SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT

_______________________________________________________________________________________                                       

      THE CABINET

Front: Nicola Sturgeon & John Swinney. 1st. row l-r:-- Jeane Freeman, Humza Yousaf, Shirley-Anne Somerville, Aileen Campbell. 2nd. row l-r:-- Michael Russell, Roseanna Cunningham, Derek Mackay, Michael Matheson, Fiona Hyslop, Fergus Ewing. At Bute House, Edinburgh. 26 June 2018.

 

First Minister:   NICOLA STURGEON                                                                                       

Deputy First Minister.  Sec. for Education & Skills  --  JOHN SWINNEY

Sec. for Finance, Economy & Fair Work  --  DEREK MACKAY

Sec. for Government Business & Constitutional Relations -- MICHAEL RUSSELL

Sec. for Health & Sport  -- JEANE FREEMAN 

Sec. for Justice  --  HUMZA YOUSAF

Sec. for Communities & Local Government -- AILEEN CAMPBELL

Sec. for Social Security & Older People --  SHIRLEY-ANNE SOMERVILLE

Sec. for Transport, Infrastructure & Connectivity -- MICHAEL MATHESON

Sec. for Rural Economy   --  FERGUS EWING  

Sec. for the Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform  --  ROSEANNA CUNNINGHAM

Sec. for Culture, Tourism & External Affairs --  FIONA HYSLOP

                                                                                                                      

See below for:   Progress towards Independence  *  Government programme 2018-19  *  Our new powers  *  Full list of Cabinet Secretaries & Ministers  *  MSPs elected on 5 May 2016   

_______________________________________________________________   

                                                                                                                         

________________________________________________________________________________________                                                                                                      

 Annual National Conference 2018

 

       The SEC Centre, GLASGOW

     Sunday, October 7 -- Tuesday, October 9

         

       Information at:--  https://www.snp.org/conference

              For members:-- https://my.snp.org/  

________________________________________________________________________________________

WE CAN achieve our Independence  

From NICOLA STURGEON on 9 June 2018.   

Pictured with new Deputy Leader KEITH BROWN.

"The case for independence is strong. And it is getting stronger by the day. Research published yesterday had at its heart a quite remarkable finding. It showed that the number of people in Scotland who believe that independence will make our economy better has risen dramatically. And, for the first time, we now outnumber those who believe the opposite. Confidence in the independence case is growing. So as we wait for the fog of Brexit to clear, our opportunity --- indeed, our responsibility --- is this. Not just to focus on the “when” of independence. But to use our energy and passion to persuade those who still ask “why?” Right now, that is the more important task. And, if we do that, let me tell you this. I am more certain than ever before that persuading a majority of our fellow citizens that Scotland should be an independent country is well within our grasp."

"Above all, it’s time to believe that we canWe can build that better country we know is possible. And, friends, we will"  

### To view the whole speech, click on:--  https://www.facebook.com/theSNP/videos/10156587324499078/    

### SNP membership reached nearly 126,000 in September -- a historic high. To join today, click on the link on this page.                                                                                                                                                                                                

KEITH BROWN is our Campaign Director

SNP Deputy Leader Keith Brown has been entrusted with many more key roles than any of his predecessors.  He has become the campaign director for the party – with responsibility for policy development and preparation for future elections.

He will be assisted by a Campaign Committee, composed of Alison Thewliss MP, Joan McAlpine MSP, Kenneth Gibson MSP, Drew Hendry MP, Julie Hepburn and Margaret Ferrier. Crucially, Mr. Brown will be concentrating on building the case and winning support for Scotland's  independence.

On September 23, Mr. Brown said: "For Yes to win next time -- and there will be a next time -- we need to up our game. We need to be positive and move beyond the 45er tag. So in my roles as Depute Leader and campaign director of the SNP, I’ve ensured that we are doing the groundwork now that will help us win in the future." 

"Mobilising the SNP’s mass membership, exploring and discussing policy options, creating new materials and engaging ways of communicating will help us attract new supporters to the cause of independence. The National Assemblies that we have held in Ayr, Aviemore and Edinburgh have been a great platform to discuss economic policy. There has been demand for further events of this format, and the team at party headquarters are currently exploring this."

