Engagement can result in a wide range of actions, including parliamentary debate, changes to law and policy direction.
Alex Fergusson, MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries said:
“When an issue matters, and when it is within Holyrood’s power to help, engaging with MSPs and the Scottish Parliament can be a direct way for individuals, community groups and organisations to be heard.”
Mr Fergusson continued:
“We want to make sure that people from across Dumfries and Galloway know how to engage with us, their local MSPs, and to know that the Scottish Parliament belongs to them. The conference is all about helping make sure their voice is heard. I hope to meet many people from across the South West who feel strongly about an issue, so I can share a range of ways the Scottish Parliament can help make a positive difference to people’s lives in their local community, or even throughout Scotland.”
Elaine Murray, MSP for Dumfriesshire said:
“We’re looking forward to meeting as many local community organisations, charities, social enterprises, tenants and residents groups, local campaign organisations, volunteers and youth groups as possible. But we also want to hear from individuals with an important issue to share. Only by hearing from people who have perhaps never been involved with the Parliament or politics before can we continue to raise the profile of a wide variety of important issues and give the people of Dumfries and Galloway a voice.”
In addition to Ms Murray and Mr Ferguson, other MSPs leading workshops on the day include Chic Brodie, MSP for South Scotland; John Wilson, MSP for Central Scotland; Graeme Pearson, MSP for South Scotland and Aileen McLeod, Minister for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform.
Joyce Harkness is a campaigner and social enterprise manager from Hightae near Lochmaben. She said:
"It's great news that the Communities Conference is coming to Dumfries. I would encourage anyone who wants to kick-start getting their voice heard at the Scottish Parliament to come to Easterbrook Hall on the 21st.”
"I've attended Scottish Parliament community workshops in the past and they've been invaluable. When I was campaigning for better rural transport for older people across Dumfries and Galloway, working with the Parliament really helped get our issues raised in a positive way. The MSPs and Parliamentary staff really listen and have great ideas and practical advice that's specially tailored to your campaign. The sheer range of ways you can engage with Parliament can be a real eye-opener."
Scottish Parliament Communities Conference: Understanding & Influencing Your Parliament
Saturday 21st February (10am-3.30pm) Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries
A range of workshops – led by MSPs and expert panellists - all focusing on practical ways to get your issues raised at Holyrood:
- Engaging with Committees
- Cross Party Groups
- Submitting a Public Petition
- Holding an event or exhibition at Holyrood
- Working with local media
- Social media
- Help Me to Help You: an MSPs view
Completely free of charge. Lunch and refreshments provided. Transport costs reimbursed.
Booking is essential. Email Alice Noble at the Scottish Parliament: [email protected] Tel: 0131 348 5401
For further details on the Scottish Parliament Communities Conference and Dumfries Parliament Day:
Or Follow us on Twitter: #PDDumfries
Photographs of the event will be available free of charge.