Who we are

Find out more about DCN below

Overview

The District Councils’ Network (DCN) is a cross-party member led network of 200 district councils. We are a Special Interest Group of the Local Government Association (LGA), and provide a single voice for district councils within the Local Government Association.

District councils in England deliver 86 out of 137 essential local government services to over 22 million people – 40% of the population – and cover 68% of the country by area. As the housing and planning authorities, we approve 90% of all planning applications and enabled over 91,000 dwellings in our areas last year. District councils have a proven track record of devising innovative solutions to transform public services, taking a lead role in improving services and outcomes for people and places through better collaboration.

District councils have a proven track record of building better lives and bigger economies in the areas that they serve. Districts protect and enhance quality of life by safeguarding our environment, promoting public health and leisure, whilst creating attractive places to live, raise families and build a bigger economy. By tackling homelessness and promoting wellbeing, District councils ensure no one gets left behind by addressing the complex needs of today whilst attempting to prevent the social problems of tomorrow.

Our Team

Paul Shevlin

Chief Executive of Craven District Council

Chairman of the Chief Executives’ Group
Email:

Paul Shevlin is the current Chair of the DCN Chief Executives’ Group and the Chief Executive of Craven District Council since 1 December 2008.The work that Paul has undertaken at Craven has seen a remarkable turnaround in the council’s financial position, reducing the net budget by over 34%, with a similar reduction in staffing and reducing management costs by over 40%, in an intensive and challenging few years.

Paul chairs the Prevent Board for North Yorkshire and York. Committed to partnership working Craven now has shared IS, internal audit, strategic housing, parking enforcement, and a shared office with NYCC with reception, facilities management, cleaning services etc. shared on site.

He was Chief Executive at Oswestry Borough Council for 8 years. Paul is a former Chair of the Local Strategic Partnership (Shropshire Partnership) and represented both the LSP and the Regional Chief Executives Group on the West Midlands Rural Affairs Forum. He chaired a regional group looking at affordable housing on behalf of WMRAF.

He has a proven track record of delivering culture change, partnership working and introducing efficiencies.

He is married with three children and a delightful granddaughter and now living more than 70 miles from Old Trafford feels he can be properly called a Manchester United supporter! He is a follower of most sports – especially football and cricket.

Cllr John Fuller

LEADER, SOUTH NORFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL

Chair of the DCN
Email: jfuller@s-norfolk.gov.uk

I was born in Great Yarmouth and have lived in Brooke near Norwich with wife Philippa and two daughters Susan and Laura since 1997.At University in Reading, I gained a first-class degree in Agriculture [1990] and later in 1995 a Nuffield Scholarship to study advanced farming techniques in the United States.

From 1998-2011, I was a Director of family firm of J & H Bunn in Great Yarmouth established as fertiliser manufacturers and agricultural merchants for over 190 years. Following sale of that business to new owners in March 2011, I am now responsible for managing the sellers’ remaining business interests.

I was first elected to South Norfolk Council in 2003 and led local Conservatives to take control of The Council in 2007 and in 2017 became Chair of the DCN

Paul Shevlin

Chief Executive of Craven District Council

Chairman of the Chief Executives’ Group
Email:

Paul Shevlin is the current Chair of the DCN Chief Executives’ Group and the Chief Executive of Craven District Council since 1 December 2008.The work that Paul has undertaken at Craven has seen a remarkable turnaround in the council’s financial position, reducing the net budget by over 34%, with a similar reduction in staffing and reducing management costs by over 40%, in an intensive and challenging few years.

Paul chairs the Prevent Board for North Yorkshire and York. Committed to partnership working Craven now has shared IS, internal audit, strategic housing, parking enforcement, and a shared office with NYCC with reception, facilities management, cleaning services etc. shared on site.

He was Chief Executive at Oswestry Borough Council for 8 years. Paul is a former Chair of the Local Strategic Partnership (Shropshire Partnership) and represented both the LSP and the Regional Chief Executives Group on the West Midlands Rural Affairs Forum. He chaired a regional group looking at affordable housing on behalf of WMRAF.

He has a proven track record of delivering culture change, partnership working and introducing efficiencies.

He is married with three children and a delightful granddaughter and now living more than 70 miles from Old Trafford feels he can be properly called a Manchester United supporter! He is a follower of most sports – especially football and cricket.

