SNP St Andrew’s Day stunt slated

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Gra­ham Grant Home Af­fairs Edi­tor

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.’

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