In a bid to reduce her considerable workload, Nicola Sturgeon has delegated some of her functions to Mr. Brown, including chairing regular meetings of the political cabinet.

### Fired up and ready to go:- https://www.snp.org/fired_up_and_ready_to_go

_______________________________________________________________________________________                      

11 Sept. 1997 -- Scots vote to have their national Parliament restored.  

3 May 2007 --  the SNP is first elected as Scotland's Government. 

Re-elected in 2011 and 2016, we continue to govern our country with ambition, flair and competence.

Check out our achievements over the past 11 years -- with only limited powers. Just think what we could do with the full powers of INDEPENDENCE !

### Click on:--  https://www.snp.org/record                

See below for Using our new POWERS and GOVERNING SCOTLAND. 

________________________________________________________________________________________ 

Independence REFERENDUM -- but when?

The SNP's success in winning a third term at Holyrood -- and 35 of Scotland's 59 Westminster MPs -- must be acknowledged as an ongoing mandate to step up its campaign to achieve our nation's self-government.   

The party's manifesto for the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary election said:  "The Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum.....if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out the EU against our will.”  It is therefore a statement of the obvious that the option of a second referendum must be a serious consideration. However, the Government judged that it would be tactically disadvantageous to move too quickly. When the EU's Article 50 process is triggered, the UK will be on a two-year path to Europe's exit door. In the interim, a decisive "Yes" for independence would undoubtedly be the best -- possibly only -- way to protect our place in Europe.                                     

Since then, the EU Referendum result, together with other political developments, have inevitably propelled the nation into seeking another referendum on independence. The prospect of a second national poll on the constitution is causing considerable concern to the unionist parties. It is patently obvious that they desperately wanted the vote in September 2014 to be a "once in a lifetime decision" -- as though the opinions and ambitions of the Scottish people could somehow be frozen in time!  But another referendum is going to happen whether they like it or not. The SNP's massive election successes since the ground-breaking, status-quo-busting poll have understandably boosted widespread enthusiasm for another plebiscite. But when will it be held? On 23 June 2016, every one of Scotland's 32 local authority areas (see map) voted to remain in the European Union -- in stark contrast to the leave result in most of England and Wales.                                                                                                              Map: Yellow = remain.  Blue = leave ►

A draft Scottish Independence Referendum Bill, giving our country the ability to consider the option of national independence -- before the UK leaves the EU -- was published on 20 October 2016. The consultation, which ran for three months, invited views on how the referendum would be run. It is likely that the plebiscite will be organised in a similar way to the first, with technical adjustments to reflect recent changes in election law and procedures, such as individual registration. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon put the nation on high alert on 13 March 2017, at a press conference in Bute House. She said: "If the UK leaves the EU without Scotland indicating beforehand -- or at least within a short time after it -- that we want a different relationship with Europe, we could face a lengthy period outside not just the EU but also the single market. That could make the task of negotiating a different future much more difficult. These considerations lead me to the conclusion that if Scotland is to have a real choice -- when the terms of Brexit are known, but before it is too late to choose our own course -- then that choice should be offered between the autumn of 2018, and the spring of 2019."

The draft Bill is set out as an appendix to the consultation document. On 28 March 2017, the Bill was comfortably passed by the Scottish Parliament, by 69 votes to 59. Derek Mackay, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance & the Constitution, commented: “It is important that a referendum on independence, like that in 2014, meets the 'gold standard' in terms of fairness, transparency and propriety. The franchise will be the same as that for the Scottish Parliament. That will mean two important groups of people would have a voice which had been denied to them in the recent EU Referendum, i.e. 16 and 17 year-olds, and citizens of EU countries who have made Scotland their home. As in 2014, voters will be asked to answer 'Yes' or 'No' to the question "Do you think Scotland should be an independent country?"

