On May 3rd, 4350 local council seats are up for election in 151 council areas, including all 32 London Boroughs. These elections will determine who runs local council services and will also be seen as a significant test of support for the main political parties and their Leaders. Read more
Connect are currently working with Schole, a UK based company that is doing great things to bring investment to education in East Africa. Our role is to help tell their story, and it is a fascinating one, not least because they are making a difference without a penny of aid from the UK government. Read more
Nationalisation – a lot of water under the bridge before it happens?
A recent report by the Social Market Foundation, the non-partisan centrist think tank, estimated that the up-front cost of nationalising the water industry would be £90bn. The SMF also estimated that the government would need over £100bn over the next 25 years to meet the long-term investment needed within the sector. Read more
The issue of housing is already showing itself to be key in the run up to local elections this year. Faced with the prospect of Labour gains, the recent government announcement of a new public register of ultimate owners of UK properties is both an attempt to push through legislation ahead of the EU withdrawal, and to show that government is thinking about issues other than Brexit. Read more
Connect is delivering five regional policy events for the Transport Knowledge Hub – a new tool for local authorities, LEPs and transport decision-makers considering making investments in transport projects.
The prospect of the UK crashing out of Europe grows every day
Our politicians seem more focussed on what they don’t want during transition and after Brexit, rather than a clear plan for what the UK does want. The recently resigned Brexit Minister Lord Bridges told the House of Lords of his frustration. “What do we value? Sovereignty and control or market access and trade? There are still no clear answers to these basic questions”. Angela Merkel meanwhile says “we are open to any kind of partnership but it is in the UKs hands to tell us how close a partnership it wants”. Read more
The EU (Withdrawal) Bill has come a long way, and there is a long way to go. But the debates that are coming up will shape the politics of Brexit; in some cases, they may shape our future relationship with the EU. Read more
Connect is proud to support #Vote100 today, celebrating 100 years since Parliament passed the Representation of the People Act giving the first women the right to vote. Since 2016 our work with the Women and Work All-Party Parliamentary Group has examined how employers and policy makers can help to deliver gender balance in the workplace. The APPG’s first report, Women Returners, helped to shape Government policy with the introduction of £5 million funding for returnships. The Group’s second report, Making the Industrial Strategy work for women, was published last month. We are pleased to have launched the APPG’s 2018 programme of work, How to Recruit Women for the 21st Century, which will examine the recruitment process from start to finish and develop recommendations to improve female representation across the employment and labour market.
In a survey by the Political Studies Association, the minimum wage was judged to be the best policy of recent decades . Devolution, Sure Start, the Human Rights Act, the smoking ban, and the Northern Ireland peace process were also highly rated, as was ‘privatisation’, a policy which divides opinion. Read more