Social Value in Government Procurement

Government procurement teams are responsible for managing billions of pounds of public expenditure, in fact, every year £300 billion is spent on contracts for public services. What is value? Thinking about how the Government gets ‘value for money’ out of this procurement spending is an important exercise. Value has previously perhaps been too narrowly defined …

Resolving Insolvency

The Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill is currently in the House of Lords. It is clearly a Bill in two parts. The first part deals with business rate valuations in the light of Covid-19 and the second provides for the investigation and disqualification of the former directors of dissolved companies. As this …

British Paralympic Association appoints Chair

It is tremendous today to see that Professor Nick Webborn has been appointed Chair of the British Paralympic Association.  Nick has extensive experience of so many aspects of the Paralympic Games, Paralympic sport, sports medicine and so much more. He has attended eleven Paralympic Games in various roles. I first met Nick when he was …

Cash must be protected

It was my pleasure to take part in this evening’s ‘In Touch’ programme on BBC Radio 4 (5th October 2021) about access to cash. I have long been campaigning on cash, the need for it to continue, to be accessible, available and inclusive.  This was the subject of this evening’s show, obviously focussing specifically on …

AI: applied intelligence

Yesterday (20th September 2021), I was delighted to co host the latest evidence session for the All Party Parliamentary Group on AI. This was the third in a series we have been running to seek input to the National AI strategy.  And, perhaps it was the most important as we were considering the opportunity to …

IPT Innovation Fellowship Completed

For over 40 years the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) charity has been working to promote mutual understanding between Parliament and the worlds of business, industry and commerce for public benefit. It is such an important mission and I am delighted to be part of it, initially by attending events in parliament, participating in industry …

Unpaid internships must be stopped

Unpaid internships are still scandalously prolific. Covid has been appalling for so many, in so many ways. Perhaps a lesser known impact has been the rise in unpaid internships which has accompanied the pandemic. Firms claiming, Covid related, their inability to pay so ask; “come along, give of your work for free and maybe, but, …

We must urgently ‘level up’ SME finance

Lifeblood of the UK economy Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) – the lifeblood of the UK economy –  are reporting significant problems in accessing finance. 99% of UK businesses are SMEs; responsible for 52% of the turnover of UK plc and employing more than 16.5 million people. SMEs struggling to access finance Supporting small businesses …

Batteries and fuel cells for net zero, new Lords report published.

The House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee today (27 July 2021) publish a report on batteries and fuel cells. The report is based on an inquiry into the role of battery and fuel cell technologies in achieving the UK’s ambition to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The inquiry considered the use …