Choosing the best time to ask the Scottish people again will also obviously depend on a healthy lead for 'Yes' in opinion polls -- if their accuracy can be verified and trusted. When the stakes are so high, it is essential we get this right. Impatience is perfectly understandable, but surely it is better to wait and win, than rush and crash! The result of the totally unneccessary UK General Election in June 2017 produced a predictable plethora of negative knee-jerk reactions, many suggesting that the referendum should be delayed for up to 3-5 years. Whenever it comes, we will have the benefit of hindsight. Because many valuable lessons were learned from the previous exercise, it would not be a re-run of the 2014 plebiscite. In all probability, Labour, Tories and what's left of the Liberals can count on another relentless stream of anti-Scottish propaganda (blatant or subtle), primarily from the state broadcaster and most of the mainstream media, to assist them in their desire to quash Scotland's political will. But the unionists know that they can't rely on the same old lies, distortions, misrepresentations, dodgy statistics and scare stories to deliver a No majority the next time. As the old saying goes: "Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me."

###  To pledge your support.  Click on:  www.ref.scot/                    

###  Scottish Independence Referendum Bill.  Click on the SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT link on this page.

###  Your questions answered on Scottish self-government.  Go to the INDEPENDENCE page.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Using our new POWERS

Obviously, the limited powers devolved to our Parliament in 2017 don't go nearly far enough to satisfy the people of Scotland.

However, the SNP will make full use of these, and any future devolved powers, to make Scotland a fairer and more prosperous country. The party's manifesto for the May 2016 election set out how the new powers will be implemented. 

The main provisions of the SCOTLAND BILL cover:--

The status of and arrangements for the Scottish Parliament, including elections. Ability to set rates and bands for a 29% proportion of Income Tax. Receipt of 50% of VAT revenues. Control over about 15% of existing social security benefits --11 in all -- including Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Carer's Allowance, funeral payments, Sure Start maternity grants and cold weather & winter fuel payments.

Adjustments to Employment Support and Universal Credit, including the housing element. Control over Work Programme and Work Choice, and some employment services and tribunals.

Setting the level of Air Passenger Duty, administration of the Crown Estate and control of the Transport Police. Powers over other matters such as equal opportunities, abortion, road signs, speed limits, onshore oil & gas extraction  and consumer advocacy & advice.

### Further information is available in the Citizens' Guide to Scottish Devolution, produced by the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee of the Scottish Parliament.  Click on the SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT website.                                                                                                                                                                                   

The Scottish Government's Social Security Bill, introduced on 20 June 2017, met with unanimous Parliamentary approval on 25 April 2018.

It laid the groundwork for the establishment of Social Security Scotland, to oversee the administration of eleven welfare benefits, worth £2.7billion. The agency will also have the power to top-up and create new benefits, and will be able to exercise flexibility in deciding how Universal Credit is paid by the UK Dept for Work & Pensions. The SNP Government has already confirmed it will use its new powers to:--

Increase Carer’s Allowance to the same level as Jobseekers Allowance.
Abolish the Bedroom Tax.
Allow benefits claimants to be paid fortnightly rather than monthly.
Scrap the 84-day rule which removes income from the families of disabled children.
Abolish fees for employment tribunals.
Replace the Sure Start Maternity Grant with an expanded Maternity & Early Years Allowance -- restoring payments for second and subsequent children, and providing additional funding for children in low-income families when they start nursery and school.

From April 2018, Fair Work Scotland aims to help at least 38,000 people find work. The scheme is voluntary.

The SNP Government will ensure that social security delivery is accessible, and commands the confidence of users by being cost-effective and well-managed. There will be a 'phased transition' of the administration of powers over the next few years. This will be overseen by Shirley-Anne Somerville, the Secretary for Social Security & Older People. The immediate priority is to make sure there is a smooth transfer of these benefits, and that households continue to receive them on time and in the right amount. The Government has already carried out extensive consultation and discussions with service users and stakeholders, and will continue that work as it develops its policy approach to the delivery of the new benefits. 

