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Political Insider – Friday 31 May 2019

Political Insider – Friday 31 May 2019

The elections nobody wanted ended up dominating this week’s news and being a complete disaster for the Tories and little better for Labour.  MEPs tend not to be well known figures (unless their surname rhymes with barrage, as in balloon, as in full of hot air….)  But Scotland’s six new Members of the European Parliament have changed considerably and will be as follows. Four of the six being newly elected.  In alphabetical order:

·       Christian ALLARD (SNP, first timer, was an MSP until 2016 and is a French national).

·       Aileen MACLEOD (SNP, also a first timer, former MSP and Minister)

·       Baroness Nosheena MOBARIK (Con, was previously an MEP; one of just 4 CON MEPs to survive)

·       Sheila RITCHIE (Scottish Lib Dem, experienced but new to Europe, solicitor and current Scottish Party Convener; regained the seat lost to UKIP in 2014)

·       Alyn SMITH (SNP, was an MEP previously)

·       Louis STEDMAN-BRYCE (Brexit Party, newly elected, a home care director and Scotland’s first black MEP)

Although Nigel Farage’s six week old Brexit Party swept to victory across the UK, topping the poll in all regions except Scotland, Scottish voters delivered another poll triumph for the SNP who gained a third MEP.

Overall, the SNP won the biggest share of the vote, winning all council areas except the Lib Dem heartlands of Orkney and Shetland. Labour dipped below 10% and lost both their Scottish MEPs including respected veteran David Martin, an MEP since 1984. UKIP lost all their UK seats – including the one snatched from the Lib Dems in 2014. The former UKIP MEP David Coburn had already defected to the Brexit Party but did not stand again.

Elsewhere it wasn’t exactly another quiet week in the political world… a week ago today, Theresa May made a teary resignation speech as her tenure as Prime Minister will come to end on 7 June. So, who will be the next leader of the Tory Party and thus PM? The favourite with bookmakers is a certain Mr Boris Johnson, however he could be summoned to court ‘within days’ over claims he lied during the Brexit referendum, the Tory leadership front runner was ordered to attend a hearing to face accusations he lied with his repeated claim that the UK sends £350 million a week to the EU.  Team Perceptive are putting their ha’penny on Michael Gove.


Closer to home, the Scottish government wants to put the question of independence to a new public vote in the second half of 2020. However, the Referendums (Scotland) Bill does not set a date or question, with ministers seeking agreement with the UK government. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said “now more than ever it is essential that we keep Scotland’s options open”.

Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell MSP gave a statement to MSPs on Wednesday afternoon about the bill and plans for a “citizens’ assembly” to discuss Brexit and independence. The Scottish Conservatives said the “latest stunt” was “all about Nicola Sturgeon pandering to her party, not speaking for the country”.

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734 932578 or julie.moulsdale@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk

Political Insider – Friday 24 May 2019

Political Insider – Friday 24 May 2019

Brexit is back on the agenda this week in politics as the Prime Minister has been facing calls to resign amid a backlash against her current Brexit plan from Conservative MPs. Her Commons leader Andrea Leadsome resigned on Wednesday night, becoming (unbelievably) the 36th minister to resign under Mrs May’s premiership.

Several cabinet ministers have strongly suggested that she just cannot stay, with one saying it is “the end of the line”. Theresa May has pledged to set a timetable for a new leader to take over after MPs vote on the plan in the week beginning 3 June. However, some Tory MPs are again seeking to change party rules, so they can vote to oust her sooner.  Some in the Perceptive office think she will be gone as soon as next week.  Watch this space…

The polls opened yesterday for the five-yearly European Elections, in what one senior politician termed ‘the strangest election ever’.

The UK results will not be known until early on Monday as all EU countries vote around but not exactly at the same time, so no country’s early results can be revealed. France doesn’t vote until Sunday, for example.   The feeling in the UK is that Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party will win most seats with Labour and the Conservatives (especially) being punished by the electorate. The Lib Dems are expecting to win 9/10 seats (up from just the one they retained in 2014).

