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10th December 2015

December 2015 Branch Meeting Report

Our December branch meeting was once again very well attended and a very busy affair. (Please note this is not a comprehensive report of all matters discussed and members are directed to the meeting minutes for full detailed information)

Some key points from the conveners and branch executive report:

The branch AGM will now be held in September, following on from guidance issued since a resolution to move it was passed at this years conference.

National Council was cancelled due to the ongoing issues with the Forth Road Bridge, but the Convener mentioned how members were allowed to attend and it was a good way to get a feel for the party conference environment and an opportunity to get the latest from Nicola.

The fundraising race night on Saturday 5th December was cancelled on police guidance over travel due to the flooding experienced in the Stirling area at the weekend. A new date is being formulated and will be broadcast here when settled. Mel says the owners needn’t worry about their naggs, ahem, fine thoroughbred racing steeds they will be kept fed and watered until the rearranged date!

A couple of local branches are holding fundraising Burns suppers; Trossachs and Teith are holding theirs on Friday, 29th January and Dunblane branch on Saturday, 30th January. All members and friends are welcome. City of Stirling branch in conjunction with Trossachs and Teith are running a minibus from Stirling Station and back on the night at £7.50 for the round trip. Pickup time will be 6:15pm, returning at 11:30pm. Both events are £25 with a great range of speakers (T&T: Bruce Crawford, Derek Bateman, Margaret Ferrier and Steven Paterson, Dunblane: Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh will be coming back, Humza Yousaf, Stuart Hepburn and Keith Brown) and members are encouraged to support them.

Our own Robert the Bruce Dinner planning is well underway, the big event is on Saturday 5th March 2016 and tickets will be £30 each and available on Eventbrite very soon or you will have to pay £35 on the door on the night. The dinner element is planned to be a French themed affair with music to match, celebrating the Auld Alliance, and we hope to have a guest speaker in the form of Christian Allard MSP. The second half of the night will be a ceilidh with appropriate music – bring your friends and family for a great night. We are planning a raffle and auction of memorabilia to raise funds, more information soon.We would love if members would put up some prizes for the raffle.

Stirling Council is due to meet in full session today (10th December) and leader of the SNP group Cllr Scott Farmer gave us a run down of current business in Stirling Council. Amongst topics discussed were the public consultations on the spending review, the city development plan and tendering of the Sports and recreation contract. It was intimated that the council were to be greeted with children from Allan’s Primary School today singing Christmas carols and that a certain SNP councillor might be playing Santa….though we aren’t sure he knows it yet!

Christmas card competition winner

Steven with the winning drawing for his card competition

Lee provided a thorough report from Steven Paterson MP on the goings on at Westminster, namely the Syria debate with the humanitarian disaster, lack of exit strategy and plan for Syria in the aftermath of bombing, the Trident debate and the gross use of the public purse to fund its ever growing total bill, the tax credits u-turn, the closure of HMRC offices with job losses in Scotland and the reduced contract for new Naval vessels going to Clyde shipbuilders despite the “promises” given in the 2014 Referendum.

Steven’s Christmas card competition was won by Kimberly McCulloch of Raploch Primary School and her fabulous drawing of the Wallace Monument will be on Stevens Christmas cards this year.

Sofia McLeod

Sofia McLeod from the Scottish Palestine Solidarity campaign

Finally our guest for the evening was Sofia McLeod, Chair, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign who came to talk to us about the current situation in Palestine, the Israeli restrictions on the people of Gaza and the West bank and encroachment of settlements on Palestinian territory. We had a number of questions from the floor regarding what can be done to help the Palestinian people, the role of the UN and the situation around the role of Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions and the influence of the Friends of Israel movement in government policy. Members were encouraged to take a look at the BDS Movement website for more information.

Our Political Education officer Susan is doing a fantastic job of organising guests to come and speak at our meetings. Our next branch meeting is 13th January 2016 and we hope to have Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing & Sport, attending to speak… watch the site for more information and confirmation!

We hope all our members and friends have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!