THE BRECHIN branch of the Scottish National Party (SNP) held their annual general meeting last Wednesday.
Members gathered at the town’s Caledonian Hotel for the event, which was this year chaired by Montrose and District councillor, Bill Duff.
Amongst the topics discussed on the night was the SNP Council’s recent budget - which was passed with no proposed amendments by the opposition.
Also on the agenda was the ever growing ‘Yes Scotland’ movement for Scottish independence, and the upcoming SNP conference which is due to take place in Inverness on March 23 and 24.
Commenting on the AGM, Brechin and Edzell councillor, and re-elected convener, Jim Houston said: “The Brechin branch AGM is always a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the previous year, but also to look ahead to the next 12 months.
“Due to the hard work of local members it’s been another successful year for the branch, where we were fortunate enough to have two SNP councillors elected to Angus Council.
“However, minds are now very much concentrated upon securing a ‘Yes’ vote for Scottish independence in 2014, and campaigning is already well under way.”
Discussing the news that the SNP council’s budget was passed without amendment, Brechin and Edzell councillor and re-elected membership secretary, Mairi Evans, said: “That the SNP budget was passed without any formal amendment is not only testament to the hard work and judgement of the group, but also the complete indifference of councillors in opposition, who failed to draw up their own spending plans.
“Of course, given their track record, the irony of this opposition failing to provide a credible alternative will not be lost on the people of Brechin.
“Ultimately, the purpose of an opposition is to hold an administration to account on the decisions that it takes, and many people will see their actions in this instance as a dereliction of duty.”
Councillors Evans added: “We are confident that our budget will serve the people of Brechin and Angus in extremely challenging economic times”
Re-elected vice-convener Stewart Mowatt spoke about the local activities of ‘Yes Scotland’.
He commented: “Whilst the progress of the campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote in next year’s referendum is extremely heartening, what is equally encouraging is the emergence of alternative groups who share similar goals.
“Over the last few months a number of organisations such as Labour, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives for independence have emerged, showing that many people out-with the SNP see self-governance as the way forward in a modern Scotland.”