Dods at Party Conference 2020

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1 November 2019

A new report (published today, 1 November) highlights that vets have an integral part to play in the One Health agenda, which brings together experts from human and animal medicine alongside environmental organisations to tackle pressing global issues.

With contributions from leading national organisations such as The Wildlife Trust, Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), Royal College of Nursing (RCN), National Trust, PDSA and the British Dental Association (BDA), the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has launched a first of its kind, One Health in action report to mark One Health Day on 3 November. A wide range of expertise combined with varying roles from clinical practice to government and research means that vets often go beyond animal health and welfare, advising on human, public and environmental health. However, in order to put the One Health agenda into action, they cannot work alone. The One Health concept recognises that the health and wellbeing of people, animals and the environment are interconnected and that tackling global issues as varied as mental health and wellbeing, antimicrobial resistance and...
1 November 2019
Co-working space

At a critical juncture for the UK, we need self-employment and our flexible labour market to be firing on all cylinders. IPSE’s Manifesto sets out policy recommendations on Brexit, taxation, benefits and broadband that would enable us to do just that. 

This election offers all political parties a golden opportunity to set out how the next government can support self-employment and develop new approaches to the modern world of work. The prize if they do is substantial: winning the trust of nearly 5 million voters across a diverse range of ages, backgrounds and sectors in every part of the country. Self-employed people contribute £305bn to the UK economy and bring much-needed flexibility, skills and innovation to the public and private sectors – they are the lifeblood of the UK economy. However, the UK’s tax and employment system does not work well enough for them. A Brexit deal that works for the self-employed IPSE’s Confidence Index has highlighted how Brexit has caused uncertainty, putting investment decisions on hold and negatively affecting freelancers’ confidence in their businesses for the last three years. As long as leaving without a Brexit deal remains a possibility, the government should ensure the UK’s smallest...
1 November 2019
Power plant

A recurring argument for radical climate action is that climate change will affect the world’s poorest regions the hardest. However, what is seldom considered is how efforts towards decarbonising the UK, could perpetuate energy injustices in these same economies, writes Dods Monitoring's, Alexandra Goodwin.

Net Zero and the UK’s Ambitions Disagreement surrounding the newly legislated 2050 Net Zero target has centred around the proposed deadline for such a transition, rather than the need for ambitious targets. Whilst Labour have committed to a 2030 target under their proposed Green New Deal, there is unanimity of opinion, across the political spectrum that significant and manifold actions must be taken. Indeed, the recent introduction of Ultra Low Emissions Zones and the phasing out of coal by 2025 can be interpreted as examples of nascent political will. Elevating the Debate However, at this year’s Labour Conference, shadow secretary of state for international trade, Barry Gardiner sought to raise the bar for environmental policy makers during an IPPR Environment fringe event, advocating Government’s be held accountable for global energy injustices, an area currently neglected in debates. Gardiner’s argument poses a number of difficult questions for domestic and global governance,...
1 November 2019
Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has delivered on the referendum result of 2016 and unified the Conservative Party behind an ambitious domestic agenda; boosting funding to the NHS, education and police, writes Andrew Rosindell MP. 

It has only been 100 days since Boris Johnson was chosen as Leader of the Conservative Party and became Prime Minister of our beloved United Kingdom. That might sound like a short time, but those 100 days were a period which had enough political activity for a decade. Boris has brought new energy to the Brexit debate and we are now, against all the odds, at the precipice of our longed-for great escape from the European Union. 100 days ago, things were looking very different. Everyone in the Westminster bubble were claiming that his proposals were ridiculous. They said he wasn’t interested in a deal, that if he was he would never get one, and that even if he did get one he would never be able to get rid of the backstop or re-open the Withdrawal Agreement. And yet, in the end, Boris’s words from his first speech proved prophetic: "the doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters - they are going to get it wrong again”. If we were keeping score, I think we would now have to put Boris One-...
1 November 2019
Go-Ahead Brighton

David Brown, Chief Executive of Go-Ahead wants to press on with helping the Government build a clean, green network for the 21st century and reposition the bus at the centre of efforts to connect more people, reduce greenhouse gases and drive growth across the country.

Not so long ago, if a senior public figure described themselves as a ‘bus fanatic’, they were likely to be mocked and granted the status of a fringe obsessive, somewhere alongside the train-spotter or stamp collector.    So it feels revolutionary to hear our Prime Minister do just that.    In the space of a few weeks Boris Johnson has spoken of his love for the bus and his vision of a ‘clean, green’ fleet connecting the country.   There is a welcome new spirit of public enthusiasm flowing from the corridors of power. The most senior figures in this government are spreading the message of the ability of buses to cut congestion, improve air quality and provide a low-cost way for millions to get to work.   It was with these goals in mind that the Chancellor spent time at the recent Conservative Party Conference proudly boasting of pledging £220m towards new bus infrastructure, the rollout of new low-emissions buses, providing better service and better value...
1 November 2019
Boris Johnson and Donald Trump

Downing Street has hit back at Donald Trump after he suggested Boris Johnson’s Brexit agreement could block a trade deal with America.

