SNP march on Westminster may be good for UK IT

Following the SNP’s remarkable general election night, I have taken a close look at its manifesto for The Register. Although the SNP has ended up in opposition in Westminster, it looks likely that some of its proposals may well come about through further devolution to Scotland, particularly the fiscal ones on taxation, grants and the like. Continue reading “SNP march on Westminster may be good for UK IT”

For The Register: what the general election could mean for tech policy

Following my article earlier this week on the manifestos and implications for NHS professionals, I have looked at how they might combine to change tech policy, on issues including surveillance, business and IT, government IT, immigration and the EU (both of some interest to the tech industry), employment law and the whole ‘actually having a government’ issue.

My conclusion: Continue reading “For The Register: what the general election could mean for tech policy”

Election 2015: what do party pledges mean for NHS staff?

The NHS is centre stage in the parties’ manifestos; there are subtle yet significant differences between their commitments

Having read the general election manifestos so you don’t have to, I have written the following piece for Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network. There is an area of significant difference between the parties on the NHS, and – perhaps not a massive surprise – it’s the role of the private sector.

If you do want to read the general election manifestos, which I find is often the best way to get an overview of what each party wants to do, you can do so through the following links, to PDF copies in each case: Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party, UK Independence Party, Green Party, Plaid Cymru and National Health Action Party.
Continue reading “Election 2015: what do party pledges mean for NHS staff?”

Election 2015 for Beacon: it’s looking like no overall control

After the score-draw Cameron-Miliband clash of last week, and the seven-way leaders’ debate last night, I have rounded up Election 2015 for Beacon readers with five weeks to go, concluding:

What all this means is Britain may well be about to elect no government, or at least not a stable one: as Jon Stewart used to brand US election campaigns, we’re heading for Indecision 2015. When in Britain no party gets a majority of seats on a local authority, the council concerned is said to belong to ‘no overall control’. On 8 May, we may have to hoist that sign over the whole country.

The full article is here.

Continue reading “Election 2015 for Beacon: it’s looking like no overall control”

If you want to monitor local authorities, we’ll ask the locals for you

Local authorities matter. They provide many of the most basic public services: schools, roads, refuse collections and recycling, social services, planning and benefits administration. They are the part of government you would notice first, if they stopped working. In many areas of Britain, a council is the largest employer, and with their elected members, local authorities are arguably the most democratic type of public sector organisation.

But they are tricky to follow. Journalists trying to cover councils nationally suffer from being based mainly in one place, London, from lack of resources and from the sheer number of authorities.

The exceptions are journalists who work for locally-focused publishers. Despite falling advertising and circulation income, it is still local and regional newspapers, broadcasters and online publishers that produce the best coverage of local authorities.

As a result, while it is easy to keep tabs on your own council, if you want to track local authorities nationwide – as a councillor or official keen to learn from your peers, or a supplier seeking new opportunities – you would need to monitor many hundreds of sources.

So let Council News Monitor do the job for you. It’s a new email service, sent first thing every weekday morning, with articles and press releases from councils in all nine English regions, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland – or, as the four nations can safely be called again, the United Kingdom. Continue reading “If you want to monitor local authorities, we’ll ask the locals for you”