MSP Connector Programme 2019: Connecting MSPs with Scotland's Towns

Now in its fifth year, Scotland’s Towns Partnership and the Cross Party Group on Towns and Town Centres are encouraging MSPs to take a day during Parliamentary Recess to visit towns in their constituency or region as part of the MSP Connector Programme.

MSPs are welcome to take part by spending a day in their local area, connecting and sharing with local businesses and the community.

We are also seeking interest from town centre managers, Improvement Districts, community groups, local business organisations and other town stakeholders to host an MSP for the day in their town.

We want to raise the profile of our towns to MSPs and this is an important campaign to celebrate and raise awareness of the opportunities and barriers our towns face. Scotland's cities and small and rural towns and settlements are also welcome to take part.

You can invite your MSP to take part in a visit. The visit may include a walk around, presentation, lunch, work experience or something a little more creative! We are looking for lots of tweets, photos and highlights from the visits to help us raise the profile of Scotland’s towns.

By sharing your experiences with STP, we can disseminate these with the wider towns’ network and add to best practice examples for all to access. You can follow MSP visits including photos and twitter interaction on our MSP Town Connectors live blog

Cross Party Group on Towns and Scotland's Towns Partnership Invitations to Participate

John Scott MSP, Convenor of the Cross Party Group on Towns and Town Centres, encouraged MSPs to participate in this year's programme:

"The majority of Scotland’s population lives in towns and smaller settlements. Vibrant towns are key to the prosperity and wellbeing of communities across the country, with each town having its own unique identity and history which should be recognised and celebrated.

I welcome the MSP Connector Programme as a positive initiative to raise the profile of our towns. I encourage MSPs to visit their local towns during the summer recess in order to connect with local communities, to learn about current challenges and successes, and to discover all that our towns and town centres have to offer."

Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland's Towns Partnership, emphasised the benefits for communities of getting their elected representatives more involved and aware of local issues, stating:

"Scotland's Town's Partnership is excited to run the MSP Town Connector Programme once again. This is a great way to build links between elected representatives and towns, and help communities raise awareness of local initiatives, opportunities and challenges. We encourage all town, rural and city district-based organisations to consider hosting an MSP and getting in touch with STP to help arrange this".

How to Get Involved

Scotland’s Towns Partnership along with the Cross Party Group on Towns and Town Centres are keen to hear about the activity taking place in towns across Scotland and we would be delighted if you’d like to take part using the following steps:

1) Ask your MSP to help you raise the profile of your town;

2) Host your MSP during Parliamentary Recess (30 June – 1 September 2019);

3) Show your MSP the opportunities and concerns for your town centre, its businesses and the community;

4) Share your town’s story with the Scotland’s Towns Network.

For further information contact Rhona Brown via rhona@scotlandstowns.org 

To provide us with the necessary information and help with the organisation of your visit, please see the points below to help you plan your visit:

Before

Please confirm your participation by return of email to rhona@scotlandstowns.org. In the email please include; the town where the visit is taking place, what activity you will undertake within the town (work/leisure activity), what date(s) you will be in the town and a contact email address/phone number to reach you on. If applicable, please provide your Twitter handle.

During

You can use the hashtag #MSPTownTime on social media accounts to connect with the towns network. Take pictures of your experience/town, capture it on camera, engage with local press and media - anything to promote and celebrate the town you are visiting. We’ll support your promotional efforts across social media, online and on the towns portal.

After

Upon completion of the visit to the chosen town, please feel to send us any photographs and 300 words outlining the visit to rhona@scotlandstowns.org. These will be used our multi-media story, where we’ll capture tweets, pictures, stories and feedback. We will provide you with the link to your experience, where there will be further opportunity to engage with the wider towns network and communities across Scotland.

You can follow MSP visits including photos and twitter interaction on our MSP Town Connectors multi-media story.

Join the discussion on Twitter @ScotlandsTowns #MSPTownTime.

A few highlights from the 2018 MSP Town Connector Programme

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Your Town: Clean, Green, Sustainable and Healthier [Non-Member Booking]

Join Scotland’s Towns Partnership to discuss the importance of creating and promoting spaces for active and healthy communities; encouraging people to engage with the places they live in; and the potential for added-value for the local economy.    

  • Key context speakers on national support and advice.
  • Practical planning toolkit exercise.
  • Town surgery sessions - seek out solutions and ideas for your town.
  • Exchange news and ideas with Scotland’s towns community of practitioners.

