Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Post Referendum membership boost!

One of the unexpected results of the no vote in the independence referendum is that the SNP has doubled its membership. Locally that's led to a boost in membership and Leith SNP is set to welcome more members to its regular meetings. This is good for the branch and for political participation.

Anticipating interest in discussing where the SNP and the campaign for independence goes now Leith SNP have arranged a special meeting of the Leith Branch on 1st October at 7.30pm in The Junction, 86 Great Junction Street, Leith EH6 5LJ. Its expected to be a busy meeting and will cover the referendum aftermath, campaigning and local organisation. There is a facebook event set up and members are encouraged to RSVP. The meeting will be open to non members and membership forms will be available on the night.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Scottish Independence referendum - information

When we're out campaigning for a Yes vote people ask us for more information on the pros and cons of independence. Even those who identify as natural no voters often ask for more information. More often than not they say that they are looking for more information before making their minds up once and for all. 

It is important for those of us campaigning for a Yes vote to respond positively to these requests. Sure we can give them whichever Yes Scotland leaflet we have or point them to the website or the referendum section of the SNP's website. Sometimes though people are looking for a bit more detail.

One source that's perhaps overlooked is the website of the Scottish Government. There you can find a dedicated site 'Scotland's Referendum' introduced by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP. There you will find an interactive timeline, the Road to 2014 blog and bit that is perhaps most interesting 'Scotland's Future'. There you will find a number of papers which provide detail on the Scottish Governments plans for an independent Scotland. Important issues are addressed such as pensions, benefits, defence, oil and gas, Europe, the economy, democracy, currency, consumer protection. The White Paper on Independence which will be published in the next month will be added to to these papers to show what an independent Scottish nation will look like.

Well worth a look. 

Friday, 26 July 2013

Remembering Allison Hunter

By Rob Munn

For a whole generation and more of SNP activists the name Allison Hunter has a huge resonance. She was a inspiring and dedicated National Organiser for the Scottish National Party and news of her death will have touched SNP members past and present the length and breadth and indeed furth of Scotland.

I first met Allison when she was election agent for Jim Sillars in the historic Govan By-Election of 1988. She shot to prominence due to the outstanding organisational success of that campaign. However as a young activist it was the personal touch that Allison had in spades that stays with me. She remembered every activists name and had a task for each and every one.
Not long after that Allison became the party’s National Organiser based in the old SNP HQ at North Charlotte Street and I’m sure like many SNP members in Edinburgh she was a great resource to gain knowledge   from. I’m sure she listened to a large number of harebrained theories but always responded with positive comment, gently guiding enthusiasm to more constructive ends. She had a great smile and a twinkle in her eye – she was a hard woman to argue with!

My memory of Allison will always strongly feature the guidance, advice, practical support and humour she afforded me when I was the SNP candidate in the Leith Harbour by election in 1996. It was a long campaign and Allison was on hand every day giving pointers on canvassing, assessing our returns and helping with campaign materials. Her support to me and my election agent Hilary Brown played a huge part in my subsequent victory. Allison was not there the night I won – she was at another Council by election where allegedly our prospects were better! I still remember her joy when I phoned her to tell her I’d won by 45 votes.

Over the years that followed I got to know her better as I carried out roles as Constituency Convener, Vetting Convener and Organiser attending various training sessions led by Allison. She always made herself available, listening carefully to your concerns and setting you on the right course. These were talents that will have served her well when she later became a Glasgow Councillor.

I remember walking into the campaign rooms in the Glasgow East by election and Allison saying, ‘Ah, Rob you’re an experienced canvasser – I’ve a job for you’. I knew I was in for an interesting day. Needless to say with Allison involved as Election Agent we won that one too.

Allison was an inspiration and she will be sorely missed.

Monday, 25 February 2013

The 'Greening' of Western Harbour

Leith & Newhaven SNP Councillor Adam McVey recently posted a guest blog on the Greener Leith website regarding the temporary 'greening' of Western Harbour. Leith SNP reproduce the blog post below.

One of the first visits I made to a constituent after being elected was to a couple living at Windrush Drive.

I had talked about improving Western Harbour during the Council election and my constituents wanted to know how to progress the idea of greening vacant future development sites.

Over the last 8 months I’ve been pushing for a greening project in Western Harbour and now the first phase is close to breaking ground.

