Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

19 November 2018
Lucozade Ribena SuntoryLucozade Ribena Suntory

Lucozade Ribena Suntory's Michelle Norman writes ahead of the launch of the ‘Love Your Forest Impact Report’ which will take place today in parliament from 4-6pm in the Thames Pavilion Room.

Litter is a major problem in the UK. Not only is it a blight on our landscape which can cause environmental damage and harm, but it is very unlikely to ever make it back into our waste systems to be recycled. To help deliver the circular plastics economy we all want, it is not only vital to increase recycling rates, but to also reduce the amount of littering in the UK. Littering is a particular problem in rural areas where it can remain unseen for decades. In 2016, during initial research in the Forest of Dean – one of the UK’s few surviving ancient woodlands and where our factory is located – we discovered litter that was over 35 years old. This is despite the fact that over 250 tonnes of litter is collected and removed from the Forest of Dean every single year. As a responsible company focussed on improving our environment, we joined forces with environmental campaign charity Hubbub in 2016 to try and raise awareness of the issue of rural littering and reduce it in the Forest....
19 November 2018
Charlotte Simmonds is head of enterprise project management, Corporate ServicesCharlotte Simmonds is head of enterprise project management, Corporate Services

The contrast between life in the concrete jungle of Canary Wharf to the Houses of Parliament was stark for Charlotte Simmonds. But over the last 10 years, she has really made her mark

I came to Parliament in 2008 as Head of Fire Safety & Environment, having been recognised as one of Management Today’s 35 women under 35 in the UK. The contrast between cool Canary Wharf and the heritage of the Houses of Parliament was stark. But over time I’ve got to know and enjoy Parliament – the place, the people and my part in it. Since joining I’ve had two children and worked in four departments: Estates, Committees, Governance and Corporate Services. For 90% of that time I have been bicameral, working for both Houses. Right now, I head up the team that makes sure that there is consistency in the management of the vast number of parliamentary projects that are underway, be they construction, digital or business change. A typical day consists of spending time with people and data, supporting and coaching my direct team and the wider community of project professionals who work hard to navigate our complex governance and deliver ambitious projects in a challenging environment...
19 November 2018
The British Museum in LondonThe British Museum in London

From the British Museum to the V&A, we need to be getting our ‘towels on the beach’ before anyone else using the vast repository of British culture and cultural institutions, writes Tim Loughton

The British Museum is unique and special in so many ways. It was the world’s first national public museum, established by an Act of Parliament in 1753. It holds over 8 million works of enormous variety, 2200 of which were lent to 81 venues outside of the UK last year, while touring exhibitions in China, Hong Kong and India drew millions. Indeed, more people saw British Museum treasures outside London than at the museum itself, even though with 5.9m visitors it is the UK’s top visitor attraction. The museum’s collections are held in trust for the nation by an independent board of trustees. Fortunately, they are well able to resist the disingenuous perennial opportunism of certain politicians who would treat international treasures such as the Elgin Marbles as political baubles to be traded away in the interests of supposedly promoting greater international understanding. Hence recent disingenuous attempts by the governing Syriza party in Greece to make handing over the Marbles a...
19 November 2018

Ministers' oversight of cybersecurity threats is “wholly inadequate” in the face of a “potentially devastating” major attack on Britain's infrastructure, a powerful parliamentary committee has said.

The Joint Committee on National Security Strategy (JCNSS) said the Government had failed to act with “a meaningful sense of purpose or urgency” on growing threats from the likes of Russia. The body called on Theresa May to appoint a dedicated cybersecurity minister in the Cabinet to build national resilience and lower the risk of attacks on sectors including energy, health services, transport and water. The joint committee said ministers had assessed a major cyber attack on the UK’s critical national infrastructure (CNI) as a “top tier” threat with potentially “devastating” consequences. "As some states become more aggressive and non-state actors such as organised crime groups become much more capable, the range and number of potential attackers is growing," it said. It warned that the 2017 WannaCry attack - which had not directly targeted the NHS - had “greatly affected” the health service and shown the significant consequences that attacks on UK infrastructure could have....
19 November 2018
Business Secretary Greg ClarkBusiness Secretary Greg Clark

Cabinet minister Greg Clark has risked infuriating Brexiteers by suggesting extending the Brexit transition period until 2022 is “an option”.

