Tag Archives: chris fox

What can we do about skills shortages? (and what about the clotted cream?)

Embed from Getty Images

At one level the answer (to the first question) is simple. As individuals, our ability to find a job, and succeed at work, depends on each of us having skills that are needed by an employer. As a society our economic well-being depends on a population that collectively has the skills that match current industry requirements. And our future prosperity depends on people using entrepreneurial skills to develop new industries and opportunities for employment.

So our complex education system – encompassing school, further education, universities, adult education and workplace training – should be designed to teach students and employees the skills society demands. One of Government’s roles must therefore be to identify the broad range of skills that are needed, to commission courses in those skills and encourage students and employees to take them up.

So why do we still hear about the skills shortage in this country?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 26 Comments

What Chris Fox did next

It’s four months since we reported the departure of party chief executive Chris Fox, who did such a good job of filling the big shoes of his predecessor, Chris Rennard.

Apparently, though, there is life beyond the Lib Dems — as PR Week reports:

Chris Fox today started in his newly created post of director of group comms at London-listed GKN, which employs around 40,000 people in 30 countries. … In an internal email to Liberal Democrat colleagues, Fox said there had ‘been few dull moments’ during his three-year spell with the party, adding: ‘I am looking forward to

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

Tim Gordon appointed new Liberal Democrat Chief Executive

Here’s the news from the party:

Tim Gordon brings to the role a lifetime of commitment to the Party, as a volunteer, campaigner and candidate, but also a strong commercial background and clearly demonstrated leadership qualities.

Tim Gordon has been a Party activist since his teens, when he first volunteered for the SDP “Yes to Unity” campaign, and has since campaigned in every major election. He stood as parliamentary candidate in Rotherham in 2005. He worked as a researcher for David Steel when he was Foreign Affairs spokesperson, and has been a member of several policy working groups over the years. He …

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 11 Comments

What do the Lib Dems need from the party’s next Chief Executive?

As readers of Liberal Democrat News — and the party’s website — will know the Lib Dem are searching for a new chief executive to succeed Chris Fox. Here’s the job ad:

The Liberal Democrat Party is appointing a new Chief Executive.
Liberal Democrat Headquarters, London, SW1

The Chief Executive leads the Party administration and directs the human, financial and administrative resources of the Party – both its senior professional team and its membership and supporter base. He or she will bring energy and outstanding leadership to this crucial job. The post is based in the Party’s new headquarters in the

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Nick Clegg’s speech to the Liberal Democrats conference rally

Welcome to Birmingham, a city with a great, outspoken liberal tradition. The home of Joe Chamberlain, where Gladstone called for Home Rule in one of the most rousing speeches of his life, and where Lloyd George nearly lost his life when he spoke out against the Boer War. Now it’s the home of those great modern day, outspoken liberals – John Hemming and Lorely Burt.

I have spent the last few weeks criss-crossing the country, speaking to as many of you as possible, hearing your concerns and answering your questions. We did what Lib Dems do: discussed, debated, argued – …

Posted in Conference | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

Opinion: Time to face reality on conference security

Lib Dem Voice has carried a number of articles in recent weeks, reflecting wider discussions among Lib Dems, about the security arrangement for the Birmingham Conference. The tone of many of these discussions has reached a quite extraordinary pitch of self-righteousness and vituperation, in many cases based on hearsay and rumour.

Perhaps it would be worth looking at some of the facts about the security arrangements.

Firstly the idea that this is a decision which Lib Dems can take on our own is simply wrong. Many others attend our conference, the media, exhibitors and the workers in the venue, who in …

Posted in Conference, Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 51 Comments

Chris Fox to step down as Liberal Democrats’ Chief Executive

Following Chris Fox’s decision, announced today, to stand down as Chief Executive at the end of November, Nick Clegg and Tim Farron have praised the transformation he has brought to the party organisation.

Chris Fox took over the role of Chief Executive in July 2009. During his time in the role he has led on strategy and the air war and headed up the executive team during the General Election. Since then he has focused on modernising the party which culminated in a move to new high tech headquarters in the heart of Whitehall a week ago.

Chris Fox said:

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 20 Comments

Liberal Democrats moving HQ : the future’s bright

The sun sets on Cowley Street

As the sun sets on Cowley Street, Lib Dem Chief Exec Chris Fox emails party members with the HQ’s change of address and a brief look back, before taking “another big step for the party and our ambitious modernisation programme”. (He also includes a handy list of contact details for other parts of the party.)

Simon Cooper’s sneak-preview photos show that for LDHQ, the future’s bright:

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , , and | 12 Comments

Collette Dunkley appointed as Liberal Democrats’ Marketing Director

Collette Dunkley is to join the Liberal Democrats next week as Director of Marketing, reporting to Chief Executive Chris Fox.

Collette, who was born in Liverpool, has led marketing and communications in global organisations including General Motors and Vodafone. She has also lectured on these subjects in various universities, advised many large organisations and is an expert and commentator on increasing engagement with women.