Closer to home and six Scotland-wide MEPs will be elected, with only three incumbents standing for re-election. The Lib Dems are optimistic about getting feisty Aberdeen lawyer Sheila Ritchie elected. The Conservatives are nervous about losing their one Scottish seat to the Brexit Party. Ex MSP and French citizen Christian Allard is likely to be elected for the SNP.  And the Greens, as always, are hopeful of getting former Co-convener Maggie Chapman elected but will probably fall short again.

In Holyrood and the Scottish Government has published the New Housing and Future Construction Skills Short Life Working Group’s report. The group made 40 recommendations to the Scottish Government to address housing construction skills gaps, including investment in apprenticeships, upskilling current workers and encouraging more people to work in the sector.

report on stakeholder views on challenges for housing up to 2040 has also been published. It calls for improvements to existing housing stock, more recognition of the challenges facing rural areas and greater community involvement in planning decisions.

Speaking at last week’s Homes for Scotland Awards event, Aileen Campbell MSP affirmed the Scottish Government was “working collaboratively” with skills bodies and local authorities to improve the workforce. She added that this would lead to a “dynamic” skills base which would be equipped for future challenges.

Female council workers affected by the equal pay dispute at Glasgow City Council are to receive equal pay offer letters in the coming days. The long-running dispute centred on women who were paid up to £3 an hour less than male colleagues, despite being in the same pay grade. The women affected will receive an average of £35,000 each under a settlement scheme announced in January. The council said “individual offers” would be made to “thousands” of women.

And finally… A radical feminist invited to speak to MSPs at Holyrood has defended her controversial views on transgender rights. Meghan Murphy was invited to the Scottish Parliament by SNP MSP Joan McAlpine, both women have voiced concerns that new gender identity laws in Scotland could infringe women’s rights. Her trip to Scotland comes as the Scottish government plans reforms to the Gender Recognition Act to allow people to “self-declare” their legally recognised gender.

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734 932578 or julie.moulsdale@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk    

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 17 May 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 17 May 2019

As another busy week draws to a close, a rare chink in the SNP armour appeared as Joanna Cherry, a senior SNP MP has hit out at party “infighting” after claims of “back-stabbing” and “politically motivated smears”. 

The current row stems from complaints from several former members of staff. One former caseworker complained of bullying by the Edinburgh South West MP and her office manager. Another former employee said that “almost all her staff” had written letters of complaint to Commons authorities over their treatment.

Ms Cherry, of course, rejects these accusations, describing them as “lies” and “spurious”, saying that “I am not and never have been a bully”.

Ruth Davidson has returned from maternity leave and has urged Scots to “move on” from constitutional debates as she launched the Scottish Conservative campaign for the European elections. The Tories had hoped to avoid going to the polls on 23 May but have conceded they will take place with the Brexit deadlock at Westminster still unbroken. The party has not produced a manifesto but held a campaign launch event at a distillery near Stirling.   Current polls suggest they may struggle to retain their one Scottish seat.

Theresa May has promised to set a timetable for the election of her successor after the next Brexit vote in the first week of June. The agreement follows a meeting between the Prime Minister and senior Tory MPs who are demanding a date for her departure from Downing Street. In other Westminster news, Boris Johnson is the only MP who has said he will run for leader once Mrs May resigns. Dominic Raab and Michael Gove are emerging as favourites.

Glasgow and Edinburgh are going head-to-head to try to become the UK’s first “net zero” city. Both cities have now unveiled ambitious plans to cut greenhouse emissions to a neutral level. Glasgow wants to reach the target “well before” 2045, while Edinburgh has set its target to 2030. Both bids exceed the Scotland-wide 2045 ambition announced by the Scottish government earlier this month.

Perceptive client Wavegarden Scotland hosted neighbouring MP Hannah Bardell (SNP) and MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton (LD) on a site tour and progress update.   Both are keen surfers and have been promised early ‘test’ opportunities when the site is up and running.

And finally… good luck to all the finalists in the Homes for Scotland Awards today.  Client Mactaggart & Mickel has been shortlisted for Medium Private Development of the Year and for Company Innovation and Best Practice as a result of its pioneering Employer of Choice initiative.  Perceptive is also finalist in the Best Supporting Organisation category.

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734 932578 or julie.moulsdale@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk    

Digital & Social Media Manager

Digital & Social Media Manager

Permanent, full time Digital & Social Media Manager

Do you thrive on driving results online? Are you on top of the latest social media trends?

