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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 November, 2004, 19:43 GMT
Holiday plan hopes for next year
Dennis Canavan with saltire
Dennis Canavan wants to see a St Andrew's Day holiday by 2005
Independent MSP Dennis Canavan hopes to make St Andrew's Day a national holiday within the next 12 months.

Holyrood's enterprise and culture committee agreed on Tuesday that his proposed bill could move to the next stage of the parliamentary process.

Mr Canavan claims his idea to have an annual national holiday on 30 November has the backing of 75% of the Scottish people and 50 cross-party MSPs.

He is due to meet the first minister on Wednesday to discuss his plans.

The politician is said to be hopeful of finding support from Jack McConnell and the Scottish Executive, and hopes to have his plans in place by 2005.

He said: "I hope I will be able to persuade the first minister that it is a good idea and it has the support of the people of Scotland and the support at this stage of a significant number of MSPs."

Public holiday

Members of the enterprise and culture committee unanimously agreed that the consultation carried out on the bill was comprehensive enough to progress to the next stage of the process - the formal lodging of the bill in parliament and analysis of public responses.

Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond also urged that St Andrew's Day be made a public holiday.

He called for Holyrood and other public buildings to have open days and celebratory events to mark the date and to use it as launch pad for a Scottish Winter Festival running until Burns Night.

He said: "The promotion of Hogmanay in Edinburgh and other Scottish cities has demonstrated the potential for taking from what was a one-night stand and transforming it into a week-long celebration on a national level."


SEE ALSO:
Canavan seeks day for St Andrew
29 Nov 04 |  Scotland
Poll backing for national holiday
22 Nov 04 |  Scotland
McConnell urged over saint's day
30 Dec 03 |  Scotland
Embassies 'ignoring' saint's day
30 Nov 02 |  Scotland
Ministers agree flag day review
20 May 02 |  Scotland


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