Participants 2018

Coming to Notwestminster 2018 or following online at #notwestminster ? Here are just some of the people you can hear from, talk to and collaborate with – not only speakers and workshop hosts, but listeners and doers too…

Andreas PavlouAndreas Pavlou
Network Lead, Involve

Andreas is Network Lead at Involve, focusing on open government and, in particular, the coordination of the UK Open Government Network. He believes deeply that increased transparency, better citizen participation and greater accountability are key to improving decision-making in government and the quality of democracy in the UK. Based in Madrid over the last five years, he was able to follow closely the democratising and participatory consequences of the 15M movement on Spanish politics and society, such as the increased demand for democratic renewal and greater citizen engagement in political and social life.

Councillor Peter FlemingCllr Peter Fleming
Leader of Sevenoaks District Council & Deputy Chair of the LGA

Peter in images: a Soulless ginger patch, kid being a pilot, Sevenoaks road sign, Deputy Dawg badge, a chair and the Local Government Association logo

Jenny CroninJenny Cronin
Chair, Unlock Democracy Greater Manchester

I’ve been a supporter of democratic reform campaigns for some years initially through Unlock Democracy. I’m chair of the Greater Manchester group and an elected national Unlock Democracy Council member. Unlock Democracy stands for fair politics, accountable government and citizen engagement. Devolution of English regions along the same lines as Scotland and Wales is a cause I still hang on to, though it is sorely disrupted by the piecemeal devolution deals that parts of the North of England have been inflicted with currently.We network with other local campaigning groups and are among many who support the People’s Plan with its genuinely democratising approach to local devolution.

Vicky SeddonVicky Seddon
Sheffield for Democracy

Vicky coordinates the Sheffield for Democracy campaigning group which promotes improvement in our representative democracy, focussing on both national and local issues. The devolution issue around the Sheffield City Region is one area of concern and agitation. Vicky was Chair of Unlock Democracy for 9 years and was also involved with its predecessor Charter 88. She worked in Student Services at Sheffield Hallam University where she was active in NATFHE the lecturers’ trade union, becoming its national treasurer (a lay position) for seven years. Retired, she now volunteers as an appropriate adult in police stations, supports Amnesty International – and is part of a U3A poetry appreciation group.

Sean PeacockSean Peacock
Open Lab, Newcastle University

Sean is a PhD student in Digital Civics and Urban Planning, based in the Open Lab at Newcastle University. His research interests centre on exploring different ways to involve young people in placemaking, urban planning and civic life through the design and use of digital technologies. Prior to this, he professionally trained as an urban planner and worked in several local government roles in London and his native North East of England. He is interested in collaborating with individuals and organisations who wish to engage young people meaningfully in local civic issues.

Councillor Mike JordanCllr Mike Jordan
Selby District Council

Mike was born and raised in Hornsea on the East Coast before attending Huddersfield Polytechnic to study Chemistry. Having qualified he stayed in the town a further 5 years, married, then moved to Castleford working for a new chemical company at Ferrybridge. He later moved to Knottingley near the town hall and switched jobs, working at a Chemical company in Mirfield. Mike retired at 60 in order to help his local community as he had by this time become an experienced Councillor in the Selby area. Mike’s main hobbies are car restoration, motorcycling and cycling itself. He is a member of a local club and Motorcycle Action Group.

Joe MitchellJoe Mitchell
Democracy Club

Joe believes in the power of online participation to make democracy better – hence helping to found Democracy Club. He previously worked at Purpose, one of the world’s leading online organising consultancies, on projects relating to global health and the environment. He also has a range of experience across the public and third sectors, including in marketing and communication for the UK Government, and advocacy and research for NGOs such as Transparency International and Global Witness. Along the way he picked up several degrees in law, development and governance.

Sym RoeSym Roe
Democracy Club

Sym is a developer and has worked in the open / government space for years. He runs Democracy Club, partly by writing code and partly by working with others to build a community of organisations who want to work together.




Tim DaviesTim Davies

Open Data Services Co-operative

Tim is a member of Open Data Services Co-operative, and works on Open Contracting across the world. Tim co-maintains the global Open Contracting Data Standard, and supporting governments from Mexico to Moldova to implement systems for publication of structured data on their contracting processes. He is a member of the UK Open Government Civil Society Network steering group, and is passionate about connecting open government policy and local community action. Tim will bring an overview picture of what open contracting is, and how it could be used to address local democratic deficits in the UK. 

Rachel SmithCllr Rachel Smith
Gloucestershire County Council

Rachel splits her time between working as a registered music therapist, and as a county councillor, elected to Gloucestershire County Council in May 2017. Rachel campaigned on transparency in public contracting, and is a member of the authority’s open contracting advisory group – set-up in response to a council motion calling for greater transparency. She has been working to address green issues through procurement. Rachel will bring reflections on the practice, and practical challenges, of securing greater support for open contracting in local government. 


PerryPerry Walker
Talk Shop & Open Up

Perry is one of the founders of Talk Shop.  We ran events during the EU referendum period which were among the very few that allowed Leavers and Remainers to come together safely to understand and begin to appreciate each other’s positions. In 2017 we are concentrating on a small number of topics: immigration; Brexit; the progressive alliance; and a constitutional convention. Perry runs the Open Up politics website which helps people engage quickly with complex ethical and policy issues. He is also a Fellow of the New Economics Foundation (NEF), a London-based think tank, an associate of Rhizome, a cooperative providing facilitation services and a Fellow of Involve.

Louisa Thomson

Louisa Thomson
Head of Impact and Evaluation, Renaisi

Louisa is responsible for Renaisi’s impact and evaluation work with clients in local and central government, the voluntary sector and health. Louisa was a local councillor for seven years in a London borough, and although currently revelling in the joy of having evenings back, retains a strong interest in local democracy and the changing roles of councillors. She has a PhD from the Open University which focussed on the translation and interpretation of policy agendas in local government. She is also a trustee at Manor House Development Trust – a social enterprise in one of London’s largest regeneration schemes.

Matt ClackMatt Clack
Public Health Manager, Hackney Council

Matt is a Public Health manager, leading programmes to get the rest of the council to consider the health impact of their services. This involves working with council functions like housing and transport, along with other local public services, to tackle health inequality and promote wellbeing. Matt joined local government fresh out of uni way back in 2004, and has spent most of his time in democracy-focused roles. After a few years supporting various committees he joined a scrutiny team, working with councillors to get residents better engaged in decision-making, and to improve the services provided to them. He tried and failed to establish a neighbourhood planning forum for his community, and still has the scars to prove it.

Ed HammondEd Hammond


Centre for Public Scrutiny

Ed leads on the Centre for Public Scrutiny’s work around local accountability. His work has a particular focus on corporate governance within local authorities, but he has also carried out extensive research on policing and community safety, having produced national guidance for the operation of Police and Crime Panels in 2011 and 2012, and research on their first year in operation in 2014. He is currently leading on CfPS’s work on English devolution, alongside work on local authority governance change (including changes to schemes of delegation, rules of procedure and other constitutional amendments), transparency and Freedom of Information, and overview and scrutiny.

Dr Andrew MycockDr Andrew Mycock
Reader in Politics, University of Huddersfield

Andy is Reader in Politics at the University of Huddersfield. His research interests focus on issues of youth citizenship and democratic participation. He served on the UK government’s Youth Citizenship Commission from 2008 to 2009. He recently contributed to the UK Parliament Digital Democracy Commission project, ‘Hardcopy or #Hashtag: Young people’s vision for a digital parliament’. He was the independent chair of the Kirklees Democracy Commission.


Notwestminster 2018