Cllr John Fuller

LEADER, SOUTH NORFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL

Chair of the DCN
Email: jfuller@s-norfolk.gov.uk

Cllr Tom Beattie

Leader, Corby Borough Council

Vice-Chair (Labour Group)
Email: tom.beattie@corby.gov.uk

Cllr David Neighbour

Leader, Hart District Council

Vice-Chair (Liberal Democrat Group)
Email: david.neighbour@hart.gov.uk

Cllr Mark Crane

Leader , Selby District Council

Email: mcrane@selby.gov.uk

Cllr John Clarke

Leader, Gedling Borough Council

Email: cllr.john.clarke@gedling.gov.uk

Cllr Sharon Taylor OBE

Leader, Stevenage Borough Council

Email: sharon.taylor@stevenage.gov.uk

Cllr Peter Fleming

Leader, Sevenoaks District Council

Email: Cllr.Fleming@sevenoaks.gov.uk

Cllr Isobel Darby

Leader, Chiltern District Council

Email: idcdc@chrisdarby.com

Cllr Bridget Smith

Leader, South Cambridgeshire District Council

Email: Cllr.BridgetSmith@scambs.gov.uk

Cllr Matthew Lee

Leader, South Kesteven District Council

Email: matthew.lee@southkesteven.gov.uk

Cllr John Ward

Leader, Babergh District Council

Email: john.ward@babergh.gov.uk

Cllr Graham Butland

Leader, Braintree District Council

Email: cllr.gbutland@braintree.gov.uk

Pippa Rugman

Senior Policy and Research Officer

Interim Director of the DCN
Tel: 0207 664 3050
Email: pippa.rugman@local.gov.uk

Pippa joined the District Councils’ Network in 2017 and is currently the Interim Director of the DCN providing the policy, strategic and operational oversight for the District Councils’ Network.

In her substantive post as senior policy and research officer, she offers support on a broad range of issues and has a particular focus on the role of district councils in health and wellbeing.

Pippa studied MSc Politics at the University of Southampton before moving into local government in 2014. Pippa started as graduate trainee within legal and democratic services before progressing to deputy electoral services manager.

Emily Schofield

Projects and Research Officer

Support on all DCN projects
Tel: 0207 664 3176
Email: Emily.schofield@local.gov.uk

Emily joined the District Councils’ Network in September 2018 and is on secondment from one of our member councils. She provides support on all DCN projects and assists in responses on numerous policy areas, with a specialism on environmental policy.

Emily has worked in Local Government for over 10 years, having worked in communications, environmental health, environmental services and transformation in a number of district councils.

Alan Harris

Press Officer

Alan provides communications advice and support to the DCN
Tel: 0207 664 3147
Email: alan.harris@local.gov.uk

Chief Executives’ Group

Paul Shevlin

Chief Executive of Craven District Council

Chairman of the Chief Executives’ Group
Email:

Paul Shevlin is the current Chair of the DCN Chief Executives’ Group and the Chief Executive of Craven District Council since 1 December 2008.The work that Paul has undertaken at Craven has seen a remarkable turnaround in the council’s financial position, reducing the net budget by over 34%, with a similar reduction in staffing and reducing management costs by over 40%, in an intensive and challenging few years.

Paul chairs the Prevent Board for North Yorkshire and York. Committed to partnership working Craven now has shared IS, internal audit, strategic housing, parking enforcement, and a shared office with NYCC with reception, facilities management, cleaning services etc. shared on site.

He was Chief Executive at Oswestry Borough Council for 8 years. Paul is a former Chair of the Local Strategic Partnership (Shropshire Partnership) and represented both the LSP and the Regional Chief Executives Group on the West Midlands Rural Affairs Forum. He chaired a regional group looking at affordable housing on behalf of WMRAF.

He has a proven track record of delivering culture change, partnership working and introducing efficiencies.

He is married with three children and a delightful granddaughter and now living more than 70 miles from Old Trafford feels he can be properly called a Manchester United supporter! He is a follower of most sports – especially football and cricket.

Leadership

Cllr John Fuller

LEADER, SOUTH NORFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL

Chair of the DCN
Email: jfuller@s-norfolk.gov.uk

I was born in Great Yarmouth and have lived in Brooke near Norwich with wife Philippa and two daughters Susan and Laura since 1997.At University in Reading, I gained a first-class degree in Agriculture [1990] and later in 1995 a Nuffield Scholarship to study advanced farming techniques in the United States.

From 1998-2011, I was a Director of family firm of J & H Bunn in Great Yarmouth established as fertiliser manufacturers and agricultural merchants for over 190 years. Following sale of that business to new owners in March 2011, I am now responsible for managing the sellers’ remaining business interests.

I was first elected to South Norfolk Council in 2003 and led local Conservatives to take control of The Council in 2007 and in 2017 became Chair of the DCN

Paul Shevlin

Chief Executive of Craven District Council

Chairman of the Chief Executives’ Group
Email:

Paul Shevlin is the current Chair of the DCN Chief Executives’ Group and the Chief Executive of Craven District Council since 1 December 2008.The work that Paul has undertaken at Craven has seen a remarkable turnaround in the council’s financial position, reducing the net budget by over 34%, with a similar reduction in staffing and reducing management costs by over 40%, in an intensive and challenging few years.

