Advisory Group

The Citizens’ Assembly process will be supported by an Advisory Group.

To further ensure the independence of the group, politicians and members of existing recognised local stakeholder groups will not be eligible for membership of the Advisory Group. Those groups may be called upon to give evidence to the Assembly.

Advisory Group meetings will be run by Involve.

The Advisory Group’s role is to provide advice and oversight to ensure the Assembly’s plans, evidence and materials are accurate, balanced and unbiased and perceived as such by the outside world. 

The aim of the Advisory Group will be to effectively challenge the received wisdom within Greater Cambridge. 

A man in a blue shirt is writing on a flipchart.  only his left shoulder and right arm are visible.

Specifically, the Advisory Group will: 

  • Advise on evidence for the Assembly –speakers and, where necessary, materials – in terms of suggested contacts but also ensuring the evidence is fair and balanced. 
  • Act as a sounding board for potential activities or decisions about the process or content.
  • Help, where necessary, in recruiting contacts/speakers to present evidence to the Assembly.
  • Act as an informal ambassador and in a promotional role for the Citizens’ Assembly both within and outside Greater Cambridge.

Advisory Group Members 

The Members of the Advisory Group are as follows:

  • Andrew Carter, Chief Executive Centre for Cities
  • Dr Tom Cohen, Senior Research Associate, University College London  Centre for Transport Studies
  • Carolyn Daher, Coordinator of the Urban Planning, Environment and Health Initiative Barcelona Institute for Public Health (ISGlobal)
  • Steve Gooding, Director, RAC Foundation
  • Professor Michael Neuman, Professor of Sustainable Urbanism, University of Westminster
  • Darren Shirley, Director, Campaign for Better Transport 

The following people will provide local context support to the Advisory Group:  

  • Peter Blake, Director of Transport, Greater Cambridge Partnership (Local context adviser - Greater Cambridge transport) 
  • Philipp Verpoort, Co-Director, Sortition Foundation (Local context adviser - Sortition/deliberative democracy)


Andrew Carter is Chief Executive of the Centre for Cities, the leading UK think-tank focused on improving the economic performance of UK cities. Before that was he was Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy and Research.  Andrew has over 20 years of experience working on urban economic policy issues for public and private development agencies and for research institutes. He is a Churchill Foundation Fellow and spent time in the United States as part of the Fellowship Programme reviewing urban economic development policy and practice in American cities including New York, Washington DC, Boston and Chicago. He is a regular media contributor and chairs and speaks at conferences across the UK and Europe on a wide range of urban and economic issues.

Tom Cohen is a Senior Fellow at UCL’s Centre for Transport Studies in London.  His research has addressed citizen participation in policy making for transport and climate change.  Tom’s principal transport research interests relate to the justice and governance of mobility and mobility futures.  He is currently working on a major project, funded by ESRC, on the governance of automated driving.

Carolyn Daher has a BA in Environmental Studies (Brown University) and a Master in Public Health (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health), and has over 15 years of experience working worldwide to link health evidence with practice. She currently coordinates the Urban Planning, Environment and Health Initiative at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), which translates scientific evidence to generate decision making and impact in policy and society. The focus of the Initiatives work is how urban contexts influence the health and wellbeing of the population and the planet, with emphasis on building communities of practice with urban and transport planners. 

Steve Gooding became Director of the RAC Foundation, the independent motoring research charity, in May 2015 after a long civil service career encompassing many transport-related roles, including six years as a Director General on the DfT main board running the Roads, Traffic and Local Group. 

Michael Neuman is Professor of Sustainable Urbanism at the University of Westminster and principal of the Michael Neuman Consultancy. Professor Neuman is an expert in metropolitan and regional planning and design, and the author of numerous books, articles, reports, and plans that have been translated into ten languages and recipients of numerous awards. 

Darren Shirley is Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport and has 15 years’ experience working on consumer, social and environmental issues, including leading Which?'s campaigning on regulated and retail markets, and positions with WWF, Greenpeace UK and National Energy Action. Transport is at the heart of our communities. It connects people to jobs, education, public services, shops, leisure activities, and with other people. Engaging and understanding the views and needs of the local community is vital to building a more sustainable transport system.

Providing local context:

Philipp Verpoort is on the directors' board of the Sortition Foundation, where he works on the promotion of Citizens' Assemblies in the UK. His role on the advisory board will be to help the technical experts understand the local context and how the Citizens' Assembly approach fits with the political situation in Cambridge. As a member of one of the delivery organisations (Sortition Foundation provides the selection mechanism for the assembly participants), he will remain impartial with regard to the evidence that is presented to the assembly.

Papers from Advisory Group meeting 17 September 2019:

Papers  from Advisory Group meeting 16 August 2019:

Papers from Advisory Group meeting 29 July 2019:

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