The new Marketing Department at Cowley St will bring together internal and external communications. These will include development of our messages and the ways we deliver them, as well as collecting vital feedback. Collette will undertake an …

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 11 Comments

Revealed: The Liberal Democrats’ new HQ

Great George Street SW1

The Liberal Democrats plan to relocate this summer to a new headquarters in Westminster, close to Whitehall and the Houses of Parliament.

The party has chosen newly-refurbished offices on the second floor at 8-10 Great George Street, opposite the Treasury.

Party staff can look forward to a modern, open-plan office on one floor, in contrast to the current Cowley Street offices – which are arranged over five floors, in an array of dolls’-house type compartments.

At around 7000 square feet, the floor area is …

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , and | 29 Comments

Chris Fox writes: Changing the way we support campaigning

After three days of consultations with staff and discussions with people such as Regional Chairs I am now able to update you regarding the way we hope to take our campaigning forward.

Some of you will have seen or heard rumours about major changes in the way we support campaigning – some accurate and a lot less so.

It is my responsibility as Chief Executive to ensure that our professional organisation remains as effective as possible and makes best use of the resources available to us. The changes we have made at Cowley Street since the last General Election are already well known, …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 18 Comments

Chris Fox and Lorely Burt continue in post

Chris Fox, the party’s interim Chief Executive, has been appointed to the post permanently whilst Lorely Burt, chair of the Parliamentary Party (in the Commons) has been re-elected unopposed. Best of luck to them both.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Liberal Democrat policies in Government

Chris Fox, the Lib Dem Chief Exec, has circulated this helpful summary of which of our policies are included in the agreement. It’s slightly easier to wade through than the full text, which we brought you earlier.

A Fair Start for Children

  • Introduce a Pupil Premium to give all children a fair start.

Fairer taxes and Economic Reform

  • A substantial increase in the personal allowance from April 2011 with a longer term policy objective of further increasing the personal allowance to £10,000, making further real terms steps each year towards this objective
  • Reform of the banking system, ensuring a flow of lending to

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 8 Comments

New Lib Dem song – Hit, Miss or Maybe?

Party members have just received this email from Lib Dem Chief Executive Chris Fox:

At our successful spring conference last weekend, a number of delegates came up to me to ask about the music they heard at the rally, opening each session and on the video before Nick’s speech. This music is called We’ll be the change that works for you and it has been specially prepared for the election. The more you listen to it the catchier it gets.

Following the positive comments we got at conference we wanted to make it available to members and supporters and I am delighted to say that it is now available via iTunes. There are a number of ways you can find it – if you go to the iTunes store and search any of the following, it’s in the top results:

The LD Community Choir (straight to track)
LD Community Choir (straight to track)
We’ll be the change
Change that works for you
Alternatively, there is a direct link using this URL (this will launch iTunes if you have it installed):

www.itunes.co.uk/theldcommunitychoir

If you are trying to access the track and have not used iTunes before, this link should then show you how to download it.

We have prepared a number of different versions, but the one available here has a long instrumental introduction that can be used for a variety of campaigning events and it ends with the rousing chorus we all heard when Nick Clegg ended his speech on Friday.

Yours,

Chris Fox
Chief Executive, Liberal Democrats

PS Of course if enough of us all download it in the same week we might just creep into the charts! Please encourage friends and family to download this as proceeds go into the campaign fund.

Lib Dem Voice didn’t receive a review copy, so I’ve coughed up my 79p and downloaded my own legal copy.

Posted in Conference and News | Also tagged , and | 25 Comments

Ros Scott writes … Party President’s report to members, January ’10

In the two months since my last report, the election campaign has started in all but name.

After a phenomenal amount of work by the manifesto team – led by Danny Alexander, the party’s policy unit headed by Christian Moon, and the Federal Policy Committee – we have now established the broad outlines of our campaign:

  • Reform of the tax system to create a fairer base,
  • introducing the pupil premium to give all children a fairer start in life,
  • creating sustainable housing and jobs and
  • political reform to bring in a fairer voting system, and

Posted in Op-eds and Party Presidency | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

Ros Scott writes… Party President’s report to members, November ‘09

The two months since the party’s last Federal Executive have, as usual, been pretty busy. In that period I have visited local parties in Aldershot, Altrincham & Sale, Winchester, Islington, Sutton, Wycombe, Amersham & Chesham, Swindon, Gloucester, Stroud, Cheltenham, East Dunbartonshire, Glasgow North, Edinburgh Pentlands, North & Leith, West, Ochil, and Consett. I have also attended the North West and West Midlands Regional Conferences.

The two meetings of the party’s Chief Officers Group which I have attended are reported separately to FE, but I wish to highlight the work done to develop the business plan and budget which were …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 4 Comments

Follow the yellow brick road? The Liberal Democrats’ general election campaign

Guide to 2010 election book coverHere is my chapter from the Total Politics Guide to the 2010 General Election, looking at the prospects for the Liberal Democrats:

The 1997 general election turned out to be a once in a generation opportunity for many local Liberal Democrat campaign teams to gain a Parliamentary seat from the Conservatives. At the tail end of a by then deeply unpopular Conservative Government, the election saw unprecedented numbers of seats falling to the party. A few seats that were not quite gained from the Conservatives in 1997 did subsequently fall in 2001 and 2005, but it was the 1997 election with the Conservatives in government that was the main opportunity. Nearly every campaign that missed then did not subsequently win.

