Sunday, 4 May 2008

First year in government...

One year on…! And what a year of achievement it has been for the SNP and for the Scottish Government - delivering on the key issues of concern for the people of Scotland and showing them what the SNP can do on their behalf while the Scottish Labour party disintegrates into complete disarray.

Photos: In Central Fife with MSP Tricia Marwick (top) and local Councillors and key activists (bottom) celebrating our one year anniversary

The "Where were you when the SNP won its historic victory in May 2007" is one of those questions that will be asked for years to come.

For me, I was sitting in Tricia Marwick’s living room having spent most of that Friday at the count for the local elections in Fife and watched every one of the SNP Councillor candidates come home as elected Councillors – that in itself was a fantastic victory and to see Tricia Marwick win the constituency seat for Central Fife. I had spent most of the campaign actively out an about between Stirling, the Ochils, Fife and Edinburgh and can honestly say I had a great time working within those different campaigns with a fantastic and extremely hard working group of people.

With the ongoing fiasco from the night before, the Scottish Parliament results were still coming in as we stood in Fife Sports Centre and it was breathtaking to hear Jim Mather had taken Argyll and Bute and then Kenny MacAskill, Edinburgh East - both well deserved and fantastic victories in themselves. When we levelled with Labour at 46-46 the tension was immense and then the infamous text that landed on Tricia Marwick's mobile to say we had won with Dave Thompson through on the Highlands and Islands list in addition to Rob Gibson - what a feeling. Then it was off to the local curry house in Markinch for a celebratory dinner before heading back down to Edinburgh to join the celebrations there where there was still very much a sense of shock at what the party had just achieved.

One year on and I was back in Central Fife at the invitation of Tricia Marwick for a celebratory dinner last night at the Plough Inn in Star, on the outskirts of Markinch and what a great night it was with Tricia, some of our local Councillors and key activists who worked so hard and who continue to work hard on behalf of the people of Fife.

As a reminder, here are some of the things which the
SNP Government has delivered in its first year governing Scotland:

  • abolished road tolls for the Forth and Tay Road Bridges

  • no more proposals for ship-to-ship oil transfers in the Firth of Forth

  • a freeze on Council Tax for 2008/09

  • reversed the previous Labour/Lib Dem Executive decision to close A & E departments at Ayr and Monklands hospitals

  • signed a historic concordat with COSLA, setting out a new relationship with the local authorities

  • ended the £2,289 graduate endowment

  • reduced prescription charges by 25% across Scotland, moving towards their abolition by 2011

  • launched a discussion on a new National Food policy for Scotland

  • launched consultation on a Scottish Climate Change Bill with a proposal to reduce Scottish emissions by 80% by 2050

  • introduced first phase of a Small Business Bonus Scheme

  • free personal and nursing care payments to older people in care homes rising in line with inflation

  • secured historic deal at the annual EU fisheries talks in Brussels giving Scotland control over its own days at sea as well as international recognition for our conservation credit scheme

And that's just for starters....

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