Expert Adviser Team
Meet the Expert Adviser Team
CfPS would like to introduce our team of expert practitioners. Our advisers are here to help you, your organisation and your partners. With experience of scrutinising decision-makers and supporting the people in these roles, the team offers a wide ranging level of experience for all your training and development needs. Full details can be found in the prospectus.
Benefits of using an expert adviser:
- Bringing an independent and fresh approach to your scrutiny approach.
- Expertise and knowledge in a given area.
- Wealth of national best practice examples.
- Time and resources to dedicate to the project.
Development and improvement are critical in the current climate and the consultancy expertise that we offer through our expert advisers will ensure that our support will add value to your scrutiny function.
Other ways to make our development programmes as cost effective as possible include authorities joining up to carry out their training and development work.
For costs and further information on ensuring value for money, please download our prospectus, or our flyer. Our prospectus contains information on the background and experience of all of our expert advisers.
You can find our advisers below;
Andrew Lawrence is the Regional Advocate for the West Midlands and Wales. He has worked as a freelance consultant since 2005 when he retired from a career in Local Government during which he managed a wide range of services at director level. He has conducted many different assignments for CFPS including support on health reforms, structural reviews, strategies for an ageing population, community engagement projects and techniques for developing more effective scrutiny. In addition to his work for CFPS Andrew is a director of iCoCo Associates and is currently leading a project to evaluate the effectiveness of Birmingham Primary Care Trust's community cohesion strategy. He is the author of "Better Together", a guide for the NHS on using community cohesion strategies to achieve better health outcomes.
Ann Reeder is the Regional Advocate for the South West. She was a councillor on a London borough for eight years, including the leadership and cabinet, and now runs a LG consultancy focusing on member roles in the changing public sector landscape.
Ann supported the Scrutiny Development Project in the South West for three years and has been an Adviser to CfPS since the programme began, conducting reviews and facilitating training and development activity across the country, often from a member perspective.
Annette is an experienced leader of complex statutory, charitable, non-statutory and commercial sector organisations. She has Chief Executive and Director experience in health, community, adult care, environmental and regeneration services and particular expertise in developing organisations, change management, governance, performance improvement, community engagement, social enterprise development. As an experienced mentor and trained coach she is able to support leaders and senior executives.
Annette’s statutory sector roles have included: Director in NHS primary care services; Lead in performance, assessment and reporting of public sector bodies at Audit Commission; NHS Director of Finance and Resources; Project Manager for merger of three major hospitals; In the not for profit sector roles have included: Chief Executive of an environmental regeneration organisation; Director of the first Healthy Living Centre and community development organisation; Chief Executive of a carers network; Trustee of both a national HIV/AIDs charity and a leading edge community development organisation.
Brenda Cook has worked with CfPS since it was established. She is currently Regional Advocate for the East Midlands and East of England and a CfPS adviser with expertise in working with NHS organisations, local authorities and the voluntary sector. Brenda brings her own experience of working at local, regional and national levels within the public sector to the support that she provides to Members, committees, networks and officers within local authorities and NHS bodies and other stakeholders. Brenda is considered to be an expert in health overview and scrutiny legislation, policy and practice. She is a skilled facilitator and trainer, and an experienced coach for both individuals and groups. Recent projects undertaken include facilitating action learning sets, working with the Board of an NHS Trust, supporting scrutiny development areas foussed on health inequalities and on the health reforms, producing checklists and guidance documents, and providing one to one leadership coaching.
Catherine has worked in local government for over 20 years with much of that time spent working within the corporate centre. She has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the implications arising from national policy contexts and legislation. Catherine has been involved with Scrutiny since its inception in 2000. As Head of Scrutiny and Member Services within a Metropolitan Borough Council for ten years, her responsibilities also included managing the Mayor’s office , elected member development and supporting portfolio holders in their European activities. Whilst Head of Service she led on the establishment of a regional scrutiny network across Yorkshire and Humber in addition to working with councillors in emerging Eastern European and Balkan democracies.
