Ed’s background is in local government and it is in this sphere that he remains most active. He is a nationally recognised expert on matters relating to councils’ corporate governance, and in particular their overview and scrutiny functions. This has, in recent years, involved supporting councils as they review their constitutions and governance arrangements, particularly where councils are considering their governance options (where from the leader/cabinet system to the committee system, or vice versa). It has also involved support to newly-established combined authorities, and local enterprise partnerships. Much of this work has been carried out as part of CfGS’s funding agreement with the Local Government Association.
CfGS’s research activity in this area in 2018 and 2019 has focused on the production of the Government’s statutory guidance on overview and scrutiny. Ed provided technical assistance to Government in the preparation of this guidance, and has also taken a leading role in the development of our scrutiny improvement review (SIR) and our Good Scrutiny Guide.
Ed has provided significant support to councils under national oversight and intervention. He led a significant and high profile independent governance review for Kensington and Chelsea in 2017 and a three-year support programme for Rotherham Council which ended in 2016.
Recent research outputs include guidance on the operation of Police and Crime Panels, research on political and organisational culture in local authorities, and detailed research on Government intervention in failing councils.
Ed’s background is local government scrutiny and democratic services. He started his career clerking social security appeals tribunals for the DSS. He has both an undergraduate and Masters degree in Law from University College London.