The Wee Ginger Dug

We are delighted to have Paul Kavanagh, blogger and The National columnist, join us at our June Branch meeting.   Members of other branches are most welcome to come along and more details will be published nearer the time.

To learn more about the wee dug just click on his photo.

Other speakers are being organised and to keep up to date just go to our Events page on this website.





28 January, Torryburn Hall
7.30pm to 11pm
All Welcome

Live music, excellent company and great banter.
Rabbie would have loved it.

Pay at the door:  Adults £10 and children free.

Included in the fee are haggis neeps and tatties and if you wish to bring along a dessert and cheese/biscuits please feel free to do so.    BYOB

Contributions to the raffle will be gratefully received.

Please advise numbers (adults and children) by Thursday, 26 January to

November 2016 Branch Meeting Report

We had two very good speakers at this meeting.

The first to speak was Brian Goodall, SNPimage Group Leader on Fife Council who spoke on the possible branch affiliation to CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament). Brian has been a member of CND for some time and has represented Fife Council on the NFLA (Nuclear Free Local Authorities) organisation.

CND’s strategic objectives are:
a) the elimination of British nuclear weapons and global abolition of nuclear weapons
b) abolition of other threats of mass destruction
c) nuclear free, less militarised and more secure Europe and
d) the closure of the nuclear power industry.

To learn more of CND’s activities go to

There is also a Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Scottish CND) which aligns with these objectives.    To learn more of what they do go to

Ways in which these organisation have assisted us in this region are:
a)  reports on possible radioactivity waste from the processes involved in fracking.
b)  supporting Fife Council in negotiating with the Ministry of Defence regarding the radioactive presence in Dalgety Bay.
c)  what happens to the radioactive debris from the dismantling of obsolete submarines in Rosyth Dockyard and what are the MoD’s plans for disposal.
d)  campaigning against radioactive waste being transported on roads in highly populated areas of Scotland.  This may be pertinent to c) above.

We have all of this in our “backyard” so it is something for real consideration.   Come along to our next meeting and let us have your views and vote on whether we should become affiliated.

SAS and NSOur next speaker was our MSP and Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville.

Shirley-Anne is delighted to be part of John Swinney’s Education team in Holyrood.   She has been working closely with John and the other members of the Education team on closing the attainment gap and this will be the key objective for that team.  Regular updates on their progress can be found on

In order to meet job demand and to build our economy we must ensure we have appropriately skilled people in place.   It has been identified that we need more skilled personnel, particularly in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).   The majority of people studying these subjects are young men and there is a drive to encourage young women to enter into this skills path too.

The Autumn statement will be issued shortly and this will effect the budget being announced by our Finance Minister.   It is clear that there will continue to be cuts from Westminster which will impact our Scottish budget but the Scottish Government will continue to protect key areas such as health and police budgets.

In West Fife specifically:

a)    Shirley-Anne is a member of the Longannet Task Force and she updated the audience on its activities.
b)   She is also supporting the creation of the West Fife Rail Link between Dunfermline and Kincardine and beyond and will keep us updated on progress.
c)  One of her researchers is looking into what can be done to attract further tourism to both Dunfermline and West Fife.
d)  Held a meeting with Phil Verster of Scotrail to discuss an improved rail service in Fife.      There is an article in the Dunfermline Press which gives more detail on this subject and can be accessed at

There was a wide-ranging Q&A session covering a variety of topics e.g. the Edinburgh airport expansion consultation particularly in relation to new flight paths, student accommodation costs, abuse on social media, budget cuts and Scottish Power’s plans for the Longannet site.

Please note there is no branch meeting in December.






Creation of Branch Policy Group

Media and Comms Off.
Chris Hanlon
Political Education Officer
West Fife and Coastal Villages


One of the responsibilities of this role is to keep members informed about how the Party works and to manage the process of policy development at branch level.

The following is a message from Chris to all our “armchair activists and keyboard warriors”.

I know a lot of you are new members of the Party since the 2014 Referendum, like myself, or are supporters of the Party who don’t necessarily have the skills or temperament for campaigning or the desire to get involved in the dry business of branch administration.  However, I bet most of you still yell at the TV screen at least once a week or spend an hour setting the world to rights with your ideas of what you would do if only you were in charge!

I would also be willing to bet that a fair number of you feel that some of the Party’s policies could do with being changed for the better.  Well, here’s your chance to have your say.