Catherine is currently the Regional Advocate for Yorkshire and Humber and the North East. She has conducted assignments for CFPS, including supporting two scrutiny development areas in respect of the health legislation and reforms. Other work Catherine is involved in includes working with councils on member surveys, Police Reform and legislation, member development activity and supporting European activity, including supporting members in the Committee of the Regions. Most recently, preparing and presenting a proposal on the Green Skills agenda to partner colleagues and councillors at a stakeholder meeting in Brussels with a view to accessing European funding.
Catherine is currently undertaking doctorial research focusing on the ‘Councillor in the European Context.’ On a voluntary basis Catherine is an active Vice Chairman of the local Women’s Refuge Board.
Dianne Thomas specialises in independent challenge and support for transformational change to key public and third sector leaders and their partner organisations across local government, police, fire & rescue, NHS services and the third sector. She was previously the Audit Commission’s Area Assessment Lead and Relationship Manager in the West Midlands. She has significant experience in driving improvements in governance, corporate capacity, performance outcomes and value for money in public services; specialising in business transformation, shared services and capacity building. She has a professional background in Local Government and thirty years’ experience working in and with local authorities. She was formerly a senior associate at Warwick Business Schools Local Government Centre where she specialised in developing local authorities’ strategies to tackle social exclusion. Dianne is also an Associate Inspector with HM Inspectorate of Constabularies, and has carried out a wide variety of police inspection work, providing support and challenge to police forces in developing their plans to set up the governance arrangements for the Police and Crime Commissioners and deliver their budget savings whilst maintaining a user and outcome focus.
Frances has worked in the Scrutiny field since its inception in 2000, both as a practitioner and academic. She achieved national recognition for her development of the Scrutiny function while a researcher and consultant at INLOGOV (Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham), and then progressed to Head of Scrutiny for Cumbria County Council. She was the first cfPS Associate and Expert adviser to be appointed, specialising in interim management, reviewing effectiveness, and designing and delivering workshops. Over the years she has worked with councillors and officers, promoting learning and development in Scrutiny. Her expertise is known across England and Wales where she has succeeded in implementing effective Scrutiny which delivers improved services and maximises resources. She has worked with a wide range of councils and other organisations including the Fire Service, Police and National Parks.
Jane Scullion’s work draws upon her experience of senior management in local authorities, most recently as an Executive Director at Kirklees Council. Previously she was Assistant Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer at Stockport Council where she set up the scrutiny function from scratch. She has also worked for the Local Government Association, advising on performance improvement in councils in the North West of England from Cumbria to Cheshire. Jane is currently also a doctoral researcher at De Montfort University in Leicester, specialising in accountability in local government. Her particular expertise is in the use of social media in local government and she is experienced in working with scrutiny and executive teams.
John’s well-rounded contribution is founded on his varied senior management experiences (including Assistant Director of Housing (Southampton), Depute Director of Social Work (Lothian)) before being Head of Policy and then Director of Scrutiny (from its inception) with Birmingham City Council.
John is currently a part-time Visiting Lecturer with the Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham where he is involved in post-graduate teaching, convening topical seminars and advising a number of Councils on their governance arrangements.
Notwithstanding an intolerance of mediocrity elsewhere, he is still an Aston Villa season ticket holder!
Judith is passionate about: Whole system asset based approaches – she led the work on four of the case studies in CfPS’s recent appreciative scrutiny publication; Public health, especially improving health equity; and Supporting health, local authority, voluntary and community sector organisations to work with their communities to create sustainable places where local people in their diversity want to be.
Laura Murphy has been involved with CfPS from the beginning and has undertaken numerous assignments working with officers and members across all levels of government. She has a background in the public, charitable and private sectors, was an elected member for 12 years, Scrutiny Chair for 2, and Group Leader for 3 years. An organisational development specialist, qualified trainer, accredited coach Laura has undertaken research, conducted reviews, facilitated training and stakeholder events, provided group and individual coaching and written a number of publications. Most recent assignments have been supporting innovation in NHS scrutiny development areas.
