With Scottish Parliament recess now well underway, political news this week has been dominated by a prominent US political figure visiting Scotland and we don’t mean Donald Trump’s well documented visit to his Turnberry resort. The former First Lady, Michelle Obama, arrived in Edinburgh on Tuesday evening for her first official international appearance since leaving the White House.
Along with 900 guests Perceptive attended The Hunter Foundation’s charity dinner at Edinburgh’s EICC, eager to listen to Michelle Obama, as she gave some insight in to life in the White House and the importance of girl power, saying that it is a dangerous world for girls and by turning a blind eye to leaders who treat women with disrespect, we are all complicit.
It could be said that girl power was a theme for the evening as Olympic gold medallist and Scottish rowing legend, Dame Katherine Grainger moderated the 90-minute conversation, asking Michelle Obama a range of questions which included, will the former First Lady run for office, to which she replied: “Will I do it? No.”
On the west coast of Scotland, Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, has had a busy week which included a visit to Ayrshire College to promote a £10m investment from Scottish Government to the Flexible Workforce Development Fund. The fund, which is going in to its second year, supports the upskilling and reskilling needs of Scotland’s workforce and is available to eligible levy paying employers.
On Wednesday, Mr Hepburn visited Dumfries & Galloway College to learn more about Perceptive client, Loreburn Housing Association’s pioneering Youth Foyer project in Stranraer. The innovative development aims to provide safe and secure housing, support and training for young people in Dumfries and Galloway by 2020. The project will aim to significantly improve the lives of people aged 16-25 who are at risk of homelessness and will provide a stable, secure environment, with support from trained staff.
Over the summer, we will look in turn at what might be coming up at various committees, starting with the Committee for Mr Hepburn’s domain (Economy, Jobs & Fair Work). The Economy Committee is one of the busiest in Parliament and its upcoming work already looks substantial. In a follow-up to the inquiries into Scotland’s economic performance and bank closures (which are still to be debated in the Chamber), the attention turns to the support provided by Business Gateway. Expect attempts to discuss the alternatives which businesses might choose those instead. The Damages (Investment Returns and Periodical Payments) (Scotland) Bill will be considered, as well as the potential implications of a publicly-owned energy company as a driver or hinderance to green and cheaper energy. Underpinning all this will be its consideration of the Draft Budget, which, like winter, is now beginning earlier and earlier.
Finally, our political, PR and social media efforts with client Wavegarden Scotland, creating Scotland’s first artificial surfing lake have been recognised as one of the best construction, property and infrastructure campaigns in the country by Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch withJulie McLauchlan on 07734 932578 or