Read the minutes of our monthly meetings and find out about the members of the committee.
Meeting dates 2015
- 4 November
- 2 December
Meeting dates 2016
- 27 January
- 9 March
- 6 April
- 18 May
- 22 June
- 27 July
- 14 September
- 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.
John Andrews OBE
John Andrews is the former head of tax at Coopers & Lybrand (now PWC) and was president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. Since 1998 he has been a full-time volunteer in the charity sector with a particular focus on helping those on low incomes cope with the complexity of the law.
Rachael Badger has been the Head of Policy Research for Families, Welfare and Work at Citizens Advice since 2013. 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.
Adele Baumgardt is a consultant providing advice on diversity and quality issues to public authorities. She is a member of the Welsh Government’s Third Sector Partnership Council and is vice-chair of Sport Wales. She is a former chair of the Public Transport Committee in Wales and a former Wales commissioner for the Women’s National Commission.
John Ditch is a former Professor of Social Policy at the University of York and a former Pro Vice-Chancellor at Northumbria University. He is a senior expert to the EU’s Mutual Information System on Social Protection and an Independent Consultant and Honorary Professor of Social Policy at the University of York. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Royal Statistical Society. As a former Chair and Vice-Chair of two NHS Board and as an independent members of the Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales, he has extensive board and committee experience.
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 a head 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 the Chair and Executive Director 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.
Matthew has been Head of Economics at the Westminster Policy Institute (WPI) since September 2015. He is also a Senior Researcher at the Social Market Foundation. Before joining WPI, he was Chief Economist and Head of Financial Services Policy at the consumer champion Which?, where he led teams focussed on improving competition and innovation in the financial services sector and improving cross-cutting regulatory policy. Before that, he spent 3 years as Head of Economics and Social Policy at the think tank Policy Exchange and is a former Economic Adviser at HM Treasury, where he worked in a number of roles focussed on tax policy making, microeconomic analysis and, latterly, the policy response to the financial crisis and the introduction of Universal Credit. He has an MSc in Economics from University College London, where he specialised in microeconomics, public policy and econometrics. He also led the independent review of Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions that reported to Parliament in 2014.
Seyi Obakin 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.
Nicola Smith is the Head of the Economic and Social Affairs of the Trades Union Congress and oversees research and policy development on a wide range of areas from macro-economic policy, the labour market and public spending to housing, transport and pensions. She is a former principal researcher at the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion and has worked in related roles at Barnardo’s and the Department for Education.
Victoria Todd (adviser)
Victoria is an unpaid adviser to the Social Security Advisory Committee on HMRC-related issues. She is Welfare Rights Technical Officer 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. Victoria co-wrote the ‘Tax Credits Handbook 2012/13’ which provides comprehenvive guidance and commentary on the tax credits system. She is a member of the Association of Tax Technicians.