Communities must have far greater control over their local affairs

Andy Wightman MSP Sat 22 Oct, 2016

The Scottish Green Party is holding its annual conference in Perth. It will be a rather different affair to the first one I attended 20 years ago when I addressed the conference in the lounge of an Aberfeldy Guest House.

With a surge in membership and enhanced political representation, we are particularly looking forward to the 2017 local elections and the opportunity to elect many more Green councillors across Scotland to help build sustainable communities and strengthen local democracy.

Patrick Harvie: "Join our cause"

Patrick Harvie MSP Sat 22 Oct, 2016

Mark called these extraordinary political times and I was going to begin by suggesting that 2016 might just be the weirdest year in modern politics - it has been bizarre. I think my greatest sympathies this year go out to Charlie Brooker, whose Screenwipe for the year is going to have to be about six hours long in order to fit everything in! We've watched throughout the UK as – for example – the Labour Party continues on its apparent course toward meltdown. MPs who seem to want a leadership election as often as UKIP have one!

Green Conference Backs Call To Prepare for Indyref 2

Fri 21 Oct, 2016

Scottish Greens meeting at their conference in Perth today backed a call for Westminster to give Holyrood the power to call an independence referendum to protect Scotland's interests in Europe.

Members supported a motion put forward by Ross Greer MSP, the party's External Affairs spokesperson. 

The text of the condensed motion approved by conference read:

Scotland in Europe

Harvie Tells Conference Of Vital Role Ahead for Greens

Fri 21 Oct, 2016

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co convener of the Scottish Greens,  today (21 Oct) called on party members and supporters to prepare for the next independence campaign, saying that the UK people voted for in 2014 no longer exists.

Addressing the conference in Perth, Mr Harvie said:

"We find ourselves with the results of two referendums which can’t fit together. We have a 2 year old 55% mandate, and this year’s 62% mandate. Even if Better Together & the Leave campaign hadn’t lied, the UK which people voted for in 2014 no longer exists.

Communities Need Green Councillors More Than Ever

Fri 21 Oct, 2016

Local communities facing a "tumultuous time" need Green councillors more than ever, delegates attending the Scottish Green Party conference in Perth heard today (21 Oct).

Addressing the start of the party's three day gathering, Edinburgh councillor Melanie Main urged members to get involved in delivering a record result in the local government elections in just over six months' time.

Cllr Main said:

"There has never been a more tumultuous time for Local Government in Scotland. Local people need Greens now, more than ever. 

Now Implement Minimum Pricing

Fri 21 Oct, 2016

Alison Johnstone  MSP, health  spokesperson  for  the  Scottish  Greens,  today (21 Oct) welcomed the decision of the Court of Session in Edinburgh to rule against a challenge by the Scotch Whisky Association over the policy of minimum pricing of alcohol.

The SWA has stalled the policy since MSPs approved it in 2012.

Alison said:

Conference to hear Harvie call for progressive change in Scotland

Fri 21 Oct, 2016

Patrick Harvie MSP, co-convener of the Scottish Greens, will tell his party's Autumn Conference in Perth today (21 Oct) that the minority Scottish Government will not be able to sit in the political centre for the full parliamentary term and will soon have to choose between progressive support from the Greens or side with the right-wing Tories.

The audience at the Perth Concert Hall will also hear how the party, by replicating the positive result of this year's Holyrood election at next year's council elections, can transform communities by bringing power back to local people.

Westminster would be “foolish” to block indyref bill say Greens

Thu 20 Oct, 2016

The Scottish Green Party has welcomed the government’s newly published draft bill on independence. The Greens argue that the option of an independence vote is needed given the 62 percent Remain vote in Scotland, with the Westminster government refusing to show flexibility in allowing Scotland to forge its own relationship with Europe.

Scottish Greens played a prominent role in the 2014 independence referendum and also backed a remain vote in 2016. The party’s co-convener said it would be “foolish” for the Westminster government to block a fresh independence referendum.

Shift in spending needed to shift public health away from a crisis

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 14 Oct, 2016

In the run-up to the independence referendum in 2014, a question I posed pretty regularly at town hall debates across Scotland was what kind of country do we want to live in. I find myself posing that question again this week in response to a report by Cancer Research.

The report says that during the last decade almost 83,000 Scots children started primary school overweight or obese. We have one of the heaviest populations in Europe, with two in three adults overweight or obese. We spend more than a quarter more than other UK nations on sugar-laden fizzy drinks.

Action needed on social care with more people stuck in hospital

Tue 11 Oct, 2016

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (11 Oct) urged a renewed effort from the Scottish Government to ensure adequate social care provision, as figures showed a big rise in the number of people stuck in hospital waiting for care packages.

There were 1,472 people who experience delayed discharge from hospital in August, a rise of 284 people from the figure of 1,188 in August last year.

70 per cent of people experiencing a delay were aged over 75.