Wikipedia/Wikidata for new and returning MPs

Wikipedia Home Page
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As soon as the first election results were announced on 12 December, Wikipedians – the volunteers who write and edit Wikipedia – sprang into action, updating Wikipedia’s articles about the election itself, about every individual constituency, and about every single MP.

The volunteers also added data, including for example MPs’ websites, Twitter names and Facebook profiles, to Wikipedia’s younger sister project, Wikidata. That’s a database that provides online, queryable data (linked open data, in technical jargon) that is used to populate Wikipedia articles.

MPs staff are able to update Wikipedia and Wikidata, as long as they follow the guidelines for the sites. If you would like to do this then you may want to refer to our guides

New visual identity for House of Commons

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News on the Parliament website that the House of Commons has updated its corporate visual identity to ensure it is accessible, in particular on digital platforms and mobile devices.

The updates include an updated rendering of the Crowned Portcullis symbol that works effectively at all sizes in digital environments, and follows the changes developed for the award-winning UK Parliament visual identity launched in 2018.

Alongside the updated version of the House of Commons wordmark, the identity includes an extensive colour palette, icons, illustrations and templates.

Two highly accessible typefaces, National and Register, have also been selected for their excellent legibility in digital and print environments.  The decision to adopt them was based on guidance from the British Dyslexia Association and the Digital Accessibility Centre.

The first corporate publication to feature the updated branding was the House of Commons Annual Report and Accounts 2018-19, which is available via the UK Parliament website.

New home for alt.guides

alt.guides
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Parliament is a serious place, and the Palace of Westminster and constituency offices are filled with hard-working, dedicated professionals engaged in the important business of running the country.  Yet even the most committed need time for rest and recuperation, space to kick back and unwind, and opportunities to take a sideways look at their workplace, employers and even their political masters.

For many years we’ve published a range of material  for staff who are looking for something less serious and rather more entertaining than the average guide to best practice.

Now they have their own home, along with an archive of our much-loved Hoby cartoons – over at http://alt.w4mp.org/

We hope you enjoy these guides as much as we do.

New Customer Services Hub

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A new Customer Services Hub will open in the Members’ Centre in Portcullis House at 09:00 on Tuesday 4 September 2018.

It will include the Procedural Hub, the Library, the Parliamentary Digital Service, a General House Services enquiry and help desk, as well as charging lockers.

As the Derby Gate Library will be closing at 5pm on Monday 3 September to allow works to take place, some Library services will be made available in the Customer Services Hub.

Please see the intranet for full details: https://intranet.parliament.uk/business-news/news-current-issues/news/2018/august/changes-to-the-pch-members-centre/

W4MP privacy notice

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As you’re no doubt aware, both from the deluge of emails from mysterious organisations asking you to ‘reconfirm’ their permission to deluge you with unwanted missives, or your own attempts to come to terms with the implications for the office filing system, the General Data Protection Regulations come into force in UK  law on May 25.

You can read more on the Information Commissioner’s website.

We do hold some personal data in order to deliver w4mp and w4mpjobs, and have a privacy policy which explains what we hold and what we do. We don’t have any mailing lists and hold things like names and addresses of advertisers in order to provide our service.

If you have any questions then contact editor@w4mp.org

Department of Health Guide for Constituency Staff – updated

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The Department of Health has updated its helpful guide for constituency staff, which has been sent out by email to Members of Parliament.

The Ministerial correspondence – Guide for constituency staff is designed to help constituency office staff find their way around the health and social care system, and identify which organisation is best placed to help them with their constituency enquiries and casework. The guide explains the roles of the NHS trusts and arms-length bodies (ALBs) in the health and care sector, and includes contact details for the chief executives of all the Department’s ALBs.

If you have not already received a copy of this guide and would like one, please email us on editor@w4mp.org and we will email you a copy.  Please note that this will only be sent out to those with verified Parliamentary email addresses.  It is not available to the public.

The Need to Know Project

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By Elliott Brown from Birmingham, United Kingdom (Witton Station – Mind the Gap Uploaded by Oxyman) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Full Fact, along with The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK Statistics Authority and the House of Commons Library, is launching  a project to identify and fill gaps in data and analysis in the UK.

The project is designed to answer important questions about eight different topics which include crime, immigration, education and housing. Full Fact want to fill the gaps in data to produce reliable and well-communicated information. This will help ensure that public decisions and debate are based on the best information available and will help prevent people from making claims that will need to be corrected later on. To find out even more about this project, click here

Full Fact are also looking for your examples of data and analysis gaps for their eight topics. To view these topics and find out how to get involved, click here.

POSTnote: Environmental Crime

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By Bicheesh (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A new POSTnote has been published about Environmental Crime. This POSTnote outlines environmental crimes and how to tackle them, within both an UK and EU context.

It discusses the definition of environmental crime and its links to other serious crime, including the drugs and arms trade, human trafficking and the funding of terrorist organisations. It identifies two primary categories of environmental crime in Europe: waste crime and wildlife crime.

These primary crimes tend to be low risk and high profit to criminals as they are often difficult to prosecute. This report highlights particular incidences of these crimes, current EU law pertaining to them and ways in which they are enforced and the crimes prosecuted in the UK and abroad.

Importantly, the report discusses how to  improve enforcement of these laws, whilst also exploring the challenges faced when tackling this type of crime.

To read the full report, click here.