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YES Scotland comes to Shetland

THE CAMPAIGN for an independent Scotland rolls into Shetland next month to galvanise local supporters into action.

Yes Scotland is holding inaugural meetings in all 32 local authority areas to set up grassroots campaign groups and build momentum ahead of the 2014 referendum.

The campaign’s deputy director Jennifer Dempsey has been slated to chair a meeting at Lerwick’s Islesburgh Community Centre, starting at 7pm, on Friday 16 November.

Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins

Yes Scotland’s chief executive Blair Jenkins explained that the meeting was for local supporters to meet up and decide how best to run the campaign in Shetland.

Information and campaign material will be made available as the pro-independence lobby seeks to get a head start in the argument over the future of the country.

The inaugural meetings began in West Lothian last month, with a meeting in Inverness this weekend and in Elgin on Monday.

Jenkins said every local authority area would have hosted an event by Christmas, after which they would start targeting individual towns and communities.

“It’s early days so the first thing we are doing is establishing a network of local groups around the country,” the former BBC Scotland head of news and current affairs told Shetland News.

“We want to give local people who support the Yes campaign the chance to get together and decide how they are going to campaign locally. This is very much a community-based campaign.”

He said that meetings so far had proved to be “extremely popular”.

“We don’t know how many people are likely to attend in Shetland, there may be a lot of interest and we are hoping for an enthusiastic meeting.”

Shetland has been regarded by some as a special case due to its relatively late addition to the Scottish realm, its unique relationship with the energy industry and its cultural leanings towards Scandinavia.

However Jenkins said that every part of Scotland was unique and had its own aspirations.

“We are asking what things people would like to see change in an independent Scotland, and we would obviously take advice from local supporters about how to address local issues.”

The political parties backing Yes Scotland are the Scottish National Party, the Scottish Green Party and the Scottish Socialist Party, however Jenkins said support was growing within some of the other parties.

Labour for Independence is holding its first meeting in Glasgow next month, he said.

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