Longer term, Social Security Scotland will also ensure that services are aligned, and work together for the benefit of the Scottish people. In Sept. 2017, it was announced that the agency would be headquartered in Dundee, together with a further site in Glasgow. At least 1,500 agency jobs will be created, evenly divided between the two cities. Revenue Scotland will be the authority responsible for the administration of the country's devolved taxes, which will continue to be collected by the UK Government's severely reduced HM Revenue & Customs offices.

► The Scottish Government has confirmed it will also use its new powers to:-- Bring forward legislation on gender balance in public sector boards in the first year of the next Parliament; enable the public sector to run Scotland’s railways; reduce Air Passenger Duty by half over the course of the next Parliament – further boosting the country's tourist industry and wider economy; assist communities to benefit from the revenues generated off our shores by the Crown Estate; and ensure money from court fines paid in Scotland stays in Scotland.

________________________________________________________________________________________

         GOVERNING SCOTLAND

Because of the continuing restrictions imposed by devolution, our Government is not permitted to utilise all of the nation's resources for the benefit of the people, and has no overall control of Scotland's economy.  Currently, Holyrood is almost wholly dependent on block grants or "pocket money" from London.

This means that the ambitions of the Government are necessarily constrained by British recessions and the ever-decreasing funds being made available by the Westminster Treasury. However, astute and careful budgeting by Secretary for Finance, Economy & Fair Work Derek Mackay enabled key legislation to be enacted.

 

 

The Programme for Government was published on 4 September 2018. It is an ambitious legislative programme that drives forward sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and shows commitment to a fairer Scotland. Our Government will prioritise delivery of its programme to ensure our country's interests are protected from the uncertainties resulting from Westminster's Brexit machinations.  Here is a quick summary of the SNP Government's plans for the next year:-- 

Action to electrify Scotland’s vehicles
A new £20million Trading Nation export plan
£7billion infrastructure boost
Best Start Grant delivered six months early
430 new school, college and university counsellors
Almost doubling childcare provision
New powers for headteachers

 

Legislative priorities for 2018-2019 will be as set out in the following BILLS:--

Biometric Data.  Will deliver enhanced oversight of biometric data and techniques used for the purposes of justice and community safety. The Bill will establish provision for a statutory code of practice covering the acquisition, use, retention and disposal of such data which includes fingerprints, DNA and facial images. It will also establish a Parliamentary Commissioner tasked with overseeing the code and promoting best practice, as well as raising wider awareness in this evolving area.

Budget. This annual Bill provides Parliamentary approval for the Scottish Government’s spending plans, and allocation of resources to its strategic objectives. It will support progress towards a more successful country, through increasing inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

Census.  Will permit National Records of Scotland to ask voluntary questions on sexual orientation and transgender status/history in the 2021 census and future censuses.

Consumer Protection.  Will establish a new statutory consumer body, and make changes to existing funding arrangements to allow Ministers to fully utilise devolved powers.

Disclosure.  Will make amendments to the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 and Part V of the Police Act 1997, to support the modernisation of the policy design of the disclosure system. It will continue to balance safeguarding and proportionality, and provide a disclosure regime in Scotland that is more responsive to the needs of stakeholders.

Electoral Franchise.  Will include provisions to extend the franchise for Scottish Parliament and Local Government elections to protect the franchise for EU citizens. The Bill will be brought forward after a consultation on prisoner voting has been undertaken.

Electoral Reform.  Will implement a range of reforms, some of which will use the 2016 Scotland Act powers. These include proposals included in the recent Electoral Reform Consultation, to extend the powers of the Electoral Management Board, and make changes to Boundary reviews. It will also include some technical matters, for example transferring oversight of the Electoral Commission to the Scottish Parliament.

Family Law.  Will make a number of changes to family law, in particular to further ensure that the child’s best interests are at the centre of any contact and residence cases. This includes regulation of Child Welfare Reporters, further protection of domestic abuse victims in contact and residence cases, and ensuring that cases are dealt with effectively and efficiently by the courts.

Female Genital Mutilation.  Will strengthen the existing legislative framework for the protection of women and girls from Female Genital Mutilation ( FGM), a form of gender-based violence. It will seek to introduce protection orders for those at risk, and place guidance for professionals on a statutory footing.

