Parish commissioner added to panel looking into the role of councillors

Parish commissioner added to panel looking into the role of councillors

Cllr Mike Evans from Whiteley Town Council has joined a high profile panel of local government experts on the Councillor Commission as 'parish commissioner'.

The appointment of the experienced Hampshire town councillor follows discussions between the National Association of Local Councils and the Commission's chairman Professor Colin Copus about the role of England's 80,000 parish and town councillors in the review.

The Local Government Research Unit at Leicester De Montfort University launched the Councillor Commission in December to conduct an independent review of the role and work of the councillor and the contribution made by councillors to the governance of their communities and the country.

The Commission is aiming to provide policy makers with a better understanding of the office of councillor and of the contribution councillors make to their communities, as well as seeking to further public and policy debate and understanding about local government and local democracy.

A 'parish stream' of the Commission's review will be launched on 12 April at a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on local democracy, whose chairman Andrea Jenkyns MP is a former current councillor and Scott Mann MP, one of the Group’s vice chairman, is also a serving councillor.

Councillor Ken Browse, chairman of NALC, said: "I'm pleased this important Councillor Commission will also look at the role and work of England's 80,000 parish and town councillors and that the panel has been strengthened by the inclusion of Councillor Mike Evans who brings passion, experience and expertise to the review."

Professor Colin Copus, chairman of the Councillor Commission, said: "Parish and town councillors play an important and growing role in our local democracy and it's vital our review both reflects this and takes a look at the most local office of councillor. It is right we widen the membership of the panel to reflect this and I'm pleased to be working with NALC on a parish stream of work to ensure the views and experiences of parish and town councillors are heard and taken into account."

Cllr Mike Evans said: "I'm delighted to join the Councillor Commission panel and I look forward to contributing to its important work".

To find out more information about the Cllrs Commission please read here.

Cllr Mike Evans biography:

  • Took early retirement from Ministry of Defence in 2003 after 30 years of service as a government official. Mainly based in London but also spent time in Northern Ireland, USA, Cyprus and Gibraltar. Completed overseas tours of duty in Germany, Falkland Islands and latterly in Australia. Seconded to the Australian Department of Defence and worked in a commercial environment in Sydney and successfully completed a diploma/degree course in Business Administration at Monash Business School.

  • Became a town councillor in Whiteley, Hampshire in 2005 and has been chairman since 2007 when the council gained Quality Parish Status.

  • Played a key role in the recent development of a new £94 million shopping centre and cinema in Whiteley and presently working with developers and principal authorities to provide an additional 3,500 new homes and infrastructure over the next 10 years.

  • Currently vice chairman of the Hampshire Association of Local Councils (HALC), one of six directors of the HALC Board and lead member for Learning and Development.

  • In 2008 attended the inaugural NALC/LGA Leadership Academy at Warwick University and in 2012 oversaw Whiteley Town Council's successful accreditation of the Parish and Town Council Charter for Member Development.

  • Chairman of the Winchester District Association of Local Councils.

  • Chairman of the Hampshire Playing Fields Association, a registered charity providing grants and loans to grassroots sports organisations and parish and town councils in the county.

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