Political Insider Friday 17 January 2020

Political Insider Friday 17 January 2020

Political Insider Friday 17 January 2020

The UK government has formally rejected a call from Scotland’s first minister for a second independence referendum. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a referendum would “continue the political stagnation Scotland has seen for the past decade”. He also said that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had previously pledged that the 2014 referendum would be a “once in a generation” vote.

Ms Sturgeon tweeted that the Tories were attempting to “deny democracy”. She said Mr Johnson’s formal refusal of her request for a referendum to be held later this year was “predictable but also unsustainable and self-defeating” and insisted that “Scotland will have the right to choose”.

The first minister also said the Scottish government would set out its response and next steps before the end of the month, and that the devolved Scottish Parliament would again be asked to “back Scotland’s right to choose our own future”.

There is no clear way to measure the success of Scotland’s £5.2bn city deals, spending watchdogs have warned. City region deals are designed to encourage economic growth and create jobs. They have seen the UK and Scottish governments collaborate with local councils on infrastructure schemes such as new rail links. However a report by Audit Scotland warns the plans lack provisions to measure performance. It found many deals may have already missed opportunities to meet national targets due to a lack of measures to track progress.

The cost of a UN climate change conference in Glasgow could be “several hundred million pounds”, police say. Up to 90,000 people – delegates, observers, heads of state and media – are expected to attend COP26, over 12 days in November. A Scottish Police Authority report says it will be the largest mobilisation of police officers in the UK. Scottish ministers say they expect the UK government to cover the “core costs” including emergency services funding.

Leading figures from Unilever, Ella’s Kitchen and Positive Luxury have been unveiled as key speakers at a forthcoming conference which champions values-led businesses. The executives will address the Impact Summit at SWG3 in Glasgow on May 20, when climate change, tech for good and sustainable fashion will be brought under the microscope. The event is delivered by Edinburgh-based FutureX, which has secured the support of The Hunter Foundation, the philanthropic organisation set up by Sir Tom Hunter, for a third consecutive year.

We were delighted to attend Built Environment Network’s first Scottish event of 2020 yesterday with many major construction and development projects in the city on the agenda. Glasgow City Council leader, Susan Aitken was very upbeat about the future prospects for the city, particularly on investment in office development and as a world leading conference destination. 

And finally … Perceptive clients are welcoming two MSPs today. Gillian Martin (SNP, Aberdeen East) will be visiting Inverurie based Scotframe and Graham Simpson (Conservative, Central Scotland) is visiting Construction Scotland’s Innovation Centre in Hamilton.

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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