Wondering what to expect? Here are just some of the people you could hear from, talk to and collaborate with at Local Democracy for Everyone in 2015 – not just speakers, but listeners too…
Researcher, practitioner and Co-director at Practical Participation
Tim Davies is a researcher and practitioner working at the intersection of technology, civic engagement and social justice. As a PhD Candidate at the University of Southampton, and affiliate at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society, he has been working on understanding the democratic dimensions of open government data policy. From 2012 to 2014 he led the World Wide Web Foundation’s Open Data in Developing Countries project, coordinating a global research network exploring the uses of data in local and national governance.
Councillor David Harrington
Cabinet Member for Corporate Management and Finance,
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
& LGiU Online Councillor of the Year 2013
First elected in 2005, re-elected in 2007 and 2011, as an Independent, David represents Ingleby Barwick which is believed to be the largest private housing estate in western Europe. He was the first Ward Councillor in the North-East to use social media as a means of engagement in 2008. In 2013, he was awarded the title of Online Councillor of the Year by the LGiU and CCLA for his innovative use of Skype and Twitter for engaging with residents.
Leader of the Digital Communications and Public Information Team,
Devon County Council
Carl champions, develops and delivers the digital agenda within Devon County Council. He also chairs the LocalGov Digital Steering Group, which aims to raise standards in web provision and the use of digital by councils across the country, and to create a digital framework that is flexible enough to respond to local needs.
In November 2013 Carl won the Guardian Public Services Award for Leadership Excellence. It stated that: “At a time when local government is racked by uncertainty and budget cuts, it is leaders like Haggerty who will be providing public services in a different, more open, digital way.” In November 2014 Carl was recognised as one of the Top 100 influencers across Local Government in the LGC 100 list. One judge said: “Carl is a driving force behind the digital reinvention of local government.”
Open Government Programme Manager
UK Open Government Civil Society Network coordinator
Tim Hughes is Open Government Programme Manager at Involve, with expertise in public participation and open government. He has advised governments at a local, national and international level on engagement, and has written extensively on topics covering public participation, open government and active citizenship. Tim coordinates the UK Open Government Civil Society Network – a coalition of transparency, participation and accountability reformers in the UK – and is an active member of the Open Government Partnership’s international community.
Improvement & Development Manager,
National Association of Local Councils
Charlotte is Improvement and Development Manager at NALC. Where she supports the work of the new multi-stakeholder Improvement and Development Board, and manages a range of improvement programmes for town and parish councils.
She previously spent six years managing leadership development programmes for councillors and officers in local government, initially at the Leadership Centre for Local Government, and then at the LGA. All these programmes shared a common aim of supporting councillors at each stage of their political lives, helping to reinvigorate local democracy and encouraging more people to get involved, creating a greater sense of civic pride in our communities. She also is co-founder of Young And In Gov – a network of enthusiastic young(er) people working in and around local government. She likes nothing more than speaking with people who love where they live and what they do!
Head of Policy and Strategy
John is Head of Policy and Strategy for Kirklees Council. His work covers corporate policy and strategy, innovation, research, intelligence, consultation and insight.
Keen to reconnect policy and practice, John is leading the development of a new approach to policy and strategy in Kirklees – more connected, collaborative and citizen-centred, where solutions are generated through experimentation, prototyping and rapid iteration.
John developed the concept and led on the bid for Kirklees’ successful Bloomberg Mayors Challenge project – www.comoodle.com – which will create a sharing economy of public and community stuff, spaces and skills.
Dr Paul Hepburn
Heseltine Institute for Public Policy and Practice, University of Liverpool
Dr Paul Hepburn is a post–doctoral researcher for the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy and Practice at the University of Liverpool. Paul was awarded a PhD studentship at the University of Manchester in 2007 to examine the impact of the internet on local democracy. This followed a 20 year career in local government primarily working in policy development and delivery that latterly focused on e-government initiatives.
Most recently he has worked upon evaluating local policy innovations such as the Liverpool Mayoral model and the co-production of tablet technology for elderly people.
Engagement Lead (Democratic Reform)
Sarah leads on democratic reform for Involve – a think-tank and charity which helps people take and influence the decisions that affect their lives. She started her professional life as a researcher looking at the health of democracy (The Power Inquiry). Her extensive experience since then covers research, project management, and local and national campaigning. Most recently she worked in Friends of the Earth’s Campaign Specialists Team for three years, playing a key role in its highly successful Bee Cause campaign. She then spent five months at the Electoral Reform Society, before joining the Involve team in November 2014.
