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Q&A about Parliament
Home » World Gatherings » Clan Parliament 2010 » Q&A about Parliament  
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Below are miscellaneous questions people have asked about Parliament, and the best answers we had at the time they were asked.  If you have additional questions, please mail them to parliament@clanmacleod.org.

Question: If I've never driven in the UK before, where can I get information about traffic laws?
    Generally, your valid driver's license in any other country allows you to drive private passenger cars in Scotland.  Your rental car company will probably have other restrictions.  Please contact them and don't be afraid to ask very specific questions. 

    book
    Driving In Britain - A North American's Guide to the Ins and Outs and Roundabouts of Driving Over There can be ordered from Amazon and is a good place to start. 
    Handy Road Atlas Great Britain can be ordered on-line from its publisher or from Amazon. It's a wirebound handbook of maps, very easy to use, (even when you have to follow a route that covers several pages), and at about 5 by 8 inches, the size is good for tucking in the car.

Question: What are the driving times to Parliament from within the UK?

Question: How to I get from the airport to Parliament?
Question: If I'm from outside Britain, how much is it going to cost me to use my mobile phone in the UK?
    This is a tricky question to answer because there are s lot of "what-ifs". There is general information about phone usage in the Parliamentarian's Handbook. If you think you will need to make a LOT of calls, you should probably plan to buy a Vodafone SIM card at the airport (for about £5) and a "top up" debit card to which you can deposit money to make calls.  (You also need a compatible phone, but that's explained in the leaftlet.)  We mention Vodafone because it is the mobile operator with the most reliable service in the islands. For people using a Vodafone SIM, click for pay as you go RATES for UK calls and information on making international calls.
Question: What do the Parliament registration fees pay for?
    The Associated Clan MacLeod Societies (ACMS) is a not-for-profit, educational and social organization. Parliament is one of the activities sponsored by the ACMS. We try to plan Parliament so that the fees (plus sponsorships) are equal to all the costs of Parliament. There are a certain number of fixed costs and a certain number of minimum participants for many of our activities, so we need to have a certain number of people come in order to break even.  

    In Assynt,  the registration fees cover the guided coach excursions (including the Friday evening shuttle to pub night in Lochinver), Thursday night Clan dinner, Kylesku ferry and admission to Kerrachar Gardens, morning teas on Thursday and Friday, and any entertainment at the Inchnadamph Hotel on Friday evening.

    In Dunvegan, the registration fees cover the Sunday Clan luncheon, Sunday night strupag, rental of the Village Hall, all of the guided coach transport including the Raasay ferry, minibus rental, morning and afternoon teas, catering supplies, office supplies, the internet connection at the Village Hall, craft supplies for the youth programme, three nights of live music, all of the morning workshops, publicity, mailings, bank charges for people who pay by credit card, and other miscellaneous expenses.  The Stanley MacLeod Memorial lecture is funded by a bequest to CMS USA, and the CMS England Saturday night wine and cheese reception is funded by the raffle held on that evening. Money raised at the silent auction is used for advance expenses of the next Parliament.

    Collectively the fees from both sections of Parliament also cover some accommodation and food expenses for the NRG, and support their service project.  
Question: How much personal spending money will I need at Parliament?
    It is possible to plan your transportation and accommodation expenses in advance, so the answer to this question depends very much on your personal preferences for meals, and any activities you may plan for yourself outside of Parliament. First of all, the Parliamentarian's Handbook is a good source of information for pre-travel banking issues, and the Parliament 2010 Dunvegan Programme and Parliament 2010 Assynt Programme will tell you how to access local banks and ATMs.  You should expect to deal in Pounds Stirling throughout your trip.  Secondly, if there are things you want to do personally (things that are not on the Parliament programme), it is generally possible to find activities and look up admission fees on the internet, but don't forget to figure in transportation and any refreshments in your plan. Contact VisitScotland for suggestions and help. Thirdly, the most inescapable expense you need to plan for at Parliament is food. When you are puzzling out your personal budget for meals, you might consider the following:
    The bed-and-breakfast system in Scotland typically includes a fairly serious breakfast meal. You will not be starting the day hungry!
    The typical daily Parliament routine includes a break for tea/coffee in both the morning and the afternoon. If you are on the road or otherwise purchasing this yourself, you might want to budget GBP£3 for each instance (to include a pastry, etc.)
    The meals, including morning and afternoon teas, that will be paid for by Parliament are explicitly stated in the programme materials.
    At lunchtime in Dunvegan, you will be able to purchase a homemade filled roll and delicious soup at the Dunvegan Village Hall. This is a convenient and economical option, and the sales benefit various community organizations.
    To get a sense of the cost of food in restaurants, we recommend you search the internet for restaurants in the area and inquire about their menu. The nearest large grocery store and pharmacy to Dunvegan is the Scotmid Coop in Portree. You can click here to get an idea of the products they offer and the prices.  There are also two small stores within 100 yards of the Dunvegan Hall where you can purchase a limited variety of groceries, beer or wine, and tobacco products.  
    When you stay in a B&B, you are in the bedroom of someone's home so it's not a great place to hoarde food. You should ask your host if they permit eating in the rooms, or if there is a way for you to store purchased food while you are there. Your room will typically have a simple hot beverage service, including a kettle (electric hot water boiler), tea, coffee, creamer, and sugar.
Question: Are there any special recommendations for NRG travel, to arrive in time for the start of the service project?  
    Public transportation connections to Assynt can be made daily, but there are not very many of them. Please refer to the Traveling to Parliament page. If you think you will have problems, please contact Christy MacLeod, the ACMS Youth Membership Coordinator and NRG leader.

The ACMS gratefully acknowledges
the major sponsors of our 16th Parliament.