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2017 January and February

January 9 and February 6 were short planning meetings for our conference Life after Trident. which took place on Saturday 11 February from 1-5 pm at Helensburgh Parish Church Halls.  Our speakers were Brendan O’Hara MP Argyll & Bute (Faslane as Scottish defence force HQ), Ronnie Cowan MP Inverclyde (standing in for Lesley Riddoch who was ill) (Coulport), Mike Danson Professor of Enterprise Policy Heriot-Watt University (Opening up the Clyde estuary to alternative forms of development) and Janet Fenton SCND (Wealth beyond measure).

The conference was chaired by Alannah Maurer of Navy Not Nuclear.  After a short opening speech by Ellen Renton of Helnsburgh CND the speakers gave their initial inputs followed by questions from the floor, then after the refreshments break each speaker led a workshop on his/her own topic.  This was followed by a feedback session to the main conference, then a short closing speech was made by Arthur west Chair of Scottish CND.

In spite of a few niggles on the day, Life after Trident was very successful.  We sold 120 tickets, and roughly 100 people attended on the day.  Independence Live had over 68,000 views on their Facebook post, and almost 16,000 viewed at least part of the conference on live stream.  Altogether Helensburgh CND made approximately £450 from the event, with costs running at about £350, so that went a long way towards paying for our new banner and placards.

It was always the intention to use both the speaker inputs and the ideas generated in the workshops to produce a Life after Trident leaflet for distribution in Argyll, West Dumbarton and Inverclyde.  To that end we have formed a small Steering Group composed of Ellen Renton from Helensburgh CND, Alannah Maurer from Navy Not Nuclear, Alasdair Jamieson from the SNP, Patsy Millar from the Yes Campaign and Rosie Montgomery from the Common Weal, initially to work on the leaflet and pursue funding for the distribution.  However we think that in the long term such a group could be important locally for the sharing and dissemination of politically relevant information, and also that it would enable us to be more proactive when it comes to issues such as the MOD policing of the peninsula.