Local decision for local communities, urges Swinney

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary, is to address the SNP conference saying that local communities should be trusted with making ‘the big decisions about their own future’.

Swinney is to say that the SNP will ‘put national interest first’ by devolving more power to a local level., reconnecting local government and communities.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, Swinney said: “We have a fantastic opportunity in Scotland - particularly in the post referendum climate - to engage and motivate community solutions to the challenges that we face as a country.

"We want to fulfil our manifesto commitment to engage in the local democratisation of Scotland and the empowerment of our communities."

This follows First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s opening speech at the conference where she outlined proposals for a new independence referendum bill.

She said: "I am determined that Scotland will have the ability to reconsider the question of independence and to do so before the UK leaves the EU - if that is necessary to protect our country's interests. So, I can confirm today that the Independence Referendum Bill will be published for consultation next week."

The first Scottish independence referendum, which took place on 18 September, 2014, resulted in 55 per cent of voters saying ‘no’ and voting against independence.