Another very full branch meeting with a great attendance.
The branch was informed of the outcome of our successful fund raising race night event and we made a really big sum in support of Bruce Crawford’s campaign to retain the Stirling Constituency for the SNP. Well done to everyone involved and special thanks were offered to Melanie our Organiser for a great event.
We had an update from Scott Farmer from the Stirling Council group on happenings there. The SNP block are currently busy looking at the budgetary proposals and building their own budget for consideration at council. While the financial situation is not easy it was pointed out that the council has been over funded by the Scottish Government over successive years over what they would have raised locally with index linked Council Tax rises, so in fact the councils are in a far better place than they should be by tax rises. Where Stirling Council under the Tory/Labour administration have got it do badly wrong is in failing to modernise their offerings to make better use of their income over the last years.
We then had a short presentation by Lee Robb on behalf of Steven Paterson MP on a review of whats been happening in Westminster. Steven is now releasing a newsletter that can be obtained via Lee and no doubt the info inside will be familiar to most regular branch attendees. However we have attached a copy for your perusal here.
Steven Paterson Newsletter
Next up we had Bruce Crawford MSP express his thanks for the huge sum raised on Saturday. Please also consider supporting his Crowdfunder. Bruce gave us an overview of the progress ( or probably more correctly the sticking points ) in the Scotland Bill in particular with the Financial Framework in which the Scottish Government is sticking rigidly to the “No Detriment” clause. As the deadline for this has now passed an agreement seem unlikely any time soon. What ever happened to the Vow? The point was also made that we need #BothVotesSNP in the forthcoming election or Indyref2 becomes a pipe dream!
Bruce also discussed campaigning for the Scottish elections and discussed some other useful info pertaining to facts for the campaign.
Finally our special guest this month was Alyn Smith MEP. Alyn gave a great talk on the current issues surrounding the European Parliament ( specifically TTIP, Agriculture, and Foreign Policy – in particular Middle East affairs) . Alyn’s talk was very interesting and very persuasive in regards to the IN/OUT vote likely to come this year.
A day in the Life of a Scottish MEP A day in the Life
Alyn Smith Newssheet on TTIP TTIP
Alyn Smith Scottish Interests in TTIP Scottish TTIP
Alyn took questions from the branch on TTIP, Support for the Peshmerga in Northern Iraq and Turkey, Turkey’s potential membership to the EU and the EU In out Vote.