Non-Domestic Rates.  Will deliver the ambitions set out in the Barclay Review, to enhance and reform the business rates system, to better support business growth and long-term investment, and reflect changing market places. It will include other measures to support growth, including the move to a three-year valuation cycle, and will aim to improve the administration of the system.

Scottish National Investment Bank.  Will pave the way for the establishment of the Scottish National Investment Bank. The bank will provide investment, help companies grow and support the Scottish Government’s economic vision.

South of Scotland Enterprise Agency.  Following on from the Enterprise & Skills Review, the Bill will establish a new enterprise agency for the South of Scotland. It will be designed to drive inclusive growth, and ensure that the region benefits from a new approach that supports a diverse and resilient economy, sustains and grows communities, and harnesses the potential of people and resources.

 

Bills already in Parliament 
Age of Criminal Responsibility  
Children & Young People (Information Sharing)  
Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets)  
Damages (Investment Returns & Periodical Payments)  
Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) 
Health & Care (Staffing) 
Human Tissue (Authorisation) 
Management of Offenders 
Planning 
Prescription 
Scottish Crown Estate  
Transport 
Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) 

 

Bills passed since 2017-18 Programme for Government 
Budget 
Child Poverty  
Civil Litigation (Expenses & Group Proceedings) 
Contract (Third Party Rights)  
Domestic Abuse 
Forestry & Land Management 
Gender Representation on Public Boards 
Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons & Disregards)  
Housing (Amendment) 
Islands  
Land & Buildings Transaction Tax (Relief from Additional Amount) 
Social Security 
Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses

                            

###  Full details, including the First Minister's statement:--    click on the Scottish Government link on this page.                  ###  A list of the SNP Government's principal achievements is at:--  https://www.snp.org/record

    

                                        ________________________________________________________________________________________

The SALTIRE Bridge

On the evening of 28 August 2017, First Minister NICOLA STURGEON presided at a ceremony to mark the official handover from the contractors to the Scottish Government.

After a short speech under the bridge’s north tower, Ms. Sturgeon switched on a spectacular Saltire-themed light display on the £1.35billion crossing, which connects Edinburgh to Fife. She shook the hands of workers and took "selfies", before a procession of around 20 vintage, modern and electric vehicles drove over to the south shore. Other guests at the handover ceremony included veteran workers who helped build the nearby 1964 bridge, local schoolchildren and contractors.

Addressing the workers, the First Minister said: “I can’t tell you how emotional it feels to be standing on this stunning Queensferry Crossing. It is here to do a job and keep our country connected, but it is much more than that. This bridge will be one of the greatest bridges in the world. No -- scrub that -- this bridge is the greatest bridge in the world! What you have done here is something very special. It is in every way an amazing achievement and I want to congratulate everyone involved. The weather in the middle of the Forth has made sure it was a challenge. But you have made history, and this bridge will serve Scotland for 150 years and more.”

The new crossing is a three-tower cable-stayed bridge, with an overall length of 1.7 miles. Around 2.5 miles of new connecting roads were built, including new and upgraded junctions at South Queensferry, Ferrytoll in Fife and Junction 1A of the M9. It opened for general traffic on 30 August 2017. Shortly before 2am, vehicles heading north were diverted from the Forth Road Bridge to the new crossing. A long procession followed police vehicles, with many of those behind the wheel honking their horns and blowing whistles as they travelled over to Fife. The original suspension bridge will now only be used by buses, taxis, cyclists and pedestrians.      

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Taking control of our RAILWAYS                                                                                                       

ScotRail, the country's railway network, could come under public ownership.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf  says the SNP Government wants there to be a "public sector bidder" when the Dutch-owned Abellio's franchise expires in 2025.  Several options are being considered. They include the creation of a Government-owned company or a public-private sector partnership to take over the service.

Other possible publicly-owned candidates for the franchise are Calmac Ferries, the Transport for Edinburgh group and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport. On 1 Jul. 2017, the minister said: "We have identified several possible vehicles that could potentially take forward a public sector bid. Transport Scotland is now working on gathering further evidence that will narrow down the options once that exercise is complete." Mr. Yousaf will report to Parliament after the summer recess.

