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Scottish Conservatives conference builds on 2016 gains

It was, as the football commentators used to say, 'A game of two halves'. The opening day of conference - Friday - was all about the Prime Minister. This her first chance to make a major policy speech on Scotland and her approach to the defining issue of our age - independence. The Prime Minister left no-one who heard her speech in any doubt that she is Unionist to the core. She believes passionately and to the tips of her fingers in the ... Read more

Scottish politics in 2017: polls, pantomime and public opinion

At the end of 2016, Public Affairs Co-op carried out its first Twitter poll. The question asked was simple Y/N - Will a second referendum on Scottish independence take place during 2017? The answer was clear cut - Yes 22% No 78% - on a turnout of 262. The polling took place just before the Christmas break. Despite the result we were surprised as everyone else when not long after January's return to work, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon advised in an STV interview ... Read more

A 2050 vision for Edinburgh

Public Affairs Co-operative is a business firmly rooted in the city we’re proud to be based in: Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh. City leaders are taking forward a big exercise looking at where the capital is now and where it is going in the future. Edinburgh 2050 is all about what kind of city we want to live in 30 years from now. So we were really pleased to be invited by Edinburgh Business Forum to take part in an event this week looking ... Read more

Elected Mayors for Scotland?

My colleague David Lee has written already about Conservative Party conference #CPC16 in Birmingham and what we learned about developing rural policy in the post Brexit world. Scanning the huge number of fringe events taking place at conference gives a big clue about what the key public policies issues are challenging politicians in the governing party and crying out for answers. So what were the recurring themes amongst the fringe in Birmingham? No surprise Brexit was definitely number one. Northern Powerhouse figured highly, ... Read more

A road trip to Birmingham

Party conferences offer a good opportunity to hear at close hand what politicians are thinking - especially in the hundreds of varied Fringe events which take place away from the rather stage-managed agenda of the main hall. That's why Public Affairs Co-Op travelled to the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham this week, working with our client Confor - the trade body for the forestry and timber sector. Although politicians have very packed diaries at conference, there are regular chances to speak to them ... Read more

Bright future for forestry in Scotland

Scotland last had a new Forestry Act in 1967 and it looks very likely that it will get a new one exactly 50 years later, in 2017. To complete the full devolution of forestry, the Scottish Government recently launched a consultation - which ends on November 9th - to decide how to shape that future. The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing, has pledged to listen carefully to what the forestry sector in Scotland wants, as he understand the importance ... Read more

Politics at the Edinburgh Festivals

In August last year Public Affairs Co-op published our ‘Politico’s Guide’ to the Edinburgh Festivals. Looking at the shows we highlighted then it is clear how much the upcoming independence referendum (remember that…) dominated everyone’s thinking. Well if a week is a long time in politics then a whole year seems like a huge amount has happened in the twelve months since last year’s festival. We’re still political junkies here at Public Affairs Co-op and love to get our fix from the many shows, ... Read more

An update on our ethical approach

Public Affairs Co-op is the first of its kind; a public affairs consultancy guided by ethics. Public Affairs Co-operative is the UK’s first ethical, democratically run, worker led co-operative specialising in stakeholder engagement and lobbying. At our launch in March 2014, we made 10 commitments to ethical conduct and co-operative principles.  We wanted to update you on how we are matching up to this call to action. This year, Public Affairs Co-op has focussed its investment on education, skills training, and information, with the ... Read more

Guide to UK Government’s Energy Agenda

CISSIE LIU, Public Affairs Co-operative's graduate intern from the University of Edinburgh's Master of Public Policy Programme looks at how the new Conservative Government is approaching the issue of energy policy. THE Queen’s Speech heightened fears that David Cameron’s Conservative Government has renewable energy in its sights. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, reacted by urging Westminster to consult devolved administrations more widely on energy policy and by demanding a veto on any change to wind power subsidies. If ‘uncertainty is the new ... Read more

10 ways last week’s SNP surge will change British politics

CISSIE LIU, Public Affairs Co-operative’s graduate intern from the University of Edinburgh’s Master of Public Policy Programme comes to us with over 5 years of experience in parliamentary affairs in Canada. Here she offers insight into what Britain can expect from the SNP’s astonishing general election success drawing on lessons from Canada and Québec. The political map in the UK is being redrawn. The SNP made history last Thursday, winning 56 out of 59 Scottish seats at Westminster. The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats ... Read more
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