Road to recovery

first_imgRoad to recoveryOn 28 Mar 2000 in Personnel Today Recent developments in fleet vehicles are serving to ensure the company car lives on If the current state of Britain’s company car market could be summed up in song, you would probably imagine it in the miserabalist mode of Leonard Cohen.Uncertainties over taxation changes, linked to exhaust emissions, are causing fleet managers to shudder at the idea of ordering new vehicles (what happens if you get lumbered with 500 of the wrong ones?). Droopy residual values, and the ongoing cash-for-cars debate are adding to long faces in the world of fleet vehicles.Yet should company car proponents really be looking sad? According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, company cars took 54.6 per cent of Britain’s total new car market last year.Given that total British new car registrations are currently hovering at about 2 million annually, this represents a lot of metal, and a lot of employees for whom the convenience and status of a work-provided set of wheels remains undiminished. Yes, change is coming to the company car park, and with this in mind Personnel Today has drawn up a list of five positive fleet developments.1. Choice The choice of cars deemed suitable for fleet use has never been wider, with once-unlikely marques ranging from Skoda to Mercedes all keen to secure business sales. This slots in well with the onward march of user/chooser policies, and it is now rare to find cars with specifications which do not give a nod to business driver requirements – everything from airbags to air conditioning. Gone are the days of matt brown paint and plastic seats – today’s fleet offerings are generally fitted with the right options and painted in colours that will attract private buyers when the time comes to sell them on.Paul Simpson, South of England national leasing manager for Mercedes Benz, says specification levels of quality marques such as his have been improved by fleet industry requirements – drivers are less prepared to tolerate stripped-out specifications from prestige German brands. Air conditioning is also considered essential in today’s fleet vehicles. “The standard specification is rising and we are adding value to our cars as a result,” he says.2. MotivationJames Langley, client development manager for fleet management business PH* Vehicle Management, thinks the remuneration value of the company car is as strong as ever. “Choice is seen as one of the ultimate ways of retaining staff,” he says.This has led to a whole range of formerly out-of-bounds brands, such as Mercedes, Audi and BMW finding their way into company car parks. To compete, so-called bread and butter marques such as Ford and Vauxhall have added equipment, improved build quality and less easily defined dynamic elements of their cars.Many staff are surprisingly knowledgeable about such minutiae and view having the right car as something of a workplace badge of honour. Tales of good employees leaving jobs because they didn’t like their cars are sometimes true.3. ConvenienceIn 1999 a Europe-wide poll of company car drivers by fleet management company Lease Plan found that almost 63 per cent of UK respondents put convenience at the top of the list for sticking with a firm’s car. This was despite fewer of them believing it was cheaper to have a company car than owning one themselves – 41 per cent in 1999, compared to 50 per cent the year before.“For most companies outside the major metropolitan areas, the company car is still the most hassle-free way of getting people to work,” says Andrew Cope, managing director of contract hire company Zenith. He describes fleet vehicles as very people-friendly, and when staff take a “cash for cars” option, they tend to operate on different budget levels, choosing cheaper, older, less appropriate vehicles.In terms of providing a straight staff benefit, Cope says many employees used to a company car found related paperwork and duties onerous, and the costs involved an unwelcome surprise. Often, the convenience of letting their employer take care of these things is something they feel is worth paying for.4. TechnologyOne of the current vehicle industry buzzwords is “telematics” – a broad term that can be applied to satellite navigation systems, which are becoming faster, easier to use and more accurate. They are filtering into cars like the Toyota Yaris supermini and are part of a batch of equipment that can let you know where a car is located and the route it is taking, when it is due for a service, and send and receive messages to and from its driver.This so-called black box technology has a civil liberties element which has yet to be resolved (when does overseeing become spying?), but provides a degree of staff accountability and logistical advantages for an employer. Indeed, PHH Vehicle Management is fitting driver monitoring units – branded Fleet Command – to all its vehicles, and three car makers are thinking of offering this as an option.A more immediate technological aid for the modern company car driver is the fuel card. Keith Greenhead, PHH fuel division director, reckons some 66 per cent of them use fuel cards – up from under 50 per cent in the early/mid-1990s. “With the increased cost of fuel they focus on the expense and make people look at how to get a better grip on this,” says Greenhead, who believes the cards make administration easier, allow control over where fuel is bought and encourage economical driving.5. The futureThe trend towards downsizing company cars, in particular from Vectra- to Astra-sized models, has largely been ameliorated by the fact that the smaller cars give little away in terms of performance, refinement and creature comforts. They are also more tax efficient. Models like the Astra, Focus and Golf are all highly regarded, and new credible alternatives, such as the second generation Nissan Almera, will soon be with us.The car makers are also proving adept at producing vehicles that meet prevailing legislative trends, such as the likely arrival of excise duty based on CO2 exhaust emissions. Makes such as Vauxhall, Volvo and Ford have all moved to offer dual fuel gas/petrol powered models, which spew out far less CO2, and already sell in real numbers – Vauxhall will find buyers for 3,000 duel fuel cars a year. At least five petrol companies are working towards offering 200 filling stations apiece with liquid petroleum gas pumps, making this fuel – which is also much less heavily taxed – easier to obtain.Diesel is also much more CO2 emission-friendly, although mutterings about the potentially carcinogenic nature of the “particulates” it emits could see it hit by a special levy. Even so, the latest engines are making big strides in economy cleanliness and refinement – BMW scores well here. VW has just launched a very economical three-cylinder Polo 1.4 diesel – an average 64.2mpg is claimed. And Peugeot has an exhaust “dirt” trap for diesel versions of its upcoming 607 saloon.All this means the company car is changing, but given its undiminished practical and motivational advantages, reports of its demise are premature. By Martin Gurdonlast_img read more

