The Smith Institute’s work is undertaken by a team of experienced researchers who are respected experts in their field. Our research team are not just experts in their subject but exerpienced in conducting interviews, desk research, hosting discussions, writing reports and presenting findings. Our extensive networks alongside experience in delivering projects, producing reports and hosting events ensures our work is respected and influential.
Paul has overall responsibility for the Institute’s programme of research and events. He was previously Special Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott MP and other ministers at the Department of Communities and Local Government (1997-05). Paul has worked in various policy areas, including sustainability, industry and finance, regulation, housing and regeneration, cities and urban policy, planning, regional policy, local government, third sector, and public-private partnerships. Paul previously worked for the Financial Times, the Economist Group, Trades Union Congress, and the Parliamentary Labour Party under the late John Smith. He was also adviser to the House of Commons Trade & Industry Select Committee, EU, OECD, ILO, UN, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Dun & Bradstreet International.
Paul is responsible for the Institute’s research programme. With over ten years experience Paul has worked with numerous researchers and sponsors to deliver innovative, insightful and influential research. Paul’s policy interests include poverty, the labour market, economic geography and housing. He has recently written reports on: 2015 general election; poverty in suburbia; the living wage; the future of council housing; wealth inequality; and the private rented sector. He has also help lead commissions into council housing and the world of work and brought together many of the Smith Institute’s collections of essays. He has contributed to a book on the future of the left, the Socialist Way, edited by Roy Hattersley and Kevin Hickson and has written for a variety of publications and blogs. Prior to joining the Smith Institute Paul worked for an MP.
Steve Barwick / Deputy Director
Steve is responsible for external relations, ensuring that at this key time in UK politics the opportunities the Smith Institute offers private, public and third sector organisations are better known. Resident of Hebden Bridge, the unofficial capital of the north, Steve has thirty years of experience in the world of policy and thought leadership. This has included long periods of consultancy during which his passion for rebalancing the economy has been to the fore, including roles as Secretariat for both the Yorkshire and West Midlands APPGs and helping found DevoConnect. In the noughties he was also Director of Strategy at the North West Leaders Board, a role which led him to be a member of the Northern Way Taskforce, a predecessor to the Northern Powerhouse. His experience and expertise in NHS and wider health issues stems from his time in the 1990s working in the House of Commons for the Shadow Health Secretary and has been sustained up to 2017 through strategic advice to UNISON and other clients. He also has a keen interest in economics and managed a project for the TUC – ‘Beyond Shareholder Value’ – as well as co-wrote the independent reports “A New Golden Rule” and “Beneath the Bonnet: how Sound is Britain’s Economy?’ Steve’s successful track record in partnership building and stakeholder engagement – helping ensure the law on adoption was reformed so that open to unmarried couples including gays and lesbians – has also been recognised in a Campaign of the Year award.
Andrew Heywood / Research Fellow
Andrew Heywood is a research fellow of the Smith Institute and a consultant specialising in research and analysis of housing and mortgage markets. He is editor of the journal Housing Finance International and a visiting fellow of the Land Economy Unit of the University of Cambridge. Andrew was on the Governing Body of BRE Global from 2003 until 2009 and on the board of Chelmer Housing Partnership from 2008 to 2011. He was an adviser to the Treasury Committee of Bromford Housing Group from 2012 until 2015. Andrew’s recent publications for the Institute include Working together, thinking alike: what do councils and local enterprise partnerships expect from housing associations?; Housing and planning: what makes the difference? and The Case for a Property Speculation Tax. Andrew has written for Inside Housing and for Social Housing magazine among other journals. In his former role as deputy head of policy at the Council of Mortgage Lenders [CML], Andrew had specific responsibility for leading on social housing issues and on the private rented sector and also co-ordinated ground breaking work between the CML and the Building Research Establishment [BRE] on certification standards for Modern Methods of Construction [MMC].
Michael Ward / Research Fellow
Michael Ward specializes in local and regional economic development and regeneration. From 1981 to 1986 he chaired the Industry and Employment Committee of the Greater London Council, setting up the Council’s economic development programme, and establishing Greater London Enterprise. In 1985-6, he was Deputy Leader of the GLC. From 1987 to 2000, Michael lived and worked in Manchester, as Director of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, a public policy, research and consultancy organisation, working on economic development. In 2000, he was appointed the first Chief Executive of the London Development Agency, London’s RDA, where he led the preparation of the Mayor’s Economic Strategy, and secured the initial commitment of the LDA Board to back the London Olympic Bid. Michael now works as a consultant, and is also the non executive chair of the Board of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies. He has a first degree in Philosophy Politics and Economics from Oxford University, and an MA in Social and Economic History from Birkbeck University of London.
David Coats / Research Fellow
David Coats is recognised as an expert commentator on employment relations and quality of working life issues, drawing on his experience at the TUC and The Work Foundation. His publications include: An Agenda for Work: The Work Foundation’s Challenge to Policy Makers; Speaking Up! Voice Industrial Democracy and Organisational Performance; Good Work: Job Quality in a Changing Economy; The National Minimum Wage: Retrospect and Prospect; Migration Myths: Employment, Wages and Labour Market Performance; Raising Lazarus: The Future of Organised Labour (Fabian Society) and Advancing Opportunity: The Future of Good Work (ed) (Smith Institute). From 1999-2004 he was Head of the TUC’s Economic and Social Affairs Department managing work on economic and industrial policy, the welfare state, public services and the development of partnership at work, having first joined the TUC in 1989 as an employment law specialist. In 2004 he became Associate Director at The Work Foundation. He was educated at Portway Comprehensive School, Bristol and then read Law at University College, London receiving an LL.B in 1983 and an LL.M in 1986. He completed his Bar Finals at the Inns of Court School of Law in 1984 and was called to the Bar in 1985. David was a member of the Low Pay Commission from 2000-2004 and was appointed to the Central Arbitration Committee (the industrial court for Great Britain) in 2005. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Involvement and Participation Association, a number of academic advisory panels and the steering committee of Unions 21. From 1990-98 he was a councillor (Labour) in the London Borough of Haringey and served as a governor of local primary schools over the same period. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Denise Chevin / Research Fellow
Denise Chevin has nearly 20 years’ experience as a journalist, six of those editing one of the UK’s leading business titles, Building Magazine and its web site Building.co.uk which she joined in 2004. Before that she revamped and edited the social housing magazine, Housing Today. Under both of these editorships, Denise steered the titles and its journalists to win a several PPA awards for both print and on-line. And during this time Denise regularly chaired conferences, spoke at debates and contributed to radio and TV. Denise has had a long association with the Smith Institute, heading monographs on PFI and Public Procurement; and the Planning system. Since leaving Building in July 2010 Denise has embarked on a career as a freelance writer and consultant in the built environment. In this time she has written for a range of publications including Property Week and Times Educational Supplement, and advised a number of organisations including the charity, the Construction Youth Trust. She is also acting editor of Construction Manager magazine, standing in for the editor while she is on maternity leave. She was President of the International Building Press until June 2011; has been a Trustee of the company pension fund and a member of the editorial training panel of the Periodical Training Council. She graduated from Manchester University with a degree in chemistry.