Read the minutes of our monthly meetings and find out about the members of the committee.
Meeting dates 2016
- 12 October
- 9 November
- 14 December
Minutes of meetings
Paul Gray – chair of the committee
The chair of the committee is Paul Gray CB.
The committee members are as follows:
Rachael Badger is part of the Finance and Transformation team at Citizens Advice, having been their Head of Policy Research for Families, Welfare and Work between 2013 and 2016. Between 2003 and 2013, Rachael was a civil servant and had a variety of roles within the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Treasury.
Bruce Calderwood is a trustee of the Avenues Group, a charity specialising in supporting people with complex needs. He was for many years a senior official in DWP in a wide range of roles. He ended his civil service career as the director in the Department of Health responsible for policy on mental health, disability and equality. In this role he led the team which created the 2010 to 2015 coalition government’s mental health strategy and its review of services for learning disabled people following the Winterbourne View scandal. He chairs inspections of mental health trusts for the Care Quality Commission and is an instructor in Mental Health First Aid for the Armed Forces Community.
Carl is Deputy Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). He is an editor of the annual IFS Green Budget, and his research includes analysis of the UK public finances and the design of the tax and benefit system, in particular relating to state and private pensions. He has previously served as a specialist adviser to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee.
Colin Godbold is Vice Chair of the committee and a consultant specialising in the delivery of large scale information technology and organisational change programmes. He is a former partner in IBM’s consultancy and services practice. In his 30-year experience, he has led the delivery of complex programmes in both the public and private sectors. He is a fellow of the British Computer Society and is a chartered and European Engineer.
Chris Goulden is Deputy Director of Policy and Research at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. He is a former social researcher at the Home Office and Cabinet Office. Chris has also been a cancer researcher in the NHS, a member of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills Policy Expert Group and a member of the Social Research Association Board. He has a masters degree in social research methods from South Bank University.
Dr Jim McCormick
Dr Jim McCormick is co-founder of a research partnership McCormick-McDowell, Scotland Adviser to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a board member of Scottish Business in the Community and a member of the Stroke Association Scotland Committee. Previously he was director of independent think-tank the Scottish Council Foundation. He’s also worked at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and in the European Parliament in Brussels.
Gráinne McKeever is an executive director and former chair of the Law Centre, Northern Ireland, a not-for-profit specialist advice organisation. She is a Reader in Law at Ulster University, with research and teaching expertise in social justice. She is the assistant editor of the Journal of Social Security Law and currently teaches social security law and policy to undergraduate and postgraduate law students. Gráinne is a director of Ulster University’s Law Clinic, through which postgraduate law students provide social security advocacy for members of the public.
Dom has advised senior decision makers and military commanders in strategy and change management on welfare’s frontline and in war zones. His passion for welfare reform is a deeply personal one. Serious illness forced Dom to give up flying in the RAF. Living with chronic pain, he started his work in the welfare system with the Prince’s Trust and Millennium Volunteers getting young people back in to work. Such was the effect on him that he stood for Parliament, advocating the need to get welfare reforms right if we are to get more young people into work and tackle the disability employment gap.
Seyi Obakin OBE
Seyi Obakin OBE is the Chief Executive of Centrepoint, a leading national charity working with young people who have experienced homelessness. He is a chartered accountant and has worked in a wide range of social housing provision. He has also been involved in research and inquiries into family life and the support families need, lifelong literacy and youth enterprise. He is currently serving as a Commissioner of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.
Judith Paterson has worked in the field of social security law and advice for more than 25 years and is currently leading a Scotland-wide, second tier welfare rights service for the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland. Her work involves contributing to social policy work and analysing legislation and issues arising from casework for their impact on individuals, families and services.
Charlotte (Charlie) is Deputy Director and Head of Research at the Reform think tank. She was an expert adviser to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions during the 2010 to 2015 coalition government. She has also been Director of Policy at the Centre for Social Justice and worked in the public sector practice of a global management consultancy.
Liz Sayce OBE
Liz is Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK, leading work to achieve equal participation for all, through programmes on independent living, career opportunities and shifts in cultural attitudes and behaviour. Liz is also a member of the Committee of Healthwatch England and has recently joined the board of the Equality and Diversity Forum. With a background in mental health and disability policy, previous roles include Director of Policy and Communications at the Disability Rights Commission and Policy Director of Mind. She led an Independent Review into disability employment programmes for government in 2011 and has published widely on mental health, disability and social participation.
Victoria is a senior technical manager for the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. In that role, she leads work on tax credits, represents the interests of low income taxpayers in the tax system and represents LITRG at a number of HMRC forums and groups. She also writes on tax credits for claimants and their advisers, lectures to adviser audiences and broadcasts on radio. She is a member of the Association of Tax Technicians.