Scottish Rural Parliament confirms programme
With just a few days left to go until the inaugural Scottish Rural Parliament takes place over three-days in Oban this year, the full programme is now available to the public. There is plenty to interest any of the estimated 1 million people who live and work in rural Scotland, but the key message from organisers at the moment is that this is an incredible opportunity for rural Scotland to tackle some of the challenges it faces.
Chair John Hutchison said “Underlying what should be an exciting and fun three days is a serious purpose. We need to examine the issues facing rural communities as distinct to those facing urban communities. Not because they are more important, but because they are often different. Together we can share ideas, inspire each other and identify solutions. We can share these with the very people who make decisions as well as taking back our actions and ideas to our communities. The event is backed by Scottish Government and a number of policy officials, MSPs and MPs will be in attendance, alongside 300 people from rural communities.”
The event backed by sponsor Caledonian MacBrayne, has keynote speakers including Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Mr Richard Lochhead MSP, Dr Carol Craig from the Centre for Confidence and Wellbeing and Cllr David O’Neill speaking in his role as the Chair of the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy.
There are some difficult decisions for participants to make. The visits programme includes trips to the islands of Mull and Lismore, the Scottish Association of Marine Science, Stramash and the community-owned Atlantis Leisure Centre. Alongside the visits there is an exciting range of fringe events taking place, all proposed and led by people attending and covering topics as diverse as land reform with Lesley Riddoch, improving governance, forestry, health care and young people.
The key theme workshops, focused on those topics determined by the Rural Parliament as being of greatest importance to those living and working in rural Scotland, include transport, business, local democracy and strengthening communities.
The exhibition contains forty-four exhibitors showcasing a broad mixture of organisations, from Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Scottish Natural Heritage, to Scotland’s Rural College and Community Land Scotland, plus a variety of local projects.
The entertainment line-up is also impressive, with Karen Matheson from super-band Capercaillie singing on Thursday night and local band Skippinish performing on Friday night.
There a few last places becoming available for this event and if you want to attend, there are more details on the Scottish Rural Parliament website: www.scottishtruralparliament.org.uk/events/scottish-rural-parliament
Note to Editors:
For more information about the Scottish Rural Parliament, see the FAQ page on our website or call John Hutchison on 07768 537698 or Emma Cooper on 07896 216236.