The planned reforms have met with considerable approval from the transport unions. Sam Tarry of TSSA said: "The Scottish Government has recognised that the sole beneficiaries of ScotRail, and any profits it makes, should be the Scottish people. Now there is the exciting prospect of breaking with decades of privatisation dogma -- and instead looking at modern publicly-owned and operated ways of running Scotland's railways. We are looking forward to working with the Scottish Government every step of the way." Mick Hogg, the Scottish organiser of RMT, said: "We want to see the renationalisation of the railways. We have a strong sense that Humza Yousaf is speaking our language and is ticking the right boxes."  ASLEF also welcomed the plans.

For three years, the cross-border InterCity East Coast service was run by Virgin Trains East Coast, in which the Perth-based Stagecoach had a 90% stake. However, the UK Government "temporarily re-nationalised"  the operation on 24 June 2018, and rebranded it as the London & North-Eastern Railway. On May 17, Humza Yousaf said: "Given the importance of East Coast services to Scotland, we will press the UK Government for involvement in the new LNER board. We will also require assurance that there will be no reduction in service levels for Scottish passengers, and that promised improvements to Scottish East Coast services will still be delivered without further delay." InterCity West Coast trains still carries the Virgin brand. The service is operated by the Virgin Rail Group, which is 49% owned by Stagecoach.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Working to stay in the EUROPEAN UNION

The Scottish Government is striving to deliver what Scotland voted for --  to stay in the European family of nations.

Our Government is engaged in discussions with EU countries and institutions to explore all options to protect Scotland’s place in Europe.  An advisory panel, made up of a range of experts who can advise the Scottish Government on legal, financial and diplomatic matters, has been established. The cultural and economic contribution of 127,000 citizens of EU countries resident in Scotland is valued and, despite the negative UK vote, are obviously very welcome to stay with us. The consuls-general of all EU member states attended a summit meeting at Bute House in 2016, to reassure them that their citizens living in Scotland remain welcome.  Scottish Government Ministers are talking to businesses, to reassure them that as of now Scotland remains firmly in the European Union. All trade and business with the EU should continue as normal. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Our nation is being taken out of the EU against its will. I regard that as democratically unacceptable. And, of course, we face that prospect less than two years after being told that it was our own referendum on independence that would end our membership of the European Union, and that only a rejection of independence could protect it. Indeed, for many people the supposed guarantee of remaining in the EU was a driver in their decision to vote to stay within the UK. So there is no doubt that this represents a significant and a material change of the circumstances in which Scotland voted against independence in 2014." The Scottish Government has had direct discussions with European Union institutions and its member states. The First Minister has met with Jean-Claude Junckerthe President of the European Commission, and with other leading politicians. All of the 27 EU nations have been informed that Scotland wants to stay in the EU, and that its Government intends to explore all possible avenues for doing so.

On 25 August 2016, Michael Russell was appointed as Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe. 

 

Support from STUC

On 12 July 2016, the First Minister met with the STUC General Council to discuss fair work and progressive workplace practices in light of the immediate and long-term implications for the Scottish economy of the referendum result. 

Ms. Sturgeon said:  “I want to stress that this Government will work with the STUC and trade unions to share information, and listen to and understand priorities and concerns. Scotland has a fundamentally strong economy, and we will continue to work with employers and trade unions to boost productivity, innovative work-places and inclusive growth. We will pursue every option to protect Scotland’s position in Europe and, by extension, the interests of EU citizens who live and work here."

“The European Union has been instrumental in strengthening and protecting workers’ rights, and enshrining key employment rights relating to pay, safe working conditions and the right to unionise. I firmly believe that EU membership delivers many social, economic and cultural benefits for individuals, business and communities across Scotland. We will pursue every option to protect Scotland’s position in Europe, and all the many benefits which that brings in terms of workers’ rights and social protections. That includes our place in the single market and the free movement of people.”