Paul chairs the Prevent Board for North Yorkshire and York. Committed to partnership working Craven now has shared IS, internal audit, strategic housing, parking enforcement, and a shared office with NYCC with reception, facilities management, cleaning services etc. shared on site.

He was Chief Executive at Oswestry Borough Council for 8 years. Paul is a former Chair of the Local Strategic Partnership (Shropshire Partnership) and represented both the LSP and the Regional Chief Executives Group on the West Midlands Rural Affairs Forum. He chaired a regional group looking at affordable housing on behalf of WMRAF.

He has a proven track record of delivering culture change, partnership working and introducing efficiencies.

He is married with three children and a delightful granddaughter and now living more than 70 miles from Old Trafford feels he can be properly called a Manchester United supporter! He is a follower of most sports – especially football and cricket.

Members' board

Cllr John Fuller

LEADER, SOUTH NORFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL

Chair of the DCN
Email: jfuller@s-norfolk.gov.uk

Cllr Tom Beattie

Leader, Corby Borough Council

Vice-Chair (Labour Group)
Email: tom.beattie@corby.gov.uk

Cllr David Neighbour

Leader, Hart District Council

Vice-Chair (Liberal Democrat Group)
Email: david.neighbour@hart.gov.uk

Cllr Mark Crane

Leader , Selby District Council

Email: mcrane@selby.gov.uk

Cllr John Clarke

Leader, Gedling Borough Council

Email: cllr.john.clarke@gedling.gov.uk

Cllr Sharon Taylor OBE

Leader, Stevenage Borough Council

Email: sharon.taylor@stevenage.gov.uk

Cllr Peter Fleming

Leader, Sevenoaks District Council

Email: Cllr.Fleming@sevenoaks.gov.uk

Cllr Isobel Darby

Leader, Chiltern District Council

Email: idcdc@chrisdarby.com

Cllr Bridget Smith

Leader, South Cambridgeshire District Council

Email: Cllr.BridgetSmith@scambs.gov.uk

Cllr Matthew Lee

Leader, South Kesteven District Council

Email: matthew.lee@southkesteven.gov.uk

Cllr John Ward

Leader, Babergh District Council

Email: john.ward@babergh.gov.uk

Cllr Graham Butland

Leader, Braintree District Council

Email: cllr.gbutland@braintree.gov.uk

Staff

Pippa Rugman

Senior Policy and Research Officer

Interim Director of the DCN
Tel: 0207 664 3050
Email: pippa.rugman@local.gov.uk

Pippa joined the District Councils’ Network in 2017 and is currently the Interim Director of the DCN providing the policy, strategic and operational oversight for the District Councils’ Network.

In her substantive post as senior policy and research officer, she offers support on a broad range of issues and has a particular focus on the role of district councils in health and wellbeing.

Pippa studied MSc Politics at the University of Southampton before moving into local government in 2014. Pippa started as graduate trainee within legal and democratic services before progressing to deputy electoral services manager.

Emily Schofield

Projects and Research Officer

Support on all DCN projects
Tel: 0207 664 3176
Email: Emily.schofield@local.gov.uk

Emily joined the District Councils’ Network in September 2018 and is on secondment from one of our member councils. She provides support on all DCN projects and assists in responses on numerous policy areas, with a specialism on environmental policy.

Emily has worked in Local Government for over 10 years, having worked in communications, environmental health, environmental services and transformation in a number of district councils.

Alan Harris

Press Officer

Alan provides communications advice and support to the DCN
Tel: 0207 664 3147
Email: alan.harris@local.gov.uk

