Personal blog: informal economist
Supervisor: John Flint
After graduating from Leeds University in 1983, I started work in local government with Leeds City Council, and worked in a range of policy, economic development, regeneration and housing roles with Leeds, Harlow and Wakefield. My particular interest has always been in how local economies can be developed, and the mechanisms and approaches that ensure local people benefit from investment and growth. This involved me in developing innovative and multi-disciplinary approaches to training, employment and business development. I'm committed to a reflective and critical approach to practice, which I developed further during a Masters in Urban Regeneration at Sheffield Hallam, completed in 2008. After leaving Wakefield in 2008, I worked first with Yorkshire Forward, and then the Homes and Communities Agency's Skills and Knowledge Team, where I managed training and development programmes for housing and regeneration professionals across the English regions. I also spent thirteen years as a City Councillor in Leeds, and was heavily involved in housing and planning issues.
PhD Research: The informal economy in Yorkshire coalfield communities
My PhD research builds on my personal and professional interests in former industrial areas in general, and mining communities in particular. Drawing on literature in the fields of informal economic activity, household work strategies and the social organisation of labour I have been researching the strategies people and households use to get by in a former mining village in Yorkshire. I have taken a qualitative approach, involving in depth interviews with individuals and households, investigating not just their practical experiences, but also their views and feelings about their household priorities.