Public Affairs

Planning reforms – does the white paper plan for a positive future?

In my last blog, I looked at the new permitted development rules and reactions to the announcement. Since then, the government has released its ‘Planning for the Future’ white paper, laying out proposed reforms of the whole planning system. These proposals are under consultation for 12 weeks, so I thought I’d have a look at …

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Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them…well, I have others

As the Covid pandemic moves into the inevitable economic crisis, the world is hitting the reset button across numerous areas. I have written a few times about the UK’s data-driven obesity strategy and Boris Johnson re-setting his libertarian instincts to become interventionist after his personal brush with the virus. The resulting ‘Better Health’ campaign takes …

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Planning reforms – inspired or ill-conceived?

On Tuesday, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced changes to planning laws intended to make it easier to build homes and repurpose commercial property. Controversial new rules will mean full planning applications are not required to demolish and rebuild unused buildings as homes. This means that shops, for example, will be able to be quickly repurposed …

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Digital disinformation, cyber-warfare, and a new Cold War?

The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament’s report on Russia was published today. It will dominate headlines for a news cycle or two, adding another layer of mistrust between the UK (and the wider Western World) and President Putin and his comrades. The opening sentences tell a powerful story. “The dissolution of the USSR was …

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A frisbee into the long grass or a boomerang that will hit later?

I’m sticking with the theme of obesity, or population health resilience, as it continues to linger in the background of discussions about how to get out of lockdown safely, how to prevent future public health crises and the shape of that rapidly ageing term ‘the new normal’.  I experienced a new sort of normal the …

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Crafting stories, changing narratives, shaping reality

I’ve always worried about talking to stakeholders about the power of storytelling. I fear it sounds juvenile, childish, even infantile. What springs to mind when you hear the word? Telling stories at bedtime to your son or daughter (or nephew, niece, godson or goddaughter)? Perhaps that’s why we sometimes call it ‘brand narrative’. It’s way …

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