Posted in Books and General Election | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 7 Comments

Rabi Martins appointed Lib Dem Chief Exec Chris Fox’s diversity adviser

Last month, Nick Clegg admitted something that had been glaringly obvious for ages: the Lib Dem parliamentary party is “woefully unrepresentative of modern Britain”. Today Lib Dem interim chief executive Chris Fox signalled his determination to help Nick to get to grips with the problem by appointing a personal Diversity Adviser ahead of the General Election.

Here’s what the party press release has to say:

Rabi Martins, the parliamentary spokesperson for Luton North and past member of the party’s Federal Policy Committee will be the adviser to Liberal Democrat executive on equality issue. He will begin the role on Monday

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Ros Scott’s Report of the Lib Dem Federal Executive held (26th October 2009)

Our usual practice at Federal Executive (FE) is to have a round up of current issues, presented by Nick Clegg, followed by a Q&A. In Nick’s absence we heard from the Chief Whip, Paul Burstow, and the new Chair of the Campaigns and Communications Committee (CCC), Willie Rennie.

Paul Burstow updated FE on the issue of Members’ expenses, outlining progress on the Legg Report and the Kelly review (due to be published 4th November), neither of which had finished. He emphasised that work on a Lib Dem Code of Conduct for Parliamentarians would be finalised once these two pieces …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , , and | 4 Comments

The inside story of how the Lib Dem general election manifesto will be drawn up

The debates and disputes around the Liberal Democrats’ Bournemouth conference give a taste of what is likely to be a tricky process of drawing up the party’s manifesto for the next general election.

Formally, there is a three part process to that manifesto: the manifesto working group chaired by Danny Alexander will present work to the Shadow Cabinet which will then in turn (quite possibly amended) go to the Federal Policy Committee (FPC).

How will this process work and who will the key people be in drawing up the manifesto?

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 10 Comments

The most influential Liberal Democrats: 25-1

Today’s Daily Telegraph completes the paper’s list of the top 50 most influential Liberal Democrats, counting down from 25 to 1.

The list includes new entries by Richard Allan, Lord Oakeshott, Party President Baroness Scott and new Chief Executive Chris Fox.

In the top two spots, Vince Cable and Nick Clegg have swapped places, with Vince this year’s number one.

What do you think of the list? Is anyone missing? Were there any surprises in the list for you?

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

Liberal Democrat General Election Team announced

Nick Clegg has announced today the team that will advise him on strategy, resources and communications, as well as the planning and delivery of the Lib Dems’ General Election strategy.

From the Liberal Democrats’ website:

Nick Clegg said:

“I am delighted to announce the team that will lead the planning and delivery of our General Election campaign.

“I have asked John Sharkey, my adviser on Strategic Communications and the former MD of Saatchi’s, to Chair the Campaign, supported by Andrew Stunell MP as Vice Chair.

“John’s extensive experience managing major communications businesses combined with Andrew’s campaigning expertise will be a formidable combination steering the

Posted in General Election and News | Also tagged , , , , and | 31 Comments

Chris Fox appointed Lib Dems’ interim chief executive

Ros Scott, the Lib Dem party president, has just issued the following announcement that Chris Fox will take over as interim chief executive of the party during July:

Following this month’s announcement that we will be appointing an Interim Chief Executive I am pleased to say that following a selection process Chris Fox has been appointed to this important role.

Chris Fox joined us as Director of Policy and Communications earlier this year and he will continue to fulfil the tasks associated with this job . This is possible thanks to the strength of the individuals

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 5 Comments

The Lib Dems’ ‘Smeargate’ silence: well-judged or a missed opportunity?

Like it or not, there’s no doubting that the political story of the past few days has been Damian McBride’s leaked emails touting various smear stories targeting Tories. Yet visit the Lib Dem website and you will find no mention; tune into the news, you will hear no comments from party spokespersons; read the papers you will find no quotes. The party has blanked the story.

I do not believe for a moment that this is an oversight – doubtless it was a deliberate decision by the Lib Dem leadership and the new director of communications Chris Fox to steer …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 26 Comments

Chris Fox appointed new Lib Dem Director of Policy & Communications

After a six-month search, the party has finally been able to appoint a successor to Jonny Oates in the key role of Director of Policy and Communications: Chris Fox will be joining the Lib Dems in the New Year.

Chris has spent 20 years leading communications in international and FTSE100 companies, and is currently employed by engineering firm Smiths Group. Prior to that he was Director of Corporate Relations at Tate and Lyle plc.

Chris stood for the Lib Dems for Parliament in 1997, in Windsor, finishing runner-up, with 29% of the vote. In 2000, he stood unsuccessfully for election …

Posted in News | 12 Comments
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