11th Feb: Weekly campaign diary for #dean4luton

It’s been another packed week representing Luton North, campaigning, canvassing and connecting with lots of residents across the constituency. Beyond the visits and photos, I’ve been very busy this week investigating some of the financial and community decisions of Luton Borough Council. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like they are actively held to account by the existing Labour […]

Dean Russell Selected As Luton North Parliamentary Candidate

Luton North Parliamentary Candidate

I am proud to be selected as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Luton North. I will be updating my progress and activities on The Russell Review over the coming months. The official press release is provided below from the Luton Conservative Association – where I’ll be spending a lot of time from now on! **** Press […]

Thanks First Capital Connect – you listened!

Back in January I wrote a concerned blog post ‘An open call: trains, disruption and safeguarding schoolkids‘. It was a public request to train operators (especially First Capital Connect) to improve how they safeguard children commuting during disruptions to service. Following a huge amount of public support, I was able to raise the issue directly with First Capital […]

#CANVASSINGQUESTIONS: ST ALBANS INTERVIEWS – Steve McKeown (Verulam Ward)

My latest entry in my #CanvassingQuestions series to find out more about the local St Albans District Conservative Candidates, this post covers an interview with Steve McKeown, the Verulam Ward Candidate: Why do you want to be a councillor ? My primary reasons for wanting to become a councillor are that I have a passion to help people. My job as […]

#CanvassingQuestions: St Albans Interviews – Mary Maynard (Harpenden East)

With the UK local elections just days away. I have restarted my #CanvassingQuestions series to find out some more about the local St Albans District Conservative Candidates.  This post covers an interview with Mary Maynard, the candidate for Harpenden East: Why do you want to be a councillor ?  Working as a management consultant for over 25 years, […]

President Obama - Big Data Report - http://images.politico.com/global/2014/04/29/140429_raul_obamadata_gty.jpg

Tech & Social Headlines: Big Data Warning to Obama

My top pick today is the MIT piece on the 5 Big Data warnings to President Obama from experts. It picks up on previous topics in my posts; technology is moving quicker than society can keep up.  The key recommendations are to improve legislation around technology and data – summed up by this quote from the […]

Screen based media discussion - image from http://www.dicksranchoglass.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Steve%20and%20Tyler%20carrying%20large%20mirror.jpg

Daily social & tech headlines: Time to discuss ‘screen-based media’?

My top pick today is the piece by TIME magazine asking to put an end to the term ‘mobile’ when discussing technology. They make a compelling argument, and one I completely agree with. I’d go further and add ‘digital’ as another overused term. Digital now covers so many areas, used interchangeably for online ads through to interactive websites, […]

Image used from: http://www.cicero.de/salon/streit-mit-google-warum-man-den-springer-verlag-loben-muss/57418

Daily social & tech headlines: The fear factor

“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” ― George Orwell, 1984 ‘Fear’ best sums up today’s top picks. It arises from three different perspectives. The first pick is a piece from the Washington Post which looks at individual’s fears around big data, or more accurately, erosion of privacy. Vivek Wadwa […]

Image from http://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2014/apr/17/big-data-government-public-services-expert-views

Daily social & tech headlines

My top picks have a similar theme – what could, or should, the future look like? The Guardian provides a series of interesting quotes on how and why big data could shape public services. The opportunity is best summarised by Tom Heath, head of research at the Open Data Institute “Data can enable government to do existing things […]

Jelly: A new kind of crowd-defined App?

In January 2014 Twitter’s famous founder Biz Stone (@Biz) announced a new mobile App ‘Jelly’. Jelly was launched with relatively little information, seemingly making it the role of Jelly users to define exactly what it could do. The initial reaction to Jelly was that it was just another Q&A crowdsourcing tool, but this doesn’t do it […]

An open call: Trains, disruption and safeguarding schoolkids

During the major Thameslink rail line disruption on Friday, I found myself sitting on a stationary train at my local station, frustrated like all the other passengers. As I finished emailing colleagues about the delays and finally got-over-myself for being annoyed at something unavoidable. I noticed a young child in school uniform, sitting alone and […]

Me, My (Quantified) Self and I

The ‘quantified self’ has been a major trend for a while now. Measuring every run, meal, weigh-in and heartbeat is easier than ever. As a lifetime gadget-geek and a relative newbie at getting fit. I decided to get fully App’ed up  for 2014 to spur me on. So after a lot of research, and some […]

Rewriting the rules – a post on ‘expectation architecture’ for customer journeys

Over on the LEWIS PR 360 blog I quite often write posts about the digital and communications industry.  Often looking at the latest trends or my opinion on challenges facing the industry (e.g. see my recent ‘what’s in a language?’ blog post). However, I sometimes have to stop myself and remember that it isn’t all […]

#Canvassingquestions – St Albans interviews – Michael Weaver (Harpenden West)

Why do I want to be a Councillor? I have been a Town Councillor for 9 years, which has been a great apprenticeship for becoming a District Councillor. This year I have been Harpenden`s Town Mayor. I now feel I can bring to the wider district in St Albans the benefit of all the experience […]

#Canvassingquestions – St Albans interviews – Guy Young (Ashley Ward)

Why do you want to be a St Albans district councillor?  I want to be a St Albans councillor because I want to make the District a better place to live and work in. I feel that a Conservative District Council will achieve this more than any of the other parties. This is because I feel the […]

#Canvassingquestions – St Albans interviews – Heidi Suzanne Allen (Marshalswick South)

Why do you want to be a St Albans district councillor? Because I genuinely believe that while our country is in difficulty, it is time for those of with energy, skills and determination to step forward and offer our services. I believe in David Cameron’s Big Society; so where better place to start, than my […]

#Canvassingquestions – St Albans interviews – Simon Calder (London Colney)

As part of my new series of canvassing questions I thought it would be useful to shine a light on some of our St Albans District Conservative Candidates.  This post covers an interview with Simon Calder, the candidate for London Colney: Why do you want to be a St Albans district councillor?  I want to […]

The return of #canvassingquestions

The local and London Mayoral elections are upon us once again.  Which for anyone connected to a political party, means the next few weeks will be a great period for keeping fit.  Or to put it more more accurately – pounding the streets canvassing and delivering leaflets. More importantly, it’s a time where we are […]

Health & Wellbeing in Local Government – the importance of the 3 C’s

During the past year I’ve been working to establish a new Health & Wellbeing Partnership within St Albans District. My hope has been to create a stronger voice for residents at a local level. To bring the power of localism into the way we work to improve the health and wellbeing locally. And importantly to […]

10 reasons to Visit St Albans

I was recently asked to run a workshop for St Albans District Council on how to promote more tourism to the area.  Even though I have lived in St Albans for over 10 years, there were even some things I wasn’t aware of or simply taken for granted.  So whether you are a day-tripper, on […]