Independent think tank the New Local Government Network (NLGN) has announced the appointment of Simon Parker as its new Director.
Mr Parker joins NLGN from the Institute for Government where he is a Fellow. He was previously Head of Public Services for the think tank Demos and has worked on public services policy for the CBI, where he led programmes on local government and public sector employment reform. He has also worked as a journalist for the Guardian and LGC, where he contributed articles on public management and politics. He will take up the post in September.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Parker said:
“NLGN has a well-deserved reputation for leading the debate on localism and I’m delighted to be part of taking this agenda forward. The new political landscape has created tremendous opportunities to embed localism in the way the UK is governed – freeing councils from central bureaucracy and putting communities in control. It’s a time for ambitious thinking, and with our strong networks and rigorous research, NLGN is in an ideal position to shape the debate over public service reform, decentralisation and democratic renewal.”
Mr Parker also set out his thoughts on the future for local government:
“Local government needs new ideas and new ways of working as it faces up to an unprecedented financial challenge. Many local councils have a fantastic record of delivering high-quality, value for money services and providing strong political leadership. With more freedom from centrally-driven targets and fiscal restrictions, they can do even better. There is a new spirit of decentralisation in Whitehall, and NLGN will keep up the pressure for localism to be delivered in practice.”
Chair of the NLGN Board, Iain Roxburgh said:
“Simon joins NLGN with an excellent track record in bright and innovative thinking, especially around public service reform and localism. As an organistion, NLGN has grown significantly over the past few years and I am sure that Simon’s considerable experience will help to build on this success”
“I also pay tribute and give thanks to Anna Turley and her Senior Management Team who have managed NLGN so ably whilst we recruited for a new Director”.
Simon Parker replaces previous NLGN Director Chris Leslie, who was elected MP for Nottingham East in May 2010.