You will find links here to government at Westminster, the Scottish parliament, European Parliament, the Scottish Office and Agencies. Local government is here as well together with the political parties and pressure groups.
A wide ranging site which not only describes the Parliament Buildings and the Members of the Scottish Parliament> following the Election Results> but also gives the Minutes of Parliamentary proceedings> (including details of how the MSPs voted) plus all the Official Reports>.
Scottish Parliament Live streams live video of all the Parliament's business - the Main Chamber and all the committees - offering what may be the best Parliamentary webcasting service in the world.
The government of Scotland (previously known as "Scottish Executive") has its own Web pages with information on Ministers and Press Releases and information on such aspects as:
Formerly called "The Scottish Office" this is Westminster's Scottish arm. Their pages provide pages on News and Media (including press releases) and Scotland's Devolution Settlement> available from the Scotland Office.
UK government public services are all in one place via this portal, providing access to:
Of more general interest the General Register Office of Scotland> not only provides more up to date statistics about births, marriages, divorce and deaths and Census Records> but also the most frequently used Forenames> in Scotland, including tables from 1900 to 2000.
Openscotland is the overarching brand for a wide range of Scottish Executive initiatives and activities ultimately aimed at providing the people of Scotland with better access to public services, improved delivery of those services, and to ensure they have the skills, access and awareness to enable use of computers and the web in their daily lives.
This website is part of a campaign organised by the Scottish Executive to tackle and eliminate racism. It describes the history of the many migrations to Scotland (including a migration timeline), the experiences of those who now live here and future demographic change. There are also sections on Minority Ethnic Communities in Scotland, Refugees and Asylum Seekers and the Race Equality Scheme.
Lots of information on Europe and the European Union with links to the Brussels Parliament and the European Commission's own Web sites. There are factsheets, news and press releases and information on the UK Members of the European Parliament.
Local Government in Scotland was reorganised on 1 April 1996 (no jokes, please) and the new council areas are shown on a large (200kb) active map. However, each new council also has its own individual map - providing the most detailed maps of Scotland currently available on the Web. There is also a wealth of key statistics about the new council areas. Details on the structure of Local Government > including the reorganisations of 1974 and 1995 can be found at the University of Edinburgh's pages. They also provide a Fact Sheet > on the population and land area of the new unitary authorities.
Individual Local Authorities have set up their own Web sites:
COSLA is the co-ordinating body for Scottish local authorities. The site gives information on all the Scottish councils, council leaders, chief executives and civic heads as well as the current work of the Convention.
The Government Agency charged with expanding the Scottish economy and prosperity.
Scottish Enterprise works through Business Gateway> to assist new business start-ups. Local Gateways have been set up in various parts of the country. In addition to the Web sites set up centrally, Glasgow Opportunities> has information on start-up services and business development.
This is the partnership of Scottish Office/Scottish Enterprise and Scottish business with a representative office in Brussels.
In the north of Scotland HIE carry out a similar function to that of Scottish Enterprise in the rest of the country - in area, it covers more than half of Scotland.
Communities Scotland works on behalf of Scottish Executive Ministers to promote social justice and tackle exclusion through the delivery of sustainable community regeneration. Building on the success of Scottish Homes and the Area Regeneration Division of the Scottish Executive, they have a broader remit which centres around the three main areas of regeneration, investment and performance and regulation and inspection. The Web site covers social inclusion partnerships, research, Local Housing Strategy and the Scottish House Condition Survey.
The Scottish Council Development and Industry is an independent, broadly based membership organisation which seeks to influence, shape and improve Scotlandís economy through the innovative, non-partisan public policies and the delivery of market driven services (trade missions are a particular strength of SCDI).
The Scottish Council Foundation (SCF), founded in June 1997 by the Scottish Council Development and Industry, has opened up a new interactive Web site to communicate ideas and promote independent thinking in Scottish public policy. The Foundation adopts a long term perspective, recognising the challenges ahead as Scotland negotiates the transition from an industrial to a knowledge-based economy and the opportunities of constitutional change. The site contains copies of reports produced by the Foundation on wide range of subjects.
Business Enterprise Scotland (BES) is the co-ordinating body for the 20/30 Local Enterprise Trusts in Scotland. The Trusts promote economic development within their areas, often by providing training and support services for those starting up in business for the first time.
The Commissioner is responsible for enforcing and promoting the right to access information held by public authorities, created by the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004, both of which came into force on 1 January 2005. The Act and the Regulations give anyone, anywhere in the world, important rights to access the information held by more than 10,000 public authorities in Scotland. The Web site provides helpful guidance on your rights and how to access public information.
Scottish Trade International's site describes the services and assistance given to exporters by STI, contacts and key facts about Scottish exports (such as 38% of all PC's made in Europe are manufactured in Scotland).
SDI offers help and advice to companies looking for investment locations in Scotland for their business and provides a range of services for businesses thinking about entering the overseas market.