Grahame Smith, the STUC General Secretary, said: “We share the view of the First Minister that the best place for Scotland is firmly within the European Union. We are further assured that the FM is exploring every available option to retain Scotland’s membership within the EU, and is moving to positively address some of the challenges that have arisen in respect of the attitude of the Westminster Government. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Scottish Government to ensure that our shared commitments to inclusive sustainable economic growth continues.”

###  Go to the EUROPEAN UNION page for more information and updates.

_______________________________________________________________________________________                                                                                                                                                                       

        

            SCOTLAND MARCHES ON!

The people of Scotland decided that the referendum in Sept. 2014 was merely a milestone on our road to independence.

 

Video: Allan Patterson.  Music: "Tu-Bardh" by Clanadonia

      

    Click on: https://www.facebook.com/allan.patterson2020/videos/vb.100004082051686/7...  

                                                                                                                                                              

               

                   THE NEXT STAGE OF OUR JOURNEY

On 5 May and 23 June 2016, we grasped the opportunity to take decisive steps to statehood -- to put Scotland on a par with other European nations

         Video: Allan Patterson

      

       Click on:   https://www.facebook.com/allan.patterson2020/videos/816831831796211

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Visit our NATIONAL website

Our vision * Policy base * Groups * Get active * Stay informed * About us * Shop * Donate * Updates * Upcoming events * Volunteer * Join the SNP.

 

www.snp.org/ is the SNP's main website. Updated daily, so you will be able to catch up with all the latest national news of the party and people. Members can access other information by logging onto:   https://my.snp.org/           

SNP Membership has soared since the Independence Referendum in Sept. 2014, and now stands at over 125,482*. Now is a good time to take Scotland's side. Don't live in Scotland, but would like to help?  You can still  join the party if you are in Southampton, Swansea, Sligo, San Francisco, Sydney, Stockholm, Singapore....or anywhere else!               *as at 21 Aug. 2018.

Image                                             

    Click on: www.snp.org/join or Tel. 0800 633 5432.

    Individual = £12.00.  Unwaged or over-60 = £5.00.  Under-15 = £2.00.  Overseas = £25.00.  Direct debit available.

"No member shall be a member of any organisation contesting elections in opposition to the Party, or deemed to be a political party under the Party's Membership Rules, or announce an intention to join any such organisation." (See Code of Conduct).

   Constitution of the SNP, Code of Conduct and Branch Rules

To view, members should log onto:   https://my.snp.org   and click on "Resources", then "Rulebook"

________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Cabinet Secretaries & Ministers                

First Minister.............................................................................................................................NICOLA STURGEON

Deputy First Minister.  Secretary for Education & Skills................................................................JOHN SWINNEY

    Minister for Childcare & Young People:                         Maree Todd                         

    Minister for Further & Higher Education & Science:        Richard Lochhead       

Secretary for the Economy, Jobs & Fair Work................................................................................DEREK MACKAY

    Minister for Business, Fair Work & Skills:                      Jamie Hepburn           

    Minister for Public Finance & the Digital Economy:         Kate Forbes

    Minister for Trade, Investment & Innovation:                Ivan McKee    

Secretary for Government Business & Constitutional Relations...............................................MICHAEL RUSSELL

    Minister for Parliamentary Business & Veterans:            Graeme Dey

Secretary for Health & Sport........................................................................................................JEANE FREEMAN 

    Minister for Public Health, Sport & Wellbeing:               Joe FitzPatrick                          

    Minister for Mental Health:                                         Clare Haughey       

Secretary for Justice.......................................................................................................................HUMZA YOUSAF

    Minister for Community Safety:                                   Ash Denham        

Secretary for Communities & Local Government.......................................................................AILEEN CAMPBELL

    Minister for Local Government, Housing & Planning:      Kevin Stewart                         

Secretary for Social Security & Older People............................................................SHIRLEY-ANNE SOMERVILLE

    Minister for Older People & Equalities:                         Christina McKelvie

Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure & Connectivity........................................................MICHAEL MATHESON

    Minister for Energy, Connectivity & the Islands:            Paul Wheelhouse

Secretary for Rural Economy..........................................................................................................FERGUS EWING

