It is vital that the third sector has all the information it needs to make an informed decision ahead of next year’s referendum David Mundell has said today as he met with Argyll Voluntary Action (AVA) in Oban.
The Scotland Office Minister participated in a question and answer session on the referendum and constitutional issues which affect voluntary organisations.
AVA has offices in the towns across Argyll & Bute such as Campbeltown, Dunoon, Helensburgh and Oban. Their staff supports volunteers, voluntary organisations, and the community at large through advice, training and services.
Following the roundtable Mr Mundell was keen to stress the importance of the UK Government engaging with Scotland’s voluntary sector.
Mr Mundell said:
I was pleased to visit Oban today and I am grateful to Argyll Voluntary Action for setting out the information the third sector needs to be informed about the Scottish Government’s proposals to separate from the rest of the United Kingdom.
The UK Government is committed to ensuring that the debate about independence is properly informed and to date has published a number of papers in its Scotland analysis series setting out comprehensive and detailed analysis of Scotland’s place in the UK and how that would be affected by independence.
I am well aware this is a sensitive issue for the sector, which will no doubt engage constructively with both sides of the debate. There are crucial questions for the Scottish Government to answer about how their plans might impact on things like UK-wide funding opportunities through charitable and other philanthropic giving.
With under a year ago from decision time on the independence referendum. It is vital those who advocate leaving the United Kingdom ensure the third sector, which plays such a crucial role in Scottish society, has the information it needs so it can fully understand any consequences for the sector’s future.
Glenn Heritage, CEO of Argyll Voluntary Action, said:
As an infrastructure and support organisation Argyll Voluntary Action is keen to ensure that third sector groups across Argyll have an opportunity to hear from all perspectives how these important issues affect them. We are facilitating other opportunities over the coming months and following the debate with interest.
This event is part of a series of visits across Scotland which Mr Mundell is undertaking ahead of the Scottish referendum.