Linstock’s Friday Takeaway: 4 December 2015

“Congratulations to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, who have been shortlisted in the Community Involvement and Digital Council of the Year categories for the 2016 LGC Awards.”

In the news

Good week: Democracy
No-one could doubt the UK Parliament’s commitment to providing a fair and democratic platform to all members on Wednesday as it hosted a ten-hour Commons session on military intervention in Syria. Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn was in the headlines following his speech in favour of airstrikes, in which he called on Labour party members to vote against Jeremy Corbyn. Despite the controversial outcome of the debate, Benn’s speech is a good lesson in oratory and drew rare applause from all sides of the Chamber.

Good week: Climate Change
Perhaps not a country used to dominating international headlines, but Uruguay has stolen the show at the UN Climate Summit in Paris. The South American nation’s director of energy, Ramón Méndez, reports that his nation successfully generates just under 95% of its electricity from renewable sources. The remarkable feat has been achieved without government subsidies or a meaningful increase in cost to the consumer – food for thought for green energy sceptics.

Bad Week: EU Referendum Enthusiasts
The battle lines are drawn. Heavy-hitters from the worlds of business and politics are becoming increasingly vocal, and the official campaigns have launched. Now all they need is, err, to know what they’re campaigning for and when. David Cameron announced on Thursday that he does not expect a final EU reform deal to be struck in December, no doubt to the frustration of those who feel that uncertainty caused by the referendum is hurting the UK economy.

Bad Week: Social Media
The Financial Conduct Authority has launched an investigation into insurers that are using social media profiles to carry out a risk-assessment of applicants. We’re constantly being told to be cautious of how we conduct ourselves on social media sites but the rise in technology has made it all too easy to share opinions and experiences as they happen, often without thinking twice. Insurers are not the only ones using social media in this way – banks and tax collectors are gathering information in the same way to see if our lifestyle matches tax payments. Given that all it takes is 0.33 seconds for Google to bring up a person’s Facebook account and expose bad photos or an inappropriate message from the past, users should be wary of their ‘online footprint’.

Linstock News

Companies facing a reputational crisis will often have to invest a lot of time and money rebuilding or rebranding the organisation. Reflecting on some of the biggest scandals of the last few years, Jon Bennett shares his insight in Professional Manager and outlines ‘5 (quietly effective) examples of crisis management’.

Client News

Congratulations to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, who have been shortlisted in the Community Involvement and Digital Council of the Year categories for the 2016 LGC Awards. Nick Golding, Local Government editor at the Chronicle said: “To be shortlisted for an LGC Award shows that a council’s work in this particular area is something that can inspire the rest of local government.”

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