The SNP conference begins on Thursday

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By a Newsnet reporter

As the SNP meet in Inverness this week for their annual conference, there will no doubt be some celebration of their historic result in May, however the party faithful know only too well that there will be much work ahead before the referendum.

As Alex Salmond comments in the conference handbook: “Together, we are at the start of the most exciting project of our lifetimes.  We are building, not only a new nation, but a better nation.  We are setting out on a path that will lead to renewed hope and opportunity.”

Unlike some other parties, the SNP conference is member driven in its debates with encouragement for members to speak and for local branches and constituencies to submit resolutions to debate.

The conference starts on Thursday with debates on International issues and moving through the four days the conference will include resolutions on a wide variety of issues including finance, health, education, transport and reaffirming its support for a tax levy on large retail units.

There will be a keynote speech from Nicola Sturgeon on Friday afternoon and on Saturday afternoon from Alex Salmond.  Throughout the conference, cabinet ministers will also address delegates.

Party conferences are not only about what happens in the hall but also about all kinds of fringe events from the serious to the social.  Charities and other organisations often host events on specific topics that they want to highlight. 

Delegates also enjoy the opportunity to socialise with friends and colleagues from other areas to chat and catch up.  There are formal events and receptions, however more informal events such as Rob Gibson’s music night and the young nationalists and Student nationalists karaoke night prove ever popular.

Newsnet Scotland will be reporting live from the conference.  So along with our usual website articles, look out for live updates on twitter and Facebook.