Linn is the Regional Advocate for the NW. She has worked as a member of the Expert Advisory Team in Health scrutiny support since initiation and carried out a very wide range of assignments, ranging from skills like chairing and questioning, to scoping and prioritising reviews, influential recommendations, and understanding major health service changes. She has created a number of models of good scrutiny practice, such as mini-scrutiny and whole Council scrutiny. Recently she co-developed and piloted techniques for examining the “rate of return” on health scrutiny, and co-write the CfPS publication “Tipping the Scales”. Linn has a portfolio career comprising NED/Advisory Member roles, and consultancy in coaching, mediation and facilitation.
Lorna has over 20 years' experience in local government and public sector organisations, where she has worked across a range of functions including economic development; housing management; community safety; spatial planning and equality and community cohesion. She brings considerable expertise in policy development, corporate, strategic and business planning, performance management and partnership working, leading the development of Sustainable Community Strategies and City-Region policy. She specialises in community development and participatory approaches in service design, such as Citizens' Juries and user-led evaluation. Since 2009 she has been working at the Local Government Association initially with the Healthy Communities Programme where she co-authored JSNA: a springboard for action and more recently, leading the Health and Wellbeing Board leadership programme, providing a range of activities to support the effective development and operation of new statutory health and wellbeing boards, bringing together clinicians, elected members and senior officers with the key aim of improving health and wellbeing outcomes for local people and communities. Lorna is a qualified NLP master practitioner and certified Coach, specialising in Systemic Coaching and Team Coaching.
Mark Butler runs his own specialist change consultancy, The People Organisation Ltd, is the Development Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling and has been a member of the UK Doctors and Dentist Pay Review Body since April 2012.
He has over 25 years’ experience in senior roles in health, higher education, business consultancy, coaching and the Senior Civil Service. After many years as an NHS Chief Executive in England, Mark joined the Scottish Government to lead public sector change, initially as a Director of the Health Department, then subsequently within the Performance and Innovation Unit working across all public policy. Mark left the Civil Service to join the University of St Andrews as its Secretary and Registrar.
Mark founded The People Organisation Ltd, in 2008 and has since worked with individuals and organisations in the public and private sectors on their resilience, effectiveness and impact.
Merron is an independent advisor and consultant specialising in ‘people, places and housing’. Working at the interface of professional disciplines – including strategic housing, health, care and support, neighbourhoods and communities – she leads consultation events, facilitates debates, leads learning events, undertakes research and writes publications and briefing papers. She has worked in local government and also delivered Ageing Well and Housing projects for the LGA. She makes it her business to challenge and support organisations to enhance their business operations and social impact. Merron was Head of Policy at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) for 5 years and in this role scrutinised government policy and advised government departments and housing practitioners on housing and related matters.
Mike has been supporting and promoting the development of community engagement, scrutiny, accountability and governance in the public, not-for-profit, voluntary and community sector for over two decades. He is an independent consultant and CfPS Advisor. He was an elected councillor for many years, including being Leader of the Council, and is chair of governors of a large secondary school. Mike has knowledge and experience of the whole range of local government and NHS services, and of their partners and stakeholders. He has expertise in the analysis of legislation, the development of governance and policy, public involvement, partnership and relationship management. He has the skills and experience to provide one-to-one support, facilitate and present training and development sessions and develop briefing materials, appropriate to the different perspectives of participants and the environments they work in. Mike has a particularly thorough understanding of health scrutiny, patient and public involvement, and the current health reforms.
Paul Cutler has worked for the Centre for Public Scrutiny for a number of years and has supported a variety of overview and scrutiny committees, LINks and Local Healthwatch. He specialises in working with a range of groups and communities including children and young people, mental health service users, Gypsy and Traveller communities and adults with complex additional needs. He has a background in NHS governance, social work and participatory approaches to development. He has recently been involved in the use of return on investment approaches to scrutiny and has supported a number of communities during the transition to Healthwatch. His key skills include facilitation, stakeholder engagement, participatory planning and network capacity building.
