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 firstname.lastname@example.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:
Please confirm your participation by return of email to email@example.com. 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.
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.
Upon completion of the visit to the chosen town, please feel to send us any photographs and 300 words outlining the visit to firstname.lastname@example.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