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Scottish budget impasse must be resolved quickly

Holyrood’s decision to vote down the budget bill will undoubtedly lead to further debate and discussion over the coming days about the detail of the devolved administration’s spending proposals. What is clear though is that at a time when the country is witnessing a sharp economic downturn, parliament needs to come to the aid of (more…)

How an ancient heroine inspired me

Since early childhood I took inspiration from an ancient English heroine – Boadicea, who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire in the first century. To a girl growing up in the 50s and 60s caught in the constraints of the post war, pre-feminist era, Boadicea, triumphant in her chariot, epitomised (more…)

Best laid schemes?

Down Pleasure’s stream, wi’ swelling sails,I’m tauld ye’re driving rarely:But some day ye may gnaw your nails,An’ curse your folly sairly As we approach the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns’ birthday it would be interesting to contemplate what the bard would make of the current economic situation. Burns was highly critical of the hypocrisy and (more…)

Distinctive city strategies – authentic or formulaic?

In the context of the economic slump and intensified competition for jobs and investment, cities must promote their distinctiveness and develop ‘differential advantages’ that other cities cannot reproduce. People should not resort to formulaic responses – high tech industries, talent attraction, signature buildings and consumer brand identities. Instead we need constructive suggestions for developing more (more…)

Ministers must commit to shared banking

Before the banking crisis we had major banks closing branches, often the last one standing, in deprived communities including Liverpool Kensington that are receiving regeneration money and beginning to look up. Also suffering were rural communities, estates and poorer suburbia. Now that the banks are strapped for cash and look likely to be making losses (more…)

Social enterprises – your time is now!

Can social enterprises grow in a recession? I think they can. By nature they tend to be resilient and resourceful. The very good level of support being offered by the Scottish Government is a real shot in the arm. This will give social enterprises with a sound business plan access to capital in an economy (more…)

Many voices and points of agreement

I’m still recovering from a hectic day travelling up the A1 with the Eventus team to deliver a creative consultation event on accommodation for homeless young people for Broadacres Housing Association. The boxes are being unpacked; we have the easy job of putting resources back on shelves; and the exhilarating but terrifying job of making (more…)

Training for the future

Correct and relevant skills training is essential not only to lift ourselves from the current recession, but to enable the UK to compete globally once things improve. I have produced a video giving advice on training and outlining my predictions on the severity of the recession. To watch the video click here. chrishumphries

Pink shoots of recovery

I bought my first forced rhubarb of the year yesterday. For those of you not in the know forced rhubarb is a bit of a Yorkshire thing – it’s either grown in mysterious candle lit sheds, or, on a smaller scale, under a terracotta cloche. The darkness tricks the plant into working harder to find (more…)

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