Friday, 25 July 2014

Encouraging Young Girls to Stick with School

On 18 October 2014, Ida Horner of Let Them Help Themselves Out of Poverty is coordinating a fund-raising ball at St Andrews Church in Walton, as part of their efforts to support the local community in Ruhanga, Uganda.
In particular, they are now focused on raising money for a separate girls' toilet and shower block at the local school (pictured below), so they can enjoy basic sanitation with some dignity. It's a great initiative, so please support it if you feel able. For more details on the charity and what it's trying to achieve, click here.

No Terrorists or Torturers Please, We're British

How do you solve a problem like Vladimir Putin? In a column today for The Independent, I make the case for beating him at his own game by imposing automatic smart sanctions on anyone connected to a list of international crimes - from torture to terrorism.

You can read the column here.
Thursday, 24 July 2014

Walton Digital Work Hub

Earlier this year, I visited The Digital Work Hub, a flexible co-working space in Walton-on-Thames set up by Alec Grant. Its focus is on providing hot desks, meeting rooms and event space for home workers, micro-businesses, startups and entrepreneurs - ideal for local businesses, or those who want to try a middle ground between literally working from home and commuting. The Hub also runs workshops, training events and business surgeries. It's a great idea, and Alec has worked hard with his team to get the idea off the ground.

Throughout the summer, they will be offering new clients a discounted rate on any of their hot desk and meeting room packages. You can check out their website here for offers and events over the next few months.

Alec meets up with Sarah-Jane Shellard and the Walton Business Group ...

... and inside the Digital Work Hub in Walton town centre.
Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Less Tick-Box Diversity, More Meritocracy Please

I have written a column for Conservative Home, here, on the Equality Regulations that require 40,000 councils, police forces, schools and other public bodies to account for the social make-up of their staff and promote diversity - and section 159 of the Equality Act which licences positive discrimination.

I am opposed to these measures, because they place unnecessary red-tape on hard-pressed public bodies and businesses, and they are unmeritocratic and socially divisive.

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