updated 16th December 2014
MINUTES OF YES DUNFERMLINE MEETING
HELD IN GLEN TAVERN ON 9th DECEMBER 2014
1 Welcome and Introduction
• Julian welcomed everyone to the meeting
2 Fife Independence Alliance
• The independence alliance will be called “Yes Fife”. A meeting was due to take place tonight, but had been postponed. Dave F and Sheila N will report back to the Dunfermline group after the first meeting has taken place.
• SNP have had meetings to establish the organisation of the group. The team is now in place and various roles allocated. (Neale will confirm the details).
• Alistair Morgan, Dave F and Ian F will organise the leaflet runs.
• The Press and Research team will provide guidance on campaign materials and also promote the national message. Smaller groups will also be working on designing and printing leaflets.
• “Dunfermline & West Fife SNP General Election campaign 2015” has been set up on facebook.
• There has been good local press coverage recently.
• RIC are meeting with Amazon workers to encourage union membership and improve working conditions
• The SSP will have 7 candidates in the GE, but none in the Dunfermline area. They are campaigning on the Living wage, Bring back A & E and Fracking.
Green/ Women for Independence
• there were no members at the meeting.
• The shop is “ticking over” and at present have approx £1500 minus the utility bills still to be paid.
• Many would like to see the shop continuing as an important campaigning tool in the elections. It would be a great asset in the High Street campaign, as well as a source of information and literature for the public.
• Staffing continues to be an issue and they are still short on volunteers.
4 Social Events.
• None of the organisers of St Andrews Rocks or the Family Ceilidh were at the meeting. However, the meeting agreed that both events had been a great success.
• Matt Izatt gave an account of his experience in the recent Rally at Parliament in Edinburgh
• Kate Stewart is organising a Burns night in the Glen Pavillion (smaller hall)
• There will also be an After Burns Night event which Maggi Hill is arranging.
• Clan Alba will be holding a rally against fracking at the end of January
• We have been advised that, as an organisation, the details of any fundraising events should be published. This should include income, expenditure and the names of the charities who have benefitted.
• Jane reminded everyone involved in community councils that a copy of all minutes should be given to the shop to be available to the public
• Several community councils have submitted a joint submission to the Fife Plan consultation. The Fife Plan details the council’s massive building plans for the North of the town. The community councils have questioned several aspects of the plan as well as Fife Council’s failure to comply with the consultation process. All details are available on line.
• Two public information events will be held re the wind power development at Pitreavie playing fields on 10th and 15th December.
• We have permission for a pitch in the High Street one Saturday a month from now on. (Since the meeting Saturday 13th had to be cancelled)
• Calum has organised a team who are working on a leaflet based around Dunfermline’s response to the Smith Commission. Hopefully to be available around the end of January.
Answers on a postcard
• Julian showed samples of a poster, "Seeds of a New Scotland", available from the AyePod, and also of a postcard with the same design. He asked for suggestions for an application for the postcard, including a pre-printed message on the back. The printing cost would be £114 for 1000 cards printed in full colour on one side and with black text on the other side.
• David M encouraged the group to attend the Area Committee meetings in Dunfermline. They have a question time when the public can ask questions and challenge the administration.
7 Next Meeting
• The next meeting will be held in the Glen Tavern on Tuesday 27th January.
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations
Cllr. Neale Hanvey has been in contact with Alyn Smith MEP regarding the important negotiations between the European Union and the USA to set up the Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership (TTIP).
Alyn Smiths reply is here :
Our calls for greater transparency in the TTIP negotiations bore fruit today as the European Commission announced a series of proposals for the negotiations, including:
- making public more EU negotiating texts that the Commission already shares with Member States and Parliament;
- providing access to TTIP texts to all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), not just a select few, by extending the use of a ‘reading room’ to those MEPs who had no access to restricted documents so far;
- classifying less TTIP negotiating documents as “EU restricted”, making them more easily accessible to MEPs outside the reading room;
- publishing and updating on a regular basis a public list of TTIP documents shared with the European Parliament and the Council.
While I’m pleased that we managed to gain this, I still think we can do more. My most pressing concern is that we exclude the Scottish NHS from the effects of any potential deal.
I’ve made it very clear that I oppose TTIP in its current form. Yes, a trade deal done right could boost trade between us and the US but in this case. I have strong concerns over the content of the deal on offer and the way in which that content came to be agreed.
The ramifications of this deal go way beyond any traditional trade deal, and it is only right that MEPs as legislators are involved at every stage of the process, not simply at the end as a glorified rubber stamp.
But, credit where it is due, today’s announcement is a step in the right direction. Greater transparency in the negotiations will allow us to better keep tabs on what is being agreed in our name, but I have no faith in the UK government to argue for our NHS in Scotland, given the policy they are pursuing south of the border.
I’m also concerned that when we get to the agricultural chapters of the package we could see a considerable undermining of European standards. I’m not convinced that companies should have access to special dispute resolution, and do not accept that the case for it has been made.
We in Scotland have already seen the actions of companies – the insurance companies over pleural plaques, the tobacco companies over advertising and the drinks industry over minimum pricing – seek to put their legal rights to make a profit above the democratic will of the Parliament, and I remain concerned that TTIP will entrench this deeply unhealthy drift, not face it down.
So a lukewarm thumbs up to the Commission today. TTIP will surely change and evolve further in the years before it’s signed off but its advocates will need to do a lot more to ensure any support for this deal.
Keep checking my website for further news, to join the debate, or to read my previous TTIP updates (October's is here if you missed it) and, as always, do get in touch if you have any concerns.
Alyn Smith · 1 Summerhall, TechCube, Edinburgh EH9 1PL, United Kingdom
You can keep up with Alyn Smith on Twitter or Facebook.
"The Dunfermline SNP website was launched on 20 May 2014. We are grateful to Aberdeen SNP for permission to reproduce the Scottish Government, European Union, Independence and History pages from their website."