Voice Against Violence has regular meetings 2-3 times a year with the people in power – Ministers and CoSLA, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities – to discuss progress tackling domestic abuse in Scotland.
Ministers are senior politicians in national Government (the Scottish Parliament). The Ministers that we meet with are those that have responsibilities for domestic abuse:
Nicola Sturgeon MSP is the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy. Second in command in the Scottish Universe, this powerful lady is responsible for many things including the NHS, sport, equality and domestic abuse. She’s from Irvine, North Ayrshire and worked as a solicitor in Drumchapel before being elected to Parliament.
CoSLA is the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities. It represents the interests of all 32 local authorities in Scotland so it is about local government (local Councils). The politicians are called Councillors. Some Councillors become Spokespeople for CoSLA – they are the voice for all 32 local authorities on specific subject matters such as Children & Young People or the Environment.
Cllr Harry McGuigan who was CoSLA Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing and Safety. Harry was VAV’s biggest ally in CoSLA. He organised a CoSLA group which looks at Community Wellbeing and Safety e.g. things like housing, the police, poverty and domestic abuse. He used to be a physics teacher before he became a politician and he believes that young people should have a say in decisions made by local politicians. He stepped down from CoSLA in May 2012 to focus on political work in his local area but he will always be a VAV ally!