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13/06/14 10:55

Orkney to discuss Scotland’s Future

Culture and External Affairs Secretary to host question session in Stromness.

Those who live, work and study in Orkney will have a chance to quiz Culture and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop about the government’s plans for independence when she visits the islands next week.

The Cabinet Secretary will host a public discussion at Stromness Community Centre on Saturday June 21, from 13.00 - 14.30.

The free event will give local people an opportunity to discuss the future the Scottish Government has set out in detail in its white paper ‘Scotland’s Future’ following a vote for independence in this September’s historic referendum.

Next week’s public discussion forms part of the First Minister Alex Salmond’s commitment that between now and the referendum, people across Scotland will be able to put their questions directly to him and his Cabinet colleagues.

This will be the fifth public meeting hosted by Ms Hyslop and is one of 40 sessions that have been held by Scottish Ministers so far this year.

Ms Hyslop is keen to hear as many views as possible and will answer questions from members of the audience.

Speaking ahead of the event, Fiona Hyslop said:

“Independence offers great opportunities for the islands and I look forward to returning to Orkney to hear islanders’ views on Scotland’s Future.

“This is part of a series of Scotland-wide events which will see me and my colleagues engage with people across the country about the successful, wealthier and fairer future we can build following a vote for independence.

“The Scottish Government has already put forward its proposals for Scotland’s future and demonstrated how the powers of independence can be used to build a more prosperous and equal Scotland. It’s crucial that everyone who lives and works in Scotland takes the time to consider and discuss with others the sort of country they want Scotland to be in the future.

“Taking the referendum conversation out to communities across Scotland provides an opportunity for us to meet people from many different backgrounds and hear their views on independence, as well as listening to their questions and concerns.

“This is the opportunity of a generation and we want to give as many people as possible the chance to ask questions and air their views.

“I’m asking the people of Orkney to come and have their say about the type of Scotland they want in the future and I would encourage as many people as possible to take a an hour or so next Saturday to come to Stromness Community Centre, ask their questions and have their say.”

As well as the formal Q&A session, Ms Hyslop will chat to audience members over tea and coffee at the end of the event.

Attendance is free but spaces are limited, so the Scottish Government has asked attendees to register in advance, either online at: http://scotreferendum.com/events/ or by calling 0300 244 2114

Scotland’s Future: Your Guide to an Independent Scotland is available at: www.scotreferendum.com

Notes to editors

Ms Hyslop will be in Orkney from 20-22 June, 2014. As well as hosting a public question and answer session about Scotland’s Future and attending events at the St Magnus Festival, the Cabinet Secretary will undertake a range of cultural and diplomatic engagements.

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