This is a blog from the team at LGiU. The blogs are written in a personal capacity and do not, unless stated, represent the policy position of the LGiU. Why not follow us on Twitter – you can find us at @LGIU.
Our main blog contributors are:
Andy Sawford is chief executive of the LGiU where he has championed a new balance of power between central and local government to strengthen local democracy, improve public services, and meet emerging policy challenges, such as environmental, economic and demographic change.
Complementing his work at LGiU, Andy is also a Director of the Centre for Public Scrutiny and a Director of the Centre for Public Service Partnerships. Andy is Chair of Local Energy ltd, a new social enterprise, supported by the LGiU, that advises organisations, including public service providers, to improve energy use and reduce their carbon footprint.
Andy oftens appears in national, regional and hyperlocal media and is a prolific user of Twitter. You can follow him at @AndySawford
Jonathan Carr-West is a director at LGiU where he leads the Unit’s policy team which seeks to strengthen local democracy by developing new thinking and practice on how local communities can have more influence over the areas they live in and the services they use and how local government can help them to do so.
Some of Jonathan’s particular interests are in participative democracy, the evolving nature of communities and behaviour change.
Before joining the LGiU Jonathan was Deputy Programme Director at the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Commerce and Manufactures), where he also served as Acting Head of Programme. You can follow Jonathan on Twitter at @joncarrwest
Laura Wilkes joined the LGiU in March 2009 and is a policy manager. Her areas of expertise include: the role of councillors; engaging and empowering citizens; promoting local democracy and the Big Society. Projects for LGiU have included the C’llr Achievement Awards, the Big Society Learning Network, Paying for It and a pamphlet for the I&DeA on the role of members in community empowerment.
Before starting at the LGiU Laura worked for the London Borough of Havering in corporate policy. She was also part of the national local government graduate scheme (NGDP). You can follow Laura on Twitter at @Laurawilkes
Laurie Thraves is a policy manager at the LGiU. His main area of focus is schools policy.
Laurie was educated at Oxford University. He has previously worked at Reform, a think-tank, The Key, a policy service for headteachers, and the British Institute in East Africa, an academic research body.