision - the vision of balancing every individual’s precious rights and freedoms with society’s shared pursuit of happy and productive lives. In that spirit we, the Centre Party in Espoo, wish to safeguard and promote the best ideals of an enlightened liberal democracy and invite you to support this important work.
Equitable and family-friendly Espoo
We demand that the whole of Espoo and all its community centres are developed in an equitable manner. Each community and district has to be able to provide appropriate services to residents throughout all their life stages.
This includes social and health services, pre-school and early years education, secondary schools and tertiary education. Community centres must also offer indoor and outdoor sports facilities as well as ‘community living rooms’ such as libraries and youth centres.
We advocate enhanced support for home-based care for little children. Class sizes in day care centres and primary schools must
remain small enough for best results. Day care centres and schools in local neighbourhoods are the preferred way because they make family life easier and offer a higher degree of safety for both children and the teaching staff.
Land for homes and solutions for transport
An important aspect of Espoo’s development is the provision of adequate land area for families to build their own homes, either detached or semi, or to live in terraced homes. In town planning we also have to make a generous allowance for green spaces around residential developments so residents can enjoy outdoor exercise and nature.
We believe in a well-functioning and environmentally sound public transport system, which serves both local needs and travel between town centres. However, Espoo relies equally importantly on car travel. This has to be taken into consideration in town planning with adequate numbers of car parking spaces and charging points in new builds. The latter will encourage a more ecological mode of private transport.
Enabling new ways of working
Distance working has grown exponentially due to the pandemic, but has also become a new normal. This impacts how we build and develop communities. Internet connections have to be improved throughout Espoo to enable efficient and reliable distance working. Similarly the rapid increase of online services provision makes access to fast net connections imperative - for everybody.
The Centre Party in Espoo demands that stricter controls are put in place in supervising the planning and construction of both residential and public buildings. It has to include rigorous enforcement measures at every stage of building projects with fully qualified experts in authority.
Facilitating employment for all
Espoo is a nationally sizeable and strategically important growth centre. A large part of this growth is driven by business investment and expansion, which creates many new employment opportunities. Increasingly we rely on foreign labour to meet this growing need for employees. Whilst such work opportunities are often in the tertiary service sector, an even greater number of these new jobs are for a work force with expert skills. This attracts highly educated international talent to Espoo.
Such ‘internationalisation’ of Espoo necessitates the provision of specialist services, such as language tuition. Experience shows that the sooner a person learns Finnish to at least an elementary level, the shorter the period of ‘settling in’ and finding work. Therefore Espoo must invest adequately in easy-to-access language and cultural tuition. This should include children, as it speeds up young people’s integration into school communities and social networks.
Embracing international talent
The Centre Party in Espoo is also focused on ensuring that highly educated, international talent finds rewarding job opportunities which match their qualifications and expertise. This requires ongoing and imaginative collaboration between the City, potential employers and the talent. We wish to encourage this.
The City of Espoo provides the context and creates the framework for entrepreneurial activities and business development. Therefore the Centre Party in Espoo advocates town planning which takes into account small enterprises’ needs in terms of land use. This entails making land available locally for small enterprises to build their facilities and run their businesses. This stimulates creation of local services and Espoo-based employment.
The Centre Party in Espoo expects the City to manage its finances in a safe and sustainable manner, with a moderate attitude to indebtedness and investment, and at all times keeping its eye on ensuring its positive impact on local employment. The pandemic is putting added pressure on our City’s finances and therefore we need extreme wisdom from Espoo’s political decision makers. At this challenging time it is good to know that the current reform of Finland’s social and health service’s system is favourable from Espoo’s perspective and we stand to benefit from it.
A Greener Espoo
Finland is undoubtedly a ‘green country’ by its very nature. In this respect our outlook in the Centre Party is ‘sensibly green’. It values woods and forests near and far, green spaces in communities, national parks and nature reserves such as the magnificent Nuuksio in Espoo, plus lakes, ponds and rivers. Therefore we object to the gradual takeover of Central Park for development and favour designating it as a protected green space.
We believe in the 3R’s, Recycling, Reusing and Renewing. This way of life should be encouraged by providing helpful and unambiguous guidance, and by educating both young and old. The number of recycling points should be increased and their locations made convenient. Easy to understand, multilingual instructions will motivate residents to adopt a recycling mindset.
Food security through localism
Sustainability has put the spotlight on localism in food provision. The pandemic has accentuated its desirability even more. Therefore we favour reliance on domestically sourced food in public services as a means of improving our ‘food security’. Using Espoo-based food producers, transport services and other local providers creates business opportunities for our enterprises and employment for our residents, as well as being kind to our environment.
Centre Party advocates enlightened liberal democracy