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Sir Merrick Cockell to lead Cratus from July

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Cratus Communications – a public affairs agency specialising in local public services – is today announcing that England’s most senior local government spokesman, Sir Merrick Cockell, will be joining them as Executive Chairman with effect from 14th July 2014.

Sir Merrick, who served as Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea for 13 years and chaired London Councils for four, will lead Cratus’ work in helping the private and voluntary sectors better understand how they can work at a local level. He will also chair the company’s board.

This will build on Cratus’ outstanding record, over five years, of helping clients forge successful partnerships with local authorities. Sir Merrick’s involvement will strengthen and expand this work to ensure that a wider range of companies and organisations can help the public sector rise to the financial and social challenges of the coming years.

At the same time, Cratus’ board will be further boosted by the appointment of two non-executive directors with experience in local public services:

  • Bob Neill MP. His extensive career in local government ranges from a councillor in Havering and a member of the London Assembly to more recently (2010-12) as Minister for Local Government.
  • Tim Grier. Nine years as Managing Director of John Laing Integrated Services, during which time he oversaw the provision of high quality services to local authorities.

Nick Kilby, Chief Executive Officer of Cratus Communications, said:

We are delighted that Sir Merrick, Bob and Tim will be joining our board. Together they bring extensive experience and offer an unrivalled understanding of local public services, which will further strengthen Cratus’ position in supporting innovation in these sectors.

Sir Merrick is a giant of local government, yet remains personally modest with regard to his achievements. He has lost none of the passion that has driven his public service to date; and it is this shared passion for local public services – in its broadest sense – that has also defined the careers of Bob Neill and Tim Grier. And it is this same passion that has enthused and motivated us over the last five years at Cratus.

Sir Merrick added:

I am delighted to be joining Cratus at such an exciting time in their development. Having observed their work with John Laing pioneering contracted-out library services, I know that they are one of the few companies that truly understand how local government works. They know that elected members need to lead the revolution in local public services that is happening across the country and that the public and private sectors need to better understand and learn from each others’ strengths.

Bob Neill:

It is a real privilege to join Cratus Communications at such an exciting time for local government. The team has unrivalled knowledge of the sector and a unique offer for the firms we represent.

Tim Grier:

Having experienced the significant, intuitive value of Cratus intelligence and insight from a client perspective whilst delivering public sector services, I am delighted to be augmenting their board as a Non-Executive Director. I look forward to supporting the growth and development of the company as they continue to optimise efficiency and value throughout public service activities in the UK.

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