Part of Scottish Enterprise, Locate in Scotland provides encouragement to foreign businesses to set up in Scotland. Information on-line includes facts and figures about Scotland (such as Scotland produces 35% of all the desktop PC's in Europe).
Scotland led the field in setting up a compulsory public system showing transmissions of interests in land. An Act of the Scots Parliament of 1617 set up the Register of Sasines. The purpose of the register was to make available to the public details of transactions in land. Their web site now provides a free House Price Search covering all of Scotlandís property prices. There are also Quarterly and Weekly Housing Market Statistics.
The survey is designed to provide accurate, up-to-date information about the characteristics, attitudes and behaviour of Scottish households and individuals on a range of issues. The website provides some background to the survey, to keep interested parties up-to-date with the progress of the survey and to provide summary information on the outcomes from the survey as the results become available.
The Scottish Business Information Service ( SCOTBIS )is part of the National Library of Scotland providing a national business information service to the Scottish community and beyond. It holds an extensive range of resources, with a particular emphasis on company and market information. Users can access the business resources in person in the General Reading Room of the Library's George IV Bridge building or by e-mail.
The Federation is a nationwide lobby group committed to the interests of all small businesses. They have a Scottish-based operation supporting their members in Scotland. The site provides an introduction to the Federation - and web pages accessible to members only.
Business Ventures is a not-for-profit company funded by Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow Development Agency and Strathclyde European Partnership that works with individuals and management teams to start high growth new companies assisting in structuring, negotiation and the†raising of funding packages.†Other services include research assistance and property searches. Similar work is carried out for MBI's, MBO's and company expansions.
Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) is an education business partnership activity offering young people who are still at school, or college, the opportunity to form and run their own companies to develop enterprise and personal skills through "learning by doing". The site explains how to participate in YES.
Part of the Scottish Tourist Board site, Convention Scotland assists organisers of conferences to plan for their event in Scotland. The site provides a point of contact, information on 240 venues of various sizes and locations and further brochures are obtainable, on request.
NHS Health Scotland is the national agency for improving the health of the country's population. They are a Special Health Board within NHS Scotland. Their work covers every aspect of health improvement, from gathering evidence, to planning, delivery and evaluation, and spans the range of health topics, settings and life stages.
Councils for Voluntary Service (CVS) is the generic name for the local infrastructure bodies for the voluntary sector in Scotland. CVS exist to support voluntary action at local level. This site has links to local CVS organisations.
The full Scottish Parliamentary Election Results are available at the BBC> Web Site
Although these Web pages are biased towards the Scottish Nationalist viewpoint, with many pithy quotations, there are Election Results> for the Westminster Parliament, the Scottish Members of Parliament and the Scottish Members of European Parliament. In addition, there are useful reference sections on the House of Commons 1983-present>.
There are Web sites for the Scottish Political Parties. The Scottish Labour Party and Scottish Liberal Democrat> Party formed a coalition government from 1999 until they were ousted by the Scottish National Party> in the May 2007 election. The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party> and the Scottish Green Party > are also on-line. The Scottish Socialist Party> says it "stands proudly behind the banner of Socialism, for an end to the chaos of the capitalist system." Independence First is a non-party political group which has been set up to campaign for a referendum on Scotland's independence. Meanwhile, Alba Branch of the Celtic League campaigns for Scotland's right to choose independence, its Gŗidhlig language and also on various other human rights, political and environmental issues. There is a Scottish section of UKIP (the UK Independence Party - i.e. independent from Europe).
The Houses of Parliament> at Westminster has a Web site which includes the full texts of the debates from Hansard.> The search facility allows browsers to find items of specific relevance to Scotland. There is a Westminster site devoted to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee> with reports, press notices and and index; it remains to be seen how relevant this becomes once the Scottish Parliament is up and running.
UNISON Scotland> is the public service union representing 150,000 members delivering Scotland's services.
Pylon Pressure is the Web site of the campaign to stop the construction of a new set of electricity pylons from Beauly, north of Inverness, to Denny in the central Scotland belt, running through some of the wildest and most scenic parts of Scotland. The pylons are being constructed to take electricity geneerated by wind farms in the north to the more densely populated parts of the country. The pylons are much higher than those that already stride across the country and campaigners are trying to persuade the company (and government) to have the lines buried under ground, particularly in the most sensitive areas.
The Scots Independence Tour, > as the name might suggest, strongly puts forward the case for an independent Scotland, with items on Scottish Oil, Act of Union 1707, the Declaration of Arbroath and the Stone of Destiny.
Siol nan Gaidheal> otherwise known as the Scottish Cultural and Fraternal Organisation is "an Ultra-Nationalist organisation which exists to assert the historical sovereignty of the Scots, and in so doing advance the cause of full Scottish independence." The web pages set out their principles, including ideas on an Independent Scottish Defence Force, The White Settler Phenomonen and the Knights Templar.
Where else would you like to go in Scotland?
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