Attendance is free for STP members, and £50+VAT for non-members. Not a member? Join now and enjoy all-year-round access to free learning events; being part of a community of practitioners; and a range of toolkits and funding supports! View speakers and agenda.

Non-members can purchase a ticket below.

STP members can RSVP here

more details
Your Town: Clean, Green, Sustainable and Healthier

Join Scotland’s Towns Partnership to discuss the importance of creating and promoting spaces for active and healthy communities; encouraging people to engage with the places they live in; and the potential for added-value for the local economy.    

  • Key context speakers on national support and advice.
  • Practical planning toolkit exercise.
  • Town surgery sessions - seek out solutions and ideas for your town.
  • Exchange news and ideas with Scotland’s towns community of practitioners.

Attendance is free for STP members, and £50+VAT for non-members. Not a member? Join now and enjoy all-year-round access to free learning events; being part of a community of practitioners; and a range of toolkits and funding supports! 

STP members can RSVP below.

Non-members can purchase a ticket here

 

AGENDA

13:30​    Coffee

14:00    Welcome. Scotland’s Towns Partnership

Phil Prentice, Chief Executive, Scotland’s Towns Partnership (Event Chair)

Phil will update on the work of STP and share the range of resources, supports and partners available to help your town.

14:05    The Place Standard Tool – An Introduction and How-to Session

NHS Health Scotland to be announced

14:30   Urban Green Infrastructure: Making Healthy, Prosperous Places

Ivan Clark, Placemaking Team Manager, Scottish Natural Heritage

14:45    Keep Scotland Beautiful and Our Towns

Keep Scotland Beautiful Representative to be announced

15:05    Scotland’s Most Beautiful High Street

Are you passionate about your town centre, and feel your high street has something unique to offer? Has there been positive local work or change taking place in your community? We’d love to hear about it as part of the search for Scotland’s Most Beautiful High Street 2019!

The deadline for entries is 5pm on Monday 30 September 2019. Entries will be shortlisted and the winner will then be chosen by an online public vote hosted at www.scotlandstowns.org.

15:10    Q & A

15:20    Coffee Top up

15:30    Quickfire Intros to our Surgery Experts

15:35    Surgery Sessions. Experts move on to next group every 15 minutes.

  • greenspace scotland - Ea O’Neill, Programme Manager
  • Living Streets Scotland – Penny Morriss, Project Manager (Communities) (invited)
  • Zero Waste Scotland – Lesley Ure, Project Development Officer (invited)
  • Keep Scotland Beautiful -

16:30    Close

 

 

 

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Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS) Annual Conference & AGM 2019

Development Trusts: People, Place, Progress!

Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld
Sunday 1st & Monday 2nd of September

We are delighted to announce that you can now book your place/places at the DTA Scotland Annual Conference & AGM 2019 #DTAS19

You can book via the DTAS Website and if you have any questions please contact aileen@dtascot.org.uk

We hope that you are as excited about the programme as we are and look forward to seeing you there.

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Cross Party Group on Towns Meeting: Towns for Leisure

Join Scotland's Towns Partnership and the Cross Party Group on Towns and Town Centres for the next meeting of the group. The session will focus on ‘Towns for Leisure’, and how a variety of activities and attractors can increase community wellbeing, cultural vibrancy and bring additional footfall. The meeting will also incorporate the Annual General Meeting of the Cross Party Group. 

Come along to hear expert speakers, inspiring initiatives, and network with a range of supporters and stakeholders in towns and improvement districts. Refreshments provided.

Please see draft agenda and RSVP your place below if you are able to attend.

 

Draft Agenda

12:30           Meet in Parliament reception area

13:00            Coffee, tea and shortbread available

13:10            Welcome and Opening Remarks – John Scott MSP, Convener

13:15            Minutes of the Meeting of the Cross Party Group held 13th March, 2019. Matters Arising from the Minutes.

13:20            AGM Business

Towns for Leisure

13:30            Introduction

                     Phil Prentice, Chief Officer, Scotland’s Towns Partnership

13:40            Your Cinema, Your Community

                     Robert Livingston, Director, Regional Screen Scotland

13:50            Fitness Festivals and Footfall

                     Colin Moulson, BID Manager, Dunoon Presents

14:00            Try it, Live it, Love it: Events and Town Centres

                     Tony I’Anson, BID Manger, Milngavie BID

14:10            Discussion

14:25            Any Other Competent Business

14:30            Close of Meeting

Date of Next Meeting: Wednesday 11th December, Towns: Vacant Spaces Made Good

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Sponsored By …Connecting Scotland's Towns