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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:16 pm 
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The following MSPs are asking questions in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday that are Forest connected. I would recommend that as many folk as possible contact these politicians, pointing out that the issue they are raising has connections to the Forest. Out of the three folk in question, only Sarah Boyack is an Edinburgh MSP but you could always point out to the other pair’s city colleagues about the connection.

Sarah Boyack (Edinburgh Central): To ask the Scottish Executive what recent discussions it has had with Historic Scotland regarding the former Odeon Cinema on Clerk Street, Edinburgh. (S3O-13216)
Contact details – http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/MSP/MembersPages/sarah_boyack/contact.htm

Elaine Murray (Dumfries, Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive what the powers and responsibilities of Historic Scotland and local authorities are regarding the protection of historic buildings. (S3O-13241)
Johann Lamont (Glasgow Pollok, Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive what support is provided to community arts initiatives. (S3O-13230)

You can find out the names and contact details of the MSPs who represent you from this link.
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msp/membersPages/MSPAddressPostcodeFinder.htm.

Happy to draft a template letter to send if needed but won’t get a chance until this evening.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:55 pm 
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Nice one Keni. I think drafting a letter would be great.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:21 am 
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Apologies, only just seen Shannon's comment. Below is the email I've sent to Boyack & the Lothians MSPs, feel free to adapt & use.

Remember to edit the first line when sending it to other MSPs to something like "I was pleased to see Sarah Boyack is raising the issue of the former Odeon Cinema on Clerk Street at Question Time this week, S3O-13216."

SUBJECT: Links to Sarah Boyack's PQ S3O-13216
Dear Ms Boyack

I was pleased to see that you were raising the issue of the former Odeon Cinema on Clerk Street at Question Time this week, S3O-13216. I was wondering if you were aware that there is a link to this subject with the Forest’s current situation. As you probably know, the Forest is Edinburgh’s unique, free and freely-accessible multi-arts venue and café. The current location is for sale due to the bankruptcy of the landlords, EUS. Volunteers and supporters are seeking to raise money to buy the listed historic building at Bristo Place rather than see it sold to developers and transformed into another generic coffee shop or bar.

Is it possible to raise this issue during Question Time in a supplementary question? If not, I notice that your party colleagues Elaine Murray (S3O-13241) and Johann Lamont (S3O-13230) are asking questions this week that are linked to the Forest’s current situation. Would you mind forwarding them on information regarding the campaign and say that a constituent has raised the issue?

For more information on the Forest and the campaign to save it, please see http://blog.theforest.org.uk/savetheforest or contact fundraising@theforest.org.uk.

Many thanks for your help with this issue and I look forward to listening to the Minister’s answer to your question on the Odeon.

Yours sincerely

Ken O’Neill

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:27 am 
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Jakers, almost forgot to say. If you do email Fiona Hyslop, one the of the SNP's Lothians MSP, edit the sentances about asking a supplementary & the Minister's reply. Until Wednesday 23 March, she IS the Minister.

Also, only one of the Lothians MSPs is a party colleague of these MSPs and that's George Foulkes. For the others, I've said "I notice that Elaine Murray (S3O-13241) and Johann Lamont (S3O-13230) are asking questions this week that are linked to the Forest’s current situation. Is it possible to raise the Forest’s campaign during Question Time in a supplementary question?"

Apologies, I'm tired & choked with the cold.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:18 am 
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great work Keni!!!!!!!!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:54 pm 
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Sadly the Forest didn't get mentioned during Questions Time, but details of the campaign were sent to Fiona Hyslop's Government office for her attention.

Malcolm Chisholm, the Labour MSP for Edinburgh North and Leith, replied saying he was unable to attend Question Time but he does support our campaign. I suggested that he could show this support by linking to the petition or the Save the Forest page on Facebook. As always, if you don't ask you won't get.

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Cut the crap & make it happen.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:36 pm 
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Ask him to try and pass a motion of support in the Parliament! It can be done and would be good cred/useful in campaign. We had one for Reel Festivals before by Aileen Campbell...
D x

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:42 pm 
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There's not enough time before dissolution (23 March) to get a Members' Debate on the subject, which would result in a worthwhile Motion. However, it is something we could push for after the election.

Meanwhile, Shirley-Anne Somerville has replied saying that she supports the Forest's campaign and will get in touch "to make my support known and if there are specific issues they wish me to raise I will be happy to hear from them." Something to hold her to at the least. Anybody know if she has contacted the campaign yet?

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Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes. (Oscar Wilde)

Cut the crap & make it happen.


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