Home Rule Roadshow To Visit Dundee 5 March


26th January 2015

VOTERS should regard the Smith Commission\'s plans on more devolution as \"only the beginning\" and tell Westminster themselves what home rule for Scotland should ultimately look like.

The Campaign for Scottish Home Rule (CSHR) will today launch a nationwide roadshow on the issue, as well as a new website and online consultation, with the aim of drawing out people\'s views on the final shape of a home rule settlement.

The nationwide roadshow will visit Dundee on Thursday 5th March at Chamber East in partnership with Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce. The event will be launched on the Chamber website shortly where delegates will be able to book to attend.

The UK Government last week launched a detailed command paper on how the Smith Commission would be translated into law after the general election, which LibDem minister Danny Alexander hailed as \"the dream of Home Rule made real.

However the cross-party CSHR called the command paper a \"missed opportunity\" and \"unsustainable\", and said voters had yet to have their say on the issue and could help improve the current offering.

Hamira Khan, a member of the campaign\'s steering commission and chief executive of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said: \"The aim now is to ensure Scotland\'s constitutional future is not just a political horse trade between politicians, and the people of Scotland have their say on what that is and how it is delivered.

\"The Smith Commission proposals and Command Paper are only the beginning of this process.

\"Poll after poll now shows that the majority of people in Scotland want a fair and meaningful Home Rule settlement and what was published last week does not represent Home Rule for Scotland.\"

She said feedback from the consultation would be published before the general election on May 7.

The roadshow includes public events in Edinburgh, Stirling, Glasgow, Inverness, Dundee and Perth in February and March in collaboration with the Electoral Reform Society, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Common Weal thinktank.

SCVO chief executive Martin Sime said: \"What\'s missing is the opportunity for civil society and the wider public to analyse, critique and seek changes to the Smith Commission proposals.

\"It seems our politicians still haven\'t understood changes to the devolution settlement need to be built on a wider consensus beyond party politics. \"This roadshow is an important first step.\"

Willie Sullivan, director of the Electoral Reform Society Scotland, said: \"Cross party agreement on Smith so far has provided some progress, but there has been a failure to consult on any meaningful level. This campaign will provide one space for engagement moving forward, and that is welcome. \"Change needs to take place against a backdrop of public participation.\"

A Common Weal spokesperson added: \"It\'s vital that the devolution process is improved.

\"Our submission to the Smith Commission stated that substantial powers are needed for progressive policy solutions and to avoid inter-government conflict. The Campaign for Scottish Home Rule provides a space to support this change.\"

The Campaign for Scottish Home Rule was launched in November by financier Ben Thomson, the chair of the Reform Scotland thinktank who previously set up the Devo Plus group to call for more powers.

The steering group includes former Labour First Minister Henry McLeish, former LibDem MSP Margaret Smith, former Tory MSP Derek Brownlee, former SNP MSP Andrew Wilson, former head of media for the Scottish Greens James Mackenzie, former moderator of the Church of Scotland Dr Alison Elliot, and public services academic Professor Richard Kerley.

The campaign\'s three basic principles are that Holyrood and Westminster should have the tax and borrowing powers to raise the money they spend; that there should be a presumption in favour of devolving powers and the burden of proof should be on those arguing for powers to remain reserved at Westminster; and a written constitution should underpin mutual respect between the parliaments.

Website: homerule.scot

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