Understanding Scotland's Government, Parliament and MSPs: How they work and how to influence them
Director, Message Matters
With nearly 15 years in communications in banking and politics, Andy’s areas of expertise are corporate positioning, reputation management, strategic campaigns and writing.
He also has a background in branding and corporate ID renewal and is a regular contributor to political discussion on TV and radio.
Lobbying Registrar, Scottish Parliament
Billy McLaren was appointed as Lobbying Registrar in October 2016 following the passing of the Lobbying (Scotland) Act in the Scottish Parliament in 2016.
The Act is intended to increase public transparency of lobbying with an MSP or a Minister, Special Adviser or the Permanent Secretary within the Scottish Government, by introducing a register of lobbyists and monitoring compliance. The post of Lobbying Registrar has been created to assume operational responsibility for this work.
Previously Billy worked in Westminster, supporting the UK’s Attorney General as Assistant Private Secretary and then in Whitehall and Edinburgh, as part of Donald Dewar’s private office team when Secretary of State for Scotland and then Scotland’s First Minister.
He led a project team coaching civil servants to provide focused briefings for Scottish Ministers, creating, updating and storing this key material on an IT system developed and implemented to operate across all Scottish Government departments.
Following that, he worked in Glasgow on policy, evaluation and IT projects delivering programmes under a £350 million package of European regional development and social funds for Scotland.
Billy was recruited in 2009 to the Scottish Parliament, as Head of the International Relations Team.
From 2011 to 2016 he served as the Principal Private Secretary to the Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer (Speaker) during the Parliament's first ever five-year session.
Director, Baccus Consulting
Prior to establishing Baccus Consulting, Lynda was Head of External Affairs at Pfizer with responsibility for all aspects of External Affairs for Scotland and Northern Ireland. During her ten years with Pfizer, Lynda managed a number of highly successful partnership relationships and sought to identify new approaches to policy development in her field. She has obtained considerable experience in managing issues and corporate change.
Before working in the pharmaceutical sector with Pfizer, Lynda spent twenty years in the NHS as a nurse and a manager and three years as Regional Manager of the Institute of Health Services Managers (now Institute of Healthcare Managers) and has a strong working knowledge of the NHS and the public sector, its successes and challenges.
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Interesting and informative.