Page last updated at 10:02 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 11:02 UK

Plaid pledges local 'revolution'

Ieuan Wyn Jones
Ieuan Wyn Jones says Plaid Cymru is offering new ideas

Plaid Cymru has promised to revolutionise how difficult problems are tackled with "exciting ideas".

The party has launched its local council election manifesto by highlighting eight policies to improve the environment and public health.

Party leader Ieuan Wyn Jones said he wanted not just to manage councils better than other parties but to turn them into "laboratories of innovation".

Mr Jones said he was confident of his party making gains in the 1 May poll.

Mr Jones, who is also deputy first minister since his party formed a coalition Welsh Assembly Government with Labour, launched the manifesto at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.

These policies are revolutionary compared to the way many Welsh councils are currently run
Adam Price MP, Plaid Cymru

"As a party we are not simply content to manage the bureaucracy of local government better than the other parties," he said

"We also want to use local government to move Wales forward, to invest in modern and exciting ideas and to turn our councils into laboratories of innovation," Mr Jones added.

The "innov8 policies," as Plaid described them, include encouraging local renewable energy projects and investigating local energy service companies.

Underground bins for new homes and business properties would be encouraged along with the installation of "intensive green roofs" on all new flat-roofed council properties.

Green roofs have vegetation, such as a roof top garden, turf or mosses, growing on them.

Bike sharing

Greener buses, a "healthy workforce challenge" to improve the health of local government staff, and car and bike sharing schemes also feature on the first eight pages of the party's manifesto.

Plaid Cymru currently controls Gwynedd Council but is also involved in running authorities in Conwy, Denbighshire and the Vale of Glamorgan where no single party has an overall majority.

Plaid election director Adam Price MP failed to arrive at the launch, however, with the party blaming "transport issues".

In a statement before the event he said: "These policies are revolutionary compared to the way many Welsh councils are currently run but they are all examples of best practice, tried and tested around the world."

Plaid denied its focus on its "innov8 policies" meant it was less interested in core services such as education.


WELSH COUNCIL ELECTIONS 2008

  Councillors Councils
Party +/- Total +/- Total
LAB -124 342 -6 2
CON 63 174 1 2
PC 31 205 -1 0
LD 21 162 0 0
OTH 9 381 0 0
NOC - - 6 18
22 of 22 councils declared.

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