Paul is the Scrutiny Manager at East Sussex County Council having previously worked in scrutiny in two London boroughs. Over ten years, Paul has tackled difficult local authority scrutiny challenges: working in a complementary way to prevent duplication of scrutiny activity in a two tier local authority area, and doing ever better scrutiny with minimum bureaucracy and reducing resources.
Paul has used his practical experience to advise local government officers and elected members on how best to: scrutinise tricky topics, find recommendations that kick, make governance arrangements work, find practical ways to use the available scrutiny legislation and, above all, pinpoint the barriers that hinder so many scrutiny operations from being fully effective.
Increasingly Paul has advised local government officers at all levels and voluntary organisations, partnerships, private companies, health organisations and schools on how local government politics works, and how to benefit when engaging with it.
BA (Hons) MSc.
A serving Metropolitan Borough Councillor with 19 years of experience in many areas and a longstanding associate with CfPS. Nine years as a Primary Care Trust Chair, following a career in commence and further education, have led to Rachel working on national health scrutiny development with many Councils and LINks across the country. Rachel has contributed to CfPS publications and has a special interest in how partnerships and communities influence local authority policy making.
Sheila Marsh has worked with local government since 1984 in a range of staff and consulting roles focusing on regeneration and skills, housing, finance, management & leadership, public engagement and partnership with the NHS. She has worked to support councils involved with Health Scrutiny since it began and has been part of the CfPS network from the start. Her work has recently focused on innovative stakeholder involvement and events, developing roles in the new health landscape, public health and health inequalities. Sheila lives and works in Herefordshire and has also worked with a range of local authorities, NHS trusts and LINks in the South East, South West and North West.
Sheila co-wrote the recent CfPS publication on the health reforms ‘Exploiting Opportunities in a time of change’
Sherry works with communities and organisations to develop environments that enable resourcefulness to thrive. Working with the premise that the system has the answers; Sherry uses dialogue-based techniques to identify strengths and build towards the preferred future. Sherry has worked with local government for 12 years and also works as a freelance trainer and consultant.
Steve served for 35 years with the Metropolitan Police, attaining the rank of Detective Chief Superintendent. His senior positions included Director of the Crime Academy responsible for providing investigative and forensic training, head of the Specialist Crime Policy and Crime Reduction Unit and deputy Director of the Diversity Directorate where he was project manager for the implementation of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report recommendations. As Chair of E (Metropolitan and City of London) District of the Police Superintendents Association of England and Wales he was a member of its National Executive Committee, involving him in high level engagement around the changing police and political landscape. A graduate in Law from King’s College London he is an Associate of that college, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and an accredited coach (European Mentoring and Coaching Council).
Sue has 20 years experience as a senior manager working in local government. For the past 12 years she has worked at the interface between local government and health, designing and delivering programmes for local authorities and the NHS to increase capacity and capability to reduce health inequalities. Sue is currently supporting the development of a number of Health and Wellbeing Boards and has designed and delivered programmes to support the transition of public health to local government.
Tim Young has been involved with CfPS since its inception and an independent consultant since 2006. He has worked with Members across the political spectrum and with officers from different types of authority across the country, drawing particularly on his experience as former Head of Scrutiny at the London Borough of Camden, which earned a national reputation in the scrutiny field. Projects and commissions have included policy development, evaluations, facilitated meetings, Action Learning Sets and skills training and development in a range of fields, including health. He has also written a number of publications on the role of overview & scrutiny and its contribution to better government.
A dynamic, modernising leader with a wide range of experience in public and private sectors, including, health care, education, police, leadership, project management and clinical settings.
Vince has his own consultancy business focusing on my expertise in national policy development, modernisation in primary health care, public health organisational change, new role development and mentoring and coaching.
Vince has led key national projects, commissioned education and service developments, championed professional development, empowerment and modernisation of NHS services and its workforce for the benefit of the community.
Vince has developed and excellent networks across the health, education, police and other public and private sectors organisations.
Recently Vince set up a Social Enterprise with 2 colleagues to support small community based organisations in Yorkshire, the Humber and Lincolnshire.
Prior to his health career Vince was a marketing and Sales Director who helped transform on company to be a leading exporter of wooden components for the furniture industry