SNP MEP Back In Inverness

19 February 2008
"SNP Delivering In Highlands And In Europe"

SNP Member of the European Parliament Mr Alyn Smith has been back in Inverness on the campaign trail and checking in to his office in Station Square Inverness.

Mr Smith met with folk in Inverness, addressed a packed Annual General Meeting of Inverness East SNP Branch and campaigned in the Elgin Southby election.

Mr Smith praised the Highland Council Independent/SNPAdministration for the smooth delivery of a budget freezing council tax across the Highlands.


Speaking to the meeting Mr Smith said:

"You know the reaction you get when you are on the continent and people assume you are English, then when they find out you are Scottish you get a different, invariably more positive reaction? I get that every day of the week in the European Parliament, Scotland has friends all over Europe and people in high places only too willing to do us favours.

"And the SNP is a team across all chambers and Parliaments we need to be represented in, and think about how Scotland has changed, in theHighlands particularly. In the space of a year we have gone from having a few councillors and the opposition in Holyrood to being in administration in Highland Council and the Government of Scotland. And it is this success which will let us build a new relationship with the EU, and indeed with the people of Scotland.

"Freezing council tax is a massive step on the road to scrapping it altogether and replacing it with a fair tax based on ability to pay.The abolition of tolls on the Tay and Forth bridges has been talked about for long enough, but we have actually delivered it.

"And in Europe I have seen a step shift in the way Scotland is regarded. We were always liked and always well thought of, but now we have something to say. The Highlands has a godsent natural advantage in renewable energy, but where the previous Executive talked the talk but tagged along with London, we are actually putting together acomprehensive strategy that will allow us to maximise this potential.

"It is exciting times, and I'm delighted to hear that SNP membership inthe Highlands is rocketing, and with good reason. We have lots of work still to do, but we're up for it."