    Minister for Rural Affairs & Natural Environment:          Mairi Gougeon

Secretary for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform........................................ROSEANNA CUNNINGHAM

Secretary for Culture, Tourism & External Affairs...........................................................................FIONA HYSLOP

    Minister for Europe, Migration & Intern'l. Develop't.:     Ben Macpherson 

               

LAW OFFICERS                                                                                                                                                                  

Lord Advocate:   James Wolffe QC                                                                    

Solicitor General:   Alison Di Rollo

 

*** To see responsibilities of Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers click on:  www.scotland.gov.uk/About/People/Ministers

_________________________________________________________________________________________

                                       MSPs elected on 5 May 2016                                        

73 candidates (46.5%) and 59 Constituency MSPs:-- 

Kevin Stewart (Aberdeen Central), Mark McDonald (Aberdeen Donside), Maureen Watt (Aberdeen South & North Kincardine), Gillian Martin (Aberdeenshire East), Alex Neil (Airdrie & Shotts), Angela Constance (Almond Valley), Mairi Gougeon (Angus North & Mearns), Graeme Dey (Angus South), Michael Russell (Argyll & Bute), Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire & Buchan Coast), Gail Ross (Caithness, Sutherland & Ross), Jeane Freeman (Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley), Keith Brown (Clackmannanshire & Dunblane), Gil Paterson (Clydebank & Milngavie), Aileen Campbell (Clydesdale), Fulton MacGregor* (Coatbridge & Chryston), Annabelle Ewing* (Cowdenbeath), Jamie Hepburn (Cumbernauld & Kilsyth), Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North), Ruth Maguire (Cunninghame South), Shona Robison (Dundee City East), Joe Fitzpatrick (Dundee City West), Shirley-Anne Somerville* (Dunfermline), Linda Fabiani (East Kilbride), Ash Denham (Edinburgh Eastern), Ben Macpherson* (Edinburgh North & Leith), Gordon MacDonald (Edinburgh Pentlands),  Angus MacDonald (Falkirk East), Michael Matheson (Falkirk West), Jenny Gilruth (Fife,Mid & Glenrothes), Bill Kidd (Glasgow Anniesland), James Dornan (Glasgow Cathcart), Sandra White (Glasgow Kelvin), Bob Doris* (Glasgow Maryhill & Springburn), Humza Yousaf* (Glasgow Pollok), Ivan McKee* (Glasgow Provan), John Mason (Glasgow Shettleston), Nicola Sturgeon (Glasgow Southside), Stuart McMillan* (Greenock & Inverclyde), Christina McKelvie (Hamilton, Larkhall & Stonehouse), Fergus Ewing (Inverness & Nairn), Willie Coffey (Kilmarnock & Irvine Valley), David Torrance (Kirkcaldy), Fiona Hyslop (Linlithgow), Colin Beattie (Midlothian North & Musselburgh), Christine Grahame (Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale), Richard Lochhead (Moray), Clare Adamson*(Motherwell & Wishaw), Alasdair Allan (Na h-Eileanan an Iar), George Adam (Paisley), John Swinney (Perthshire North), Roseanna Cunningham (Perthshire South & Kinross-shire), Derek Mackay (Renfrewshire North & West), Tom Arthur* (Renfrewshire South), Clare Haughey* (Rutherglen), Kate Forbes (Skye, Lochaber & Badenoch), Bruce Crawford (Stirling), Rona Mackay (Strathkelvin & Bearsden), Richard Lyle* (Uddingston & Bellshill).      *= gains from Labour.

4 Regional List MSPs (41.7%):--

Highlands & Islands -- Maree ToddSouth -- Emma Harper, Joan McAlpine and Paul Wheelhouse.  Total 59+4 =63.   NICOLA STURGEON is First Minister and John Swinney Deputy First Minister at head of minority Government.    Leader of the Opposition: Ruth Davidson (Conservative).   Presiding Officer: Ken Macintosh. 

                                

                                          SNP MSPs in the Garden Lobby of the Scottish Parliament, on 12 May 2016