Mike Bennett, MA, FRSA

Mike Bennett is an experienced analyst, consultant and researcher with a track record of working at the highest level of UK local government and public services. He is Principal and co-owner of RCS and Director and owner of Public Intelligence.From 1998-2010 Mike held senior policy positions at SOLACE (the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers) before becoming Managing Director. Among his responsibilities at SOLACE were leading its policy, government relations and professional development programmes on behalf of 1800 chief executives and senior managers across the UK.

Previously Mike was a Research Fellow and lead consultant at the Scottish Local Authorities Management Centre at the University of Strathclyde and worked with the majority of Scottish councils as well as a range of other public bodies, especially in health and water services. Assignments included shaping policy on Best Value and Community Planning, working on the transformation of social and health care for older people across Scotland and working with all of Scotland’s island authorities.

Mike was Director of the Commission on Managing in Political Environment (2005/6); a  member of the CIPFA/SOLACE Corporate Governance Working Group responsible for developing the Corporate Governance Framework for local government and the Local Code (2006/7);  a member of the Local Government Association’s Self-Improvement and Regulation Advisory Board (2009/10). He founded the SOLACE Foundation Imprint in 2005 with Clive Grace and Lord (Michael) Bichard and was Editorial Director until 2011. Mike was a member of the Children’s Inter-Agency Group 2003/7, a member of the Public Management and Policy Association Executive Board between 2004/6 and an an adviser to Council of Europe’s Committee on Local Democracy. Mike was was elected a Fellow of the RSA in 2007 and in 2013 was appointed a member of the Editorial Board of Public Money and Management.

Mike has been involved in numerous national policy groups related to improvement, performance and good governance and has delivered research and consultancy for local authorities across the UK, central government departments and devolved administrations, as well as for major charities, private sector corporations and international investment banks. Recent commissions for Mike include working on service evaluations for large metropolitan authorities in England; an evaluation of a £127 million spending programme for the Welsh Government and a number of separate projects evaluating the impact of central government interventions and sector-led improvement in local government.

Other clients include Bloomberg, BT, BPG plc, ESRC, the Leadership Centre, Macmillan Cancer Support and Mason Capital.

Over the last 15 years Mike has remained active in academic research, publishing in some of the world’s leading public administration journals most recently including Public Administration Review for which he has been awarded special recognition by the American Society of Public Administration. A chapter on 21st century local government was published by the Commonwealth Secretariat in September 2013.