The Business Secretary said the period - in which the UK and EU will maintain a broadly similar relationship the one they have now - could run on until 2022 in order to give more time for negotiators to strike a full trade deal with the bloc. It is currently due to expire by December 2020, but Tory Brexiteers fear the option of extending contained in Mrs May’s draft Brexit deal could cost taxpayers billions in extra payments while keeping the UK in the single market and customs union. But speaking to the BBC Today Programme, Mr Clark said there was “value” in having the option if negotiations on the future relationship were only “weeks and months” from being completed when the proposed transition ends. He said: “It would be at our request and that would be a maximum period and it would be for this purpose: if the negotiations are making good progress but haven’t quite been finalised, to have the option, and it would be an option for us and there is value in having an...
19 November 2018
Although the start of building works is still some years away, the team is busy doing all the necessary planning and preparing, writes Liz PeaceAlthough the start of building works is still some years away, the team is busy doing all the necessary planning and preparing, writes Liz Peace

Liz Peace, the chair of the new governing body overseeing the Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster, reveals the next crucial steps for the programme – and asks for parliamentarians’ help

Before taking up my position here in Parliament I, like many other people around the country, had very little reason to suspect that there was anything seriously wrong with the Palace of Westminster. It looked solid and stable, and in pretty decent shape for a building of its age. But over the course of the last few months, as I’ve been shown more and more of what lies behind the facade, it’s become increasingly obvious that the Palace suffers from some serious issues that are in increasingly urgent need of addressing. Why is the restoration so important? Those of you who have had the chance to be taken on a subterranean tour of the Palace will have seen the dilapidated and chaotic state of the vital services like plumbing, heating and electrics, may well have seen how the ninety or so risers or service shafts, originally vents for the circulation of air, have become a mess of jumbled cables and layers of pipework, and will have witnessed how the entire building relies on a sewage...
19 November 2018

As NHS England develops their ‘quality of life metric’ for cancer patients, AbbVie’s Pete Williams says it is essential to ensure the unique experience of blood cancer patients is taken into account.

The last 2 decades has seen unprecedented scientific progress against cancer with survival rates for many cancers improving throughout the world during the first 15 years of the 21st century. In certain cancers survival rates have increased at a staggering pace and this success has been due to a number of factors including significant advances in technology and a greater understanding of cancer biology resulting in more detailed descriptions of a patient’s cancer and better targeted treatments. This progress means that there are new challenges for patients and there now needs to be a greater focus on ensuring people with cancer are able to live with the highest quality of life possible. There are currently 2 million people in the UK living with and beyond cancer. Evidence suggests that just because people with cancer are living longer this does not necessarily mean they are living well. According to research from Macmillan at least 1 in 4 of them face poor health or...
19 November 2018
Theresa MayTheresa May

Theresa May today admitted the final Brexit date could be pushed back to the next general election - amid claims the UK could be tied to EU rules for another four years.

The Prime Minister said it was “important” that the so-called implementation period should end before the country goes to the polls again in 2022. Her comments appear to contradict her Business Secretary Greg Clark – who this morning said the UK should have the choice of extending the implementation for the whole of 2022. The transition - currently scheduled to last between the exit date of March 2019 and December 2020 - will see the UK remain tied to most EU rules in a bid to smooth its withdrawal from the bloc. But reports emerged last night that EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier discussed adding a full year to the interim period with ambassadors from the remaining EU 27 member states. The extension is thought of as a way to keep the Northern Irish border open in case no future trade deal is agreed - and would serve as an alternative to the so-called 'backstop' plan which is hated by Brexiteers. Mrs May has previously said the implementation period...
19 November 2018
The mandatory code will ensure drivers that private car park operators will in future treat them in a reasonable and proportionate manner, writes Sir Greg KnightThe mandatory code will ensure drivers that private car park operators will in future treat them in a reasonable and proportionate manner, writes Sir Greg Knight

We need a mandatory code of practice across the private parking sector to end inconsistent practices and unfair treatment of motorists, writes Sir Greg Knight

Parking is an indispensable part of motoring. If you undertake a journey in a car, you need to park it. According to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, there are 38 million vehicles on our roads. Of those, probably 19 million will be driven and undertake at least one parking transaction each day. The number of “penalty” notices issued every year from private car parks is nearly five million; so many drivers have experienced an issue involving excess parking charges. In my view, it is essential that those who park on private land are treated both fairly and uniformly. Motorists should have certainty that when they enter a car park they are entering into a contract that is reasonable, transparent and involves a consistent process. Poor signage, unreasonable terms, exorbitant “fines”, aggressive demands for payment and an opaque appeals process need to be properly outlawed. Some private parking operators deploy tactics which are outrageous. One motorist, Mr O’Keefe, was driving...
19 November 2018

IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has responded to Theresa May’s comments at the CBI on the ‘jobs miracle’, warning that unless it changes course, it will soon experience a ‘self-employed catastrophe’.

Today, Theresa May gave the keynote speech at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference, promoting her Brexit deal and the opportunities for the continuation of what she described as the ‘jobs miracle that sound economic management has delivered since 2010’.   Andy Chamberlain, IPSE’s Deputy Director of Policy, commented: “There are few things pressing more on the minds of the self-employed – and all business people across the UK – than the progress of the Brexit negotiations. So at the CBI conference today, it was welcome to see not only Mrs May’s determination to push through a good Brexit deal for the UK, but also her commitment to forging ‘a system that works for business’. “Mrs May was also right to stress the significance of the ‘jobs miracle’ for the UK economy – and how important it is that it continues. What wasn’t mentioned, however, is the role of the self-employed in that miracle. “It’s true that there are more women and people with disabilities...