We’re looking for an enthusiastic, motivated and experienced digital and social media manager to join our growing and multi-award winning team.

This role would ideally suit someone with digital and social media expertise, skills and experience. Our ideal person would also have experience of and a desire to be actively involved in driving client results through effective digital and social media campaigns.  An ability to deliver results in a fast paced environment with a can-do attitude is key.

Our shared values are focusing on results, being straightforward, trustworthy, caring for clients and colleagues with a great energy and attention to detail.

The role
As a Digital & Social Media Manager you will be responsible for the delivery of several client campaigns from the development of the digital and social media strategy to implementation for our clients in construction, health, biotechnology and technology.  Your activities will include:

  • Working with the Perceptive team to develop and implement successful communications strategies for our clients that deliver results
  • Developing and implementing organic and paid for multi-channel campaigns that have delivered proven results including across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram
  • Developing and executing a full digital marketing strategy and developing, implementing, tracking and optimizing SEO focused digital marketing campaigns across all digital channels
  • Identifying, generating and delivering compelling content & materials to engage target audiences and drive desired results
  • Tracking current news, trends and memes  to identify content source streams
  • Creating and designing images/graphics and video content for marketing campaigns
  • Planning, scheduling and overseeing social media activity to drive desired results
  • Connecting with social media influencers to build productive relationships
  • Coaching others on the effective use of social media
  • Using website analytics tools (e.g. Google Analytics, Facebook insights, LinkedIn Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Mention) to monitor, report and make recommendations
  • Presenting and explaining detailed social reporting to clients
  • Setting up and optimising Google AdWords’ campaigns
  • Identifying potential new business opportunities
  • Attending networking events on behalf of Perceptive Communicators, including external and internal events e.g. Perceptive Communicators and Perceptive Directors Clubs
  • Contributing to new business activities e.g. tenders

Essential skills

  • At least 3 years’ digital and social media experience
  • Proven track record of implementing successful digital and social media campaigns across main social media channels
  • Expertise in using content management systems to deliver and update websites effectively and efficiently
  • Experience of using tools like InDesign and Canvas
  • Proven track record of developing and delivering high quality effective written, image and video content for online and social media channels that deliver desired results
  • An ability to deliver agreed goals and work to tight deadlines to ensure clients’ targets and expectations are met
  • Good project management and time management skills
  • Strong writing and creative skills, so able to create compelling content from complex information
  • Proactive and proven ability to thrive in a fast paced environment
  • Organised work processes and project management with ability to prioritise tasks and manage time effectively
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Flexible can do attitude and a willingness to learn
  • Ability to work on own and as part of a team
  • Driving licence and access to a car for work

Our values are:

  • Focussed on results
  • Trusted experts
  • Straightforward and reliable
  • Great energy and team spirit which extends to our clients

If you think you fit the bill, do get in touch.

Work experience
Candidates will at have least three years’ work experience in a digital and social media communications role.  Experience of working in an agency and delivering successful results on behalf of clients is desired but not essential. 

Why join us?

Perceptive Communicators is a multi-award winning communications consultancy, established in 2006 and on a very strong growth path which benefits all employees. We work on exciting projects in construction, health, biotechnology and technology which help our clients achieve their goals.

We offer flexible working hours and up to two days a week working from home. Our team enjoy excellent holidays and benefits, including private healthcare, discounted flights and hotels, free Amazon Prime, Starbucks coffees and cinema tickets.

In addition to 33 days’ holiday, we give all of our employees an extra day’s holiday to have their birthday off.  We also encourage our employees to give back through the company donating a day of their time to our jointly agreed charities.  This year we have supported Action for Children and the Simon Community. 

Our core values are focus on results, straightforward, trustworthy, care and being reliable with a great energy and team spirit for colleagues and clients. If you fancy being a key lynchpin and working with this fast-paced team, please get in touch.

Please apply by sharing your CV, current salary, salary expectations and notice period. 

To apply
If you are interested in this opportunity, please send a CV and covering letter to info@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk detailing why you would be good for this role, with details of your current salary and salary expectations.