How to win again in Georgia? Listen to the Black leaders who got us to the dance in the first place

first_img– Advertisement – But activists on the ground in Georgia don’t need any more firing up. They’re there. Like Mary-Pat Hector, a graduate student at Georgia State University. “We just continued to do the work,” even though conventional wisdom said flipping the state was unlikely. “We refused to leave any votes on the table.” Now, she says, she hasn’t done graduate homework for months. “But we have a runoff coming,” she said. “Now we need to figure out how to keep this momentum going through Jan. 5.”The Georgia runoff is Jan. 5. Request an absentee ballot by Nov. 18. Early in-person voting starts Dec. 14. And REGISTER TO VOTE here by Dec. 7. They’ve energized an activist team that flipped Georgia. Abrams’ group alone registered 200,000 new voters in the past two years. The People’s Agenda, under the leadership of Helen Butler—who runs the organization, which was founded by the late civil rights icon Rev. Joseph Lowry—made more than 1 million phone calls and text messages to potential voters. They held candidate forums around the state, sent out election mailers, trained more than 1,300 people, and literally got people to the polls by giving them rides. “Black voters showed up, stood in line and were committed to making sure their voices were heard,” Butler said. “They were willing to exercise those rights.”“COVID has really highlighted how all of this is connected to their everyday lives and what it means not to have benefits or be able to work,” Butler said. “Not getting relief programs, not having a plan for mitigating COVID so they can get back to their normal lives, it brought home what public policy and what elected officials do to their everyday lives.” This is one of the most salient arguments Ossoff and Warnock can make. The Senate under Mitch McConnell, with the full participation of Georgia Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, continues to take up substantive pandemic relief bills. McConnell has been sitting on that relief since May 15 when the House passed the HEROES Act, and he’s not going to let Biden save the day next year if he remains in control of the Senate.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Everton future looking bleak for Alex Iwobi

first_img Loading… Marco Silva, the manager who recruited him, was already in the dying throes of his miserable tenure, and Iwobi found himself added to a disjointed team who already appeared to be losing faith in their head coach. The midfield, unbalanced since the exit of Idrissa Gueye, lacked control, destabilising the whole side, and the horrific November injury to Andre Gomes was yet another blow to an already troubled area of the side. The arrivals of Allan and Doucoure threaten to solve a problem area, which could have meant an upturn in fortunes for Iwobi, so often feeding off scraps last season, but the arrival of James from Real Madrid—and accompanying shift information—threatens to reduce him to irrelevance. Everton’s own malaise exacerbated some of the issues Iwobi had already endured at Arsenal, where he had sometimes struggled to find his place in the team under Unai Emery. No one could question his fitness, work rate, or movement, but what exactly had Iwobi been signed to contribute? He doesn’t have the pace of a winger, doesn’t have the creativity of a No. 10…what exactly was his purpose? “Iwobi doesn’t do it for me,” former England and Spurs striker Darren Bent told Football Insider. “His end product’s not good enough, he doesn’t score enough goals, doesn’t create enough goals so he’s not really doing anything.” Damning words, but few Everton fans would disagree at this stage. While it’s easy to say he needs a fresh start—a move to Crystal Palace has been mooted—would a switch to playing alongside ‘lesser’ players expose Iwobi’s own limitations, which were perhaps masked at the Emirates Stadium. The likes of Bolasie, Besic, Sandro and Cenk Tosun; and even Bernard, Sigurdsson, Kean and Fabian Delph face uncertain futures under Ancelotti. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 These are exciting new times at Everton, but not, it appears, for 2019 signing Alex Iwobi, who is increasingly looking bound for the exit doors at Goodison Park. Carlo Ancelotti invested in James Rodriguez, Allan, and Abdoulaye Doucoure during the summer, a raft of new arrivals who underpinned the Toffees’ successful start to the Premier League on Sunday as Tottenham Hotspur were defeated 1-0 on Sunday. Everton were outstanding in North London, and followed that up by cruising past Salford City in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. Ancelotti gave his second-string a run-out, with only Michael Keane retained from the Spurs victory, giving hope to the likes of Theo Walcott and Moise Kean—both omitted from the starting XI against Tottenham—that they remain in his plans. Iwobi, however, despite appearing to be fit and available, didn’t make the matchday squad for a second consecutive game. It wasn’t that he failed to make the team, but he failed to make the coach’s 18 on the day. Here is a player who increasingly appears to be surplus to requirements under Ancelotti. It’s a remarkable fall from grace for a player who cost the club £34 million just last summer, but he’s now in danger of finding himself among the Merseysiders’ other outcasts, alongside the likes of Yannick Bolasie, Muhamed Besic and Sandro Ramirez. After not being linked with a move away from the club for the majority of the brief offseason, the rumours have begun to fly around that Iwobi is destined for an imminent exit from Finch Farm. According to the Daily Mirror, he’s one of several fringe players who could be offloaded by Director of Football Marcel Brands as he looks to balance the books. There has been plenty of poor transfer decisions over the last few years at the club, and in the context of some of their other flops—Davy Klaassen, anyone?—the the arrival of Iwobi hasn’t (yet) been an emphatic failure. Admittedly, he struggled to make his mark last season, registering a risible return of one goal and zero assists, but there were caveats, not least a season of transition and turmoil at Goodison Park.center_img Promoted ContentThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreThe Highest Paid Football Players In The World7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty Penny11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table Top7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too MuchEver Thought Of Sleeping Next To Celebs? This Guy Will Show You7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The UniverseWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?What Happens To Your Brain When You Play Too Much Video Games?10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemWhy Do So Many Digital Assistants Have Feminine Names & Voices?last_img read more