A spokesman for Number 10 said the Prime Minister's new-look withdrawal agreement "means we can strike our own free trade deals around the world”. It came after Mr Trump told Nigel Farage he was concerned about "certain aspects" of the accord struck with Brussels last month. Speaking to the Brexit Party leader on LBC, the American president said: "He’s in a very difficult position, and I think he’s doing what nobody else was willing to do. “I also think he’s looking at the United States because we can do much more on trade.” He added: “We want to do trade with UK, and they want to do trade with us. “And to be honest with you under certain aspects of this deal, you can’t do it, you can’t trade.” The president went on: “We can’t make a trade deal with the UK. “I think we can do many times the numbers that we’re doing right now, and certainly much...
1 November 2019
Climate change

As we head into the next parliamentary session, business really needs to take responsibility for its own future: to clean up its act and tell a new story about the good it creates. Because for now, at least, the politicians are losing the will to fight for it, writes WPI's Sean Worth. 

At a recent conference of some of the largest businesses in the US, including the likes of Amazon, Coca Cola and Exxon, a group of 181 chief executives committed publicly to ‘redefining the purpose of the corporation’. Essentially, they said it must shift from maximising shareholder value to social value – including to the environment, the communities firms operate in and to employees. Whether or not you believe it to be sincere, it is clear that some of capitalism’s biggest hitters feel pressured to say they care more about social issues. The public pressure that prompted this is also growing in the UK, and with an election around the corner, politicians are clearly taking note. A voter and consumer movement is growing increasingly frustrated at a perceived lack of care among business leaders for their social impact, particularly on climate change. Accountable capitalism, responsible capitalism – whatever you call it – the evidence from...
1 November 2019
Jennifer Arcuri

A Whitehall probe has ruled that the decision to give £100,000 in public money to a firm run by an associate of Boris Johnson was "approporiate".

The Government Internal Audit Agency launched an inquiry after concerns were raised about the grant to Hacker House earlier this year. The firm is run by Jennifer Arcuri, who had a friendship with Mr Johnson when he was mayor of London, and now lives in America. A string of allegations have been made about the nature of the Prime Minister's relationship with the tech entrepreneur. Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan said the review had found "no impropriety" in the way that the grant had been awarded. But her Labour opposite number, Tom Watson, described the inquiry as a "whitewash" as he posted sections of Ms Arcuri's grant application on Twitter. In one part, she says she wants the money to help turn Hacker House into "the Netflix of security". "Funding is required up front so that I can make payments every month to the team," Ms Arcuri says on...
1 November 2019

The UK Parliament made history legislating for ‘net zero emissions’ by 2050; but voters think politicians need to do even more to tackle climate change. Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive of SSE writes of his hopes that the political verdict on 12 December leads to a ‘green Christmas’.  

The Advent calendar is about to get a political makeover with six weeks of campaigning ahead of the first December election in a century. It’s set to be Brexit dominated, but I think there is an even bigger issue that voters are rightly concerned about: climate change.  It is one of the few issues where we’ve seen cross-party support for action and now we need clear delivery plans for the country with government, business and the investment community all working together. Companies like ours are already investing billions in the infrastructure, jobs and supply chain to deliver a low carbon economy; but we want to do more.  The good news is there’s no Santa wish list required: we can make huge progress within the framework we have, with greater ambition and focus.  Firstly, whilst the UK has had the wind in its decarbonisation sails because it made a bold move to put a high cost on carbon to drive low carbon investments, the job isn’t done yet...
1 November 2019

Sajid Javid has pledged to speand more than £250 million to invest in 20,000 new homes in “areas of high demand” across the country.

The Chancellor said the money will come from the Housing Infrastructure Fund, which is aimed at improving road, schools and transport links across the Midlands, and the east and south east of England. Mr Javid, who was set to announce his first Budget as Chancellor on 6 November but had it cancelled after MPs blocked Boris Johnson's Brexit deal, said: "When I was Housing Secretary I set this fund up to help ensure homes can be built in areas that need it the most, and enable people to live where they want. “I have now launched an infrastructure revolution and this step-change in funding will ensure that all parts of the country benefit as we level-up opportunities. “This £250m will increase the number of houses available to buy and help support people to achieve their dream of home ownership.” Oxfordshire County Council will receive the largest slice of the cash, with £102m to build 5,050 homes. A total £52.3m will also also go to Surrey County Council to pay for a water treatment...