Overview & Scrutiny Manager,
City & County of Swansea
Dave manages the Overview & Scrutiny Unit of the City & County of Swansea where he has worked for 20 years. Prior to finding a home with scrutiny he worked in a variety of frontline and policy roles with varying degrees of success.
Dave is also currently a part time student in the Department of Political and Cultural Studies where he is half way through a PhD in Local Government and Public Participation.
Dr Andrew Mycock
Reader in Politics
University of Huddersfield
Dr Andrew Mycock 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’.
Dr Cristina Leston-Bandeira
University of Hull
Cristina is a Senior Lecturer based at the University of Hull in the School of Politics, Philosophy and International Studies. She focuses in particular on the relationship between parliament and citizens. Recently she has had an emphasis on public engagement, parliamentary reform and the impact of the internet on parliament.
Cristina held an ESRC grant for a study on how parliaments manage their image and public engagement and, thanks to a British Academy grant, she organised a workshop on Parliaments in the Digital Age. She is the Co-Convenor of the Political Studies Association specialist group on Parliaments and Legislatures, and one of the eight Commissioners of the Digital Democracy Commission set up by the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Dr Pete Woodcock
Head of Criminology, Politics and Sociology
University of Huddersfield
Pete Woodcock is the head of the division of Criminology, Politics and Sociology at the University of Huddersfield. His chief academic interest is the history of political thought, but he is interested in eLearning and issues around technology and citizenship. He is currently working of the works of J.S. Mill and how they can be applied to controversial issues around citizen participation on the web. When not working, he enjoys rugby, football and ballroom dancing.
Ken Eastwood is the founder of Digital Nomads. He has 26 years local government experience, latterly as an Assistant Director and member of the leadership team at Barnsley MBC.
Ken has significant expertise in transformation and technology enabled change. An author of articles on digital innovation and new ways of working and delivering services, he is a well known commentator on the digital agenda. Former Project Nomad national eGov board member and founder and national lead of Public Sector Nomads, Ken has been at the forefront of mobile & flexible working for over a decade.
Electoral Services Manager
East Northamptonshire Council
James is currently Democratic and Electoral Services Manager at East Northamptonshire Council and has worked within the Democratic Services sector for twelve years. Having worked under various governance models at four English local authorities, he has a keen interest in the impact of decision-making models in levels of public engagement and participation in elections. Recognising the potential of new technology and media, he is keen to promote new ways of engaging in the democratic process at a local level.
Peter started thinking about participation in local democracy when he should have been concentrating on his PhD in theoretical physics, in late 2013. When thinking alone seemed to be insufficient to effect any real change, he went to a local pub with an idea about how to create feedback loops between the people who live in a place and those who take decisions affecting it. This idea – now voXup.co.uk – won places on the Bethnal Green Ventures accelerator (a Cabinet Office and Nesta backed ‘tech for good’ accelerator in London) and Google’s first European startup ‘Launchpad’ week, and has now completed thousands of feedback loops encouraging easy, habitual participation in London and beyond.
Policy Researcher, Local Government Information Unit
Andrew Walker runs LGiU’s policy projects on innovation in local democracy, housing, and community management of public space.
His recent work includes Public Houses, an investigation in how local authorities can protect community pubs, Strong Foundations, which looks at the changing relationship between social landlords and their tenants, and House Proud, an analysis of local authority involvement with the Private Rented Sector.
Cllr Tim Cheetham
Born and raised in Barnsley, Tim is in his third term as a councillor for Royston ward on Barnsley MBC. Currently cabinet spokesperson for People (Achieving Potential), he has previously had cabinet responsibility for Children, Young People and Families, Development, Environment and Culture as well as Corporate Services.
Tim also represents local government at a national level having been a member of the LGA improvement and innovation board for some years and is lead member for Data and Transparency working on opening up government and it’s information. He is the member representative on the DCLG Local Public Data panel and for two years chaired the new Local Government Breakthrough Fund Review Panel looking at cutting edge ways in which to open up and use public data.
Web Development Manager
West Berkshire Council
With a background in creating digital services and online engagement, Phil manages the Digital Services Team at West Berkshire Council. He has a keen interest in democracy and has been involved in local government elections since 2003.
Phil is also Vice-Chair of the LocalGov Digital Steering Group, a national organisation for digital practitioners working in Local Government. He leads the Makers design and development strand of LocalGov Digital which includes the Pipeline platform, a “Kick Starter” for innovation and collaboration in Local Government.