Our branch is setting up a Policy Group.  It’s going to be a regular, informal forum for members of the branch to learn about how the Party functions, how policy is developed and to participate in the process of forming the policies that might well shortly be the foundations of an independent Scotland.

We, as a party, are also about to enter into a process of internal reform and there will be an opportunity to learn how things function now and to have your say about how things could be improved in the future.

Initial plans are to have regular meetings, starting next Sunday, probably in the Glen Tavern in Dunfermline, although that is open to change if anybody has a better suggestion.   Hopefully, we can fit in another session at a different time and day to make it as easy as possible for everybody to have a chance to participate and any feedback you might have about that suggestion will also be gratefully received.   You can get in touch by emailing me at

If you are interested in taking part in our Policy Group then drop me a line and if there is anything else I can do for you don’t hesitate to let me know.

Please note, that if you are new to our branch please take your membership card with you to the meeting.

6 November 2016.

Branch Officers 2016/2017

We held our Branch AGM on Thursday, 15th September which was chaired by Douglas Chapman MP and we thank Douglas for attending.

As per party rules existing Branch Officers stood down and could stand for re-election if they wished.    We want to thank our Officers for their hard work and commitment over the last 12 months which was particularly challenging as we were a brand new branch and had to start from scratch.

Our members elected their Branch Officers at the AGM for the next 12 months and here they are:

Convener:    Willie Gavin
Deputy Convener:    Robert Dennis
Secretary:    Alison Anderson
Treasurer:   Lucian Marshall
Membership Secretary:   Fiona Thompson
Organiser:    Derek Glen
Women’s Officer:   Vicky Hanlon
Political Education Officer:   Chris Hanlon
Equalities and Youth Officer:   Gaela Hanlon
Minutes Secretary:   Eve Thorburn
Fundraiser:   Jennie Smith
Parliamentary Liaison Officer: Rob Thompson
Communications Team:   Heather Dennis and Doris Pike

We want to thank all branch members who attended the AGM and wish the new Officers every success for the next 12 months.

Whisky Tasting Evening

whisky tasting10th September 2016
19.30 for 20.00

Torryburn Community Centre

£5 entry:  £10 for tasters (includes entry)
(pay at door).

Please contact Jennie Smith on to advise the number in your party and how many are tasters.

If you are not a Taster please BYOB and all donations are welcome for our fundraising raffle.

Our food theme is “Food for all Nations”.   If you wish to contribute please bring an international COLD dish for 4 people.

This should be a fun night for members and your guests.




An entertaining day out in Perth

by Chris Hanlon

So Cllr Kate Stewart and I spent the day acting as the branch delegates at today’s National Council session in Perth.

It was a productive meeting with excellent speeches from both John Swinney and Nicola Sturgeon.

All the resolutions on the agenda were passed although the final one proposing a method for promoting gender balance in the selection process for next year’s council elections inspired spirited debate.  In the end the remit back failed and it passed with amendments A,C and D applied to it.

Unfortunately debate of the other motions was badly truncated by a lack of time.  This was partly down to the expectation that resolution 6, on gender balance,  would take a lot of time but also down to a lot of time being wasted on procedural issues during Office Bearer’s reports.

I don’t envy Derek Mackay his role as business convener, it is a thankless task that must be nothing but a headache.  But if he can keep us rabble in line he’ll do fine managing the nation’s finances…

So, only proposers and seconders of the other five unopposed resolutions were able to speak.  I was therefore only able to speak on the resolution I had seconded, resolution 5 on the Standing Orders and Agenda Committee.  I had also prepared remarks on resolution 4 on a Scottish Press Commission.

What I was able to say on the future of SOAC was very well received and may have been the only contribution all day that did not run over its allocated time…

(For anyone that is interested I will also upload the text of my contribution in a separate post.)

A number of dates and events that might be of interest to members were announced today.

Annual Conference will be held from 13th to 15th October 2016 in the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow.  Deadline for submission of resolutions is the 1st of July.  Anyone wishing to make a submission will need to send a draft to the Branch Secretary by the 8th of June at the latest so that it can be included on the agenda for the branch meeting on the 16th of June.

Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh has announced a Convention for those interested in being selected for election to the Council next May.  It will be held on the 25th June at Ayr Racecourse.  I think this event is open to all members although full details will become available in due course.

The next National Council meeting will be held on Saturday 3rd December.  I may struggle to make that date due to work commitments so anybody else willing to take a shift at this event should speak up at the next Branch Meeting.