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 10 May 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 10 May 2019

In Holyrood this week, Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham announced more detailed plans on their proposed Deposit Return Scheme. The Deposit Return Scheme will include aluminium and steel cans as well as drinks containers made of glass and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic with a 20p deposit as part of plans to combat climate change. 

The scheme is based on what Ms Cunningham termed successful international equivalents and will be widely accessible, with all shops which sell drinks offering deposit refunds to customers. The Deposit Return Scheme Implementation Advisory Group is providing industry input and guidance on the scheme’s interaction with consumers, producers, retailers and the hospitality industry, which will be key to its success. More details can be found here:https://news.gov.scot/news/deposit-return-scheme

At Westminster, further pressure is being piled onto the PM and her position, Theresa May met Sir Graham Brady this week, amid calls for her to set a firm resignation date. No 10 insisted the meeting was routine, but pressure is mounting on the PM, with local Tory associations confirming they will hold a vote of confidence in her leadership on 15 June.

The Scottish government is likely to postpone plans for its budget to be assigned a share of VAT revenues, the finance secretary has indicated. Half of the VAT receipts raised in Scotland had been due to be assigned to the Scottish government’s budget from next year.

However, it has been difficult to calculate what the figure should be. Derek Mackay said there was a danger this could short-change his budget by millions of pounds.

Scrapping the current benefits system and replacing it with a basic income could eradicate destitution, according to a new report. The report supporting the idea of a universal basic income has been compiled by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). The RSA charity wants to see every adult in Scotland given a basic annual income of £2,400, rising to £4,800. Children would be paid £1,500.

The Scottish government supports proposed trials of the system by councils in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife and North Ayrshire.

And finally… Wavegarden Scotland, a client of Perceptive, held a public consultation at Ratho Library on Wednesday of this week. The purpose of the consultation was to update residents on the accommodation design proposals at what will be Scotland’s first artificial surf pack, located at the old Craigpark Quarry in Ratho. Over 150 residents engaged with the Wavegarden Scotland team. Feedback was very encouraging towards Scotland’s first purpose-built surfing lake and newest leisure destination.

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734 932578 or julie.moulsdale@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk    

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 3 May 2019

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 3 May 2019

Nicola Sturgeon has hit back at Theresa May after the Prime Minister said that the SNP had to “get on with the day job” during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday. Addressing the House of Commons, the PM said: “Under the SNP and government in Scotland, what we are seeing is public services getting worse because the SNP are focussing on holding another independence referendum.”

The First Minister accused Theresa May of a “complete lack of self-awareness” and said it was the Tory leader who was struggling to get on with her administration’s duties.

The Scottish Government announced this week that they will legislate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2045 after receiving fresh advice from an expert panel.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) urged that Scotland set the target five years ahead of the UK as a whole. The panel says Scotland has more potential sites for carbon capture and a greater landmass for tree planting. It came after a report to the UN last year urged the world to go “further and faster” in tackling climate change. And on Sunday last week First Minister Nicola Sturgeon declared a “climate emergency” in her speech to the SNP party conference.

The Scottish Greens will launch their manifesto for the upcoming European elections next week (Tues 7th May) in Glasgow. The launch will take place at West Brewery, Glasgow Green, which was set up by German national Petra Wetzel, and brews under German purity laws. Media will be invited to ask questions of lead candidate Maggie Chapman and party co-convenor, Glasgow MSP Patrick Harvie.

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP has  called on the Scottish Government to take urgent action in the face of the climate emergency. Last year climate scientists warned that we have just a decade to deliver the change needed to avoid a climate catastrophe, and today new guidance was issued to the Scottish Government by the Committee on Climate Change, its statutory advisor.  Ms Johnstone asked the First Minister what action the Scottish Government plan to take in the next year given the urgent nature of the emergency.

And finally SNP MP Pete Wishart has announced his candidacy to replace John Bercow as the Speaker of the House of Commons. There is speculation Mr Bercow will announce his retirement this summer, although he has not yet confirmed this. Conservative MP Sir Edward Leigh and Labour’s Chris Bryant have both voiced an interest in the job. Mr Wishart wrote on Twitter that he would release a manifesto on Wednesday to become “the first post-war Speaker from beyond the two main parties”

If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734 932578 or julie.moulsdale@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk    

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