Unruh Institute hosts first ‘Students Talk Back’ event

first_imgThe panel discussion featured Commander William Scott of the LAPD; Jasmyne Cannick, a community activist and political communications strategist in California; Nathaniel Haas, an editorial columnist for the Daily Trojan and Yasmeen Serhan, special projects editor of the Daily Trojan. The panel was co-moderated by Dan Schnur, executive director of the Unruh Institute, and Euno Lee, editor-in-chief of the Daily Trojan.Schnur opened the panel by highlighting the divisiveness surrounding race relations and police interaction, and asked that the students, faculty and community members in attendance treat the topic sensitively in their participation with the panelists.“It’s a critically important [issue], and it’s a sensitive one,” Schnur said.Lee began the discussion by asking Scott what steps the LAPD has taken since the 1992 Los Angeles riots to improve the relationship between the police and the community.Scott described the evolution of the department’s tactics from suppression-based strategies in the ’70s and ’80s towards a more community-based approach following peak violence in the ’90s.“In 1992 following the Rodney King trial, we had to revisit what we do … [V]iolent crime was at a high level, centered in minority communities,” Scott said. “Our suppression strategies … led to undermining the other parts of our goal, which was knowing our communities and understanding how they wanted and needed to be policed.”Scott said the LAPD has moved away from militaristic, tactics-based training and that the department’s “training is more vision and values focused now.”He conceded, however, that further efforts are required to improve police-community relations.“The bottom line is [that the LAPD is] trying to increase the amount of trust between us and the community, but we have a lot of work to do,” Scott said.When asked the same question, Cannick was quick to reframe the issue.“The words that are often used to described [the events of] 1965 and 1992 are ‘riots’, but a lot of us consider them an ‘uprising’ or a ‘rebellion,’” Cannick said.Cannick also compared the lack of transparency within the LAPD to that of the Ferguson police department this summer. The necessity of open communication between the police, the press and the community was a salient issue for panelists, who brought up the social media and journalist response to Ferguson this summer. Panelists agreed that police non-cooperation and infringement on freedom of the press were disconcerting.“A lot of the [media] sources that we sent were being silenced or barred … [E]leven journalists were arrested,” Serhan said.When asked what effect the media has on forming public opinion in racially charged cases such as these, Haas explained the importance of the dynamic between the police, the media and the public.“The question to ask is not ‘What happens when communication breaks down between the media and the public?’ but ‘What happens when the communication breaks down between the media and the police department?’” he said.Cannick said that the media needed “more rapid responses” from police with “correct, factual and honest answers.”Ultimately, all panelists agreed on the importance of a continuing dialogue between the community and members of the police force in order to move forward on racial profiling issues. Scott recalled the tense discussion between the LAPD and the USC community after the department shut down a predominately minority graduation party in riot gear in spring 2013.“Dialogue can go a long way, and it’s not always comfortable,” Scott said. “You get in a room and talk about racial relations, and it is not comfortable, but we have to do it.” The Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics resumed its event series “Students Talk Back: A Politics and Policy Forum” on Wednesday in the Tutor Campus Center, with a discussion entitled “The Legacies of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown: How the Nation Moves Forward.”Tough talks · LAPD Commander William Scott speaks at a panel discussion Wednesday noon in Tutor Campus Center as part of the Unruh Institute’s “Students Talk Back: A Politics and Policy Forum” event series. – Jessica Magana | Daily Trojanlast_img read more