Jessica leads New Local’s research programme and contributes strategic oversight of the organisation.
She writes and speaks about numerous subjects related to localism, devolution, public service reform and local finance. She co-authored the Community Paradigm with Adam Lent which was published in 2019 and continues to inform much of New Local’s research and practice. She joined the organisation in September 2015.
Previously, Jessica was political adviser to the Labour Group at the Local Government Association (LGA). She led policy there, working closely on public service reform and devolution. This included a secondment to the Policy Unit of the Leader of the Opposition’s Office during 2013-14 to lead on the Local Government Innovation Taskforce, a commission that reported into Labour’s Policy Review ahead of the 2015 General Election. Prior to that, she worked in policy roles in the voluntary sector for a homelessness and children’s charity, and she began her career at the Fabian Society.
Areas of Expertise:
Local government finance
Public service reform
Economic growth and productivity
Organisational development and culture change
Their Local: Jessica grew up in Cambridge, which is most famous for its university. Interesting non-university related facts about the city include that it is the birthplace of modern football, with “Cambridge Rules” setting the standards of the game as we know it; it is where Pink Floyd were formed; and Oliver Cromwell’s head was secretly buried in the city in 1960 – having spent the 300 or so years since it was removed from his body being passed around between private collectors and museums.