Port of Leith Housing Association is in discussion with Forth Ports with a view to leasing the site which will enable them to take on the maintenance for the 2 hectare ‘school site’. The Edinburgh & Lothians and Greenspace Trust is leading the project, having secured funding from the Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund, along with some Council money, to pay for the necessary top soil, seed and tree planting.

The project aims to convert a large area of what the residents currently refer to as ‘the wastelands’ into a green space for the whole community. It’s hoped the new green space will bring what has sometimes been a disparate and somewhat detached community closer together.

The work to ‘green’ the area will only take a few weeks but then the work to transform the site into a community asset can begin.

This will be a 2 hectare blank canvas that the community can project their aspirations onto. Suggestions from residents have already included benches, community growing space, marked out football pitches and designated wildlife areas. Whichever ideas are implemented it will be for local people in Western Harbour and beyond to decide how to get the most from THEIR new green space.

There are a huge number of benefits from a greening project like this. The ambition is that this becomes a community space which raises spirits at Western Harbour and encourages future development on other gap sites. Western Harbour has the potential to supply a large number of desperately needed houses on brown field land which can soak up some of Edinburgh’s housing demand and help protect more sections of Edinburgh’s green built from future development.

The School site greening project will begin in March and won’t take long until completion. However, this is only phase one of fulfilling Western Harbour’s potential as Edinburgh’s northern city floating on the water. There’s still a huge amount of work still to do in order to get other gap sites greened, to get the new park built and to get the rest of the development itself built.

The hope is that a 2 hectare greening project might just be the catalyst needed to bring that development closer to reality.

You can find more background to the Western Harbour temporary greening project here.

Cllr Adam McVey, SNP Councillor for Leith ward

Thanks to Greener Leith for the original article. You can find out more about Greener Leith here.

News of this project was picked up by the Evening News. You can read that article here.

Friday, 9 November 2012

'Yes Scotland' campaign street stall

Leith SNP will be hosting a 'Yes Scotland' campaign street stall on Saturday 10th November. Supporters will be meeting from 10.30am onwards to speak to shoppers and seek signatures on the Independence Declaration. 

Friday, 21 September 2012

Leith SNP Statement on SNP Defence Policy Debate at SNP National Conference, October 2012

On 19 September Leith SNP Branch agreed, by consensus not mandate, to send a full complement of delegates (6) to Party Conference to vote in favour of existing SNP defence policy. Having debated the proposal to retain NATO membership at several meetings the branch believes:

·         A newly independent Scotland will have a unique and crucial role to play in nuclear disarmament and international relations.

·         Our ability to disarm and remove Trident from Scotland and our policy to join the NATO affiliate group Partnership for Peace* are vital elements of our bid to persuade people to vote Yes in the Independence Referendum.

·         NATO membership is not compatible with disarming and removing Trident from Scotland. Leasing or selling part of Scotland to NATO or the RUK so that Trident can stay at Faslane is not an acceptable option.

·         Membership of the Partnership for Peace alongside nations such as Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Austria, and Switzerland will allow Scotland to build an individual relationship with NATO, choosing our own priorities for cooperation. We will continue to work with our NATO allies as the 22 existing Partnership for Peace member countries do.

Hilary Brown, Secretary of Leith SNP said

‘Leith SNP is proud of the SNP’s ethical and practical defence policy of joining Partnership for Peace, a policy which will enable us to co-operate with our friends and allies in NATO when we choose, but which allows us to disengage from a military alliance based on the first strike use of nuclear weapons. We are also fully committed to the SNP’s policy of nuclear disarmament and it is clear from all that we have read and studied that NATO membership is not compatible with disarming and removing Trident from Scotland. Leasing or selling part of Scotland to NATO or the RUK so that Trident can stay at Faslane is not an acceptable option. We applaud the party for engaging in such a substantive and respectful debate on this crucial issue and we believe delegates should be clear on these points when they vote.’

For more details call Hilary Brown on 0131 555 2937 or Cllr Adam McVey on 0771 866 6456

*The Partnership for Peace (PfP) is a programme of practical bilateral cooperation between individual Euro-Atlantic partner countries and NATO. It allows partners to build up an individual relationship with NATO, choosing their own priorities for cooperation. (, September 2012)

Friday, 31 August 2012

Leith SNP on Facebook

Leith SNP have a new Facebook page for members, supporters and those just interested in what the SNP are doing in Leith. Please visit and like to keep up to date with the campaign for Independence in Leith.