SNP St Andrew’s Day stunt slated
CASH-StrApped councils are being urged to provide free services in a ‘patronising’ drive to celebrate St Andrew’s day.
the Scottish Government has told councils it is a ‘great time for local authorities to encourage residents to be kind and caring to others’.
Councils are expected to ‘support local projects within the community’ using a host of resources and ‘plenty of activities to choose from’.
Options include organising a community litter clean-up and encouraging teams to ‘make care packages for homeless people and go out on the street to give them away’.
A public relations firm has been enlisted to help councils publicise what they are doing for the ‘#BeLikeStAndrew’ campaign, and councils have been sent a template press release they can fill in and distribute to the media.
Last night, Scottish Conservative local government spokesman Alexander Stewart said: ‘Beyond the patronising language and directions of this pr campaign, this seems like control freakery gone mad.
‘Hard-pressed local councils have more than enough to do, and they have many charitable initiatives already under way.
‘I don’t suppose the corporate pr agency retained to promote this will be donating their fees to charity as their own act of kindness?’
One council source condemned ‘more pr activity being dreamed up by the SNp just as we’re girding our loins to tell the public what services we’ll be cutting to balance our reduced budgets’.
the row came as the Scottish Government urged Scots to ‘do a good deed on St Andrew’s day’ to ‘celebrate Scotland’s history, culture and the nation’s shared values’.
Launching the initiative in edinburgh, Minister for International development and europe Alasdair Allan said: ‘Celebrating St Andrew’s day presents a powerful opportunity for people across Scotland to keep the spirit of St Andrew alive, by coming together and helping others within their community.’
A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘the toolkit aims to help councils with information they may need to get involved.’