Member Councils

  • Adur District Council
  • Allerdale Borough Council
  • Amber Valley Borough Council
  • Arun District Council
  • Ashfield District Council
  • Ashford Borough Council
  • Aylesbury Vale District Council
  • Babergh District Council
  • Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council
  • Basildon Borough Council
  • Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
  • Bassetlaw District Council
  • Blaby District Council
  • Bolsover District Council
  • Boston Borough Council
  • Braintree District Council
  • Breckland Council
  • Brentwood Borough Council
  • Broadland District Council
  • Bromsgrove District Council
  • Broxbourne Borough Council
  • Broxtowe Borough Council
  • Burnley Borough Council
  • Cambridge City Council
  • Cannock Chase District Council
  • Canterbury City Council
  • Carlisle City Council
  • Castle Point Borough Council
  • Charnwood Borough Council
  • Chelmsford City Council
  • Cheltenham Borough Council
  • Cherwell District Council
  • Chesterfield Borough Council
  • Chichester District Council
  • Chiltern District Council
  • Chorley Borough Council
  • Colchester Borough Council
  • Copeland Borough Council
  • Corby Borough Council
  • Cotswold District Council
  • Craven District Council
  • Crawley Borough Council
  • Dacorum Borough Council
  • Dartford Borough Council
  • Daventry District Council
  • Derbyshire Dales District Council
  • Dover District Council
  • East Cambridgeshire District Council
  • East Devon District Council
  • East Hampshire District Council
  • East Herts Council
  • East Lindsey District Council
  • East Northamptonshire Council
  • East Staffordshire Borough Council
  • East Suffolk Council
  • Eastbourne Borough Council
  • Eastleigh Borough Council
  • Eden District Council
  • Elmbridge Borough Council
  • Epping Forest District Council
  • Epsom and Ewell Borough Council
  • Erewash Borough Council
  • Exeter City Council
  • Fareham Borough Council
  • Fenland District Council
  • Forest of Dean District Council
  • Fylde Borough Council
  • Gedling Borough Council
  • Gloucester City Council
  • Gravesham Borough Council
  • Great Yarmouth Borough Council
  • Guildford Borough Council
  • Hambleton District Council
  • Harborough District Council
  • Harlow District Council
  • Harrogate Borough Council
  • Hart District Council
  • Hastings Borough Council
  • Havant Borough Council
  • Hertsmere Borough Council
  • High Peak Borough Council
  • Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council
  • Horsham District Council
  • Huntingdonshire District Council
  • Hyndburn Borough Council
  • Ipswich Borough Council
  • Kettering Borough Council
  • King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council
  • Lancaster City Council
  • Lewes District Council
  • Lichfield District Council
  • Lincoln City Council
  • Maidstone Borough Council
  • Maldon District Council
  • Malvern Hills District Council
  • Mansfield District Council
  • Melton Borough Council
  • Mendip District Council
  • Mid Devon District Council
  • Mid Suffolk District Council
  • Mid Sussex District Council
  • Mole Valley District Council
  • New Forest District Council
  • Newark & Sherwood District Council
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council
  • North Devon District Council
  • North East Derbyshire District Council
  • North Hertfordshire District Council
  • North Kesteven District Council
  • North Norfolk District Council
  • North Warwickshire Borough Council
  • North West Leicestershire District Council
  • Northampton Borough Council
  • Norwich City Council
  • Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council
  • Oadby and Wigston Borough Council
  • Oxford City Council
  • Pendle Borough Council
  • Preston City Council
  • Redditch Borough Council
  • Reigate and Banstead Borough Council
  • Ribble Valley Borough Council
  • Richmondshire District Council
  • Rochford District Council
  • Rossendale Borough Council
  • Rother District Council
  • Rugby Borough Council
  • Runnymede Borough Council
  • Rushcliffe Borough Council
  • Rushmoor Borough Council
  • Ryedale District Council
  • Scarborough Borough Council
  • Sedgemoor District Council
  • Selby District Council
  • Sevenoaks District Council
  • Shepway District Council
  • Somerset West and Taunton Council
  • South Bucks District Council
  • South Cambridgeshire District Council
  • South Derbyshire District Council
  • South Hams District Council
  • South Holland District Council
  • South Kesteven District Council
  • South Lakeland District Council
  • South Norfolk District Council
  • South Northamptonshire District Council
  • South Oxfordshire District Council
  • South Ribble Borough Council
  • South Somerset District Council
  • South Staffordshire Council
  • Spelthorne Borough Council
  • St Albans City and District Council
  • Stafford Borough Council
  • Staffordshire Moorlands District Council
  • Stevenage Borough Council
  • Stratford-on-Avon District Council
  • Stroud District Council
  • Surrey Heath Borough Council
  • Swale Borough Council
  • Tamworth Borough Council
  • Tandridge District Council
  • Teignbridge District Council
  • Tendring District Council
  • Test Valley Borough Council
  • Tewkesbury Borough Council
  • Thanet District Council
  • Three Rivers District Council
  • Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council
  • Torridge District Council
  • Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
  • Uttlesford District Council
  • Vale of White Horse District Council
  • Warwick District Council
  • Watford Borough Council
  • Waverley Borough Council
  • Wealden District Council
  • Wellingborough Borough Council
  • Welwyn Hatfield Council
  • West Devon Borough Council
  • West Lancashire Borough Council
  • West Lindsey District Council
  • West Oxfordshire District Council
  • West Suffolk Council
  • Winchester City Council
  • Woking Borough Council
  • Worcester City Council
  • Worthing Borough Council
  • Wychavon District Council
  • Wycombe District Council
  • Wyre Borough Council
  • Wyre Forest District Council

DCN Prospectus

The District Councils’ Network is the national voice of district councils in England.

District councils are the most efficient, valued and trusted part of government. We are flexible and adaptable, able to move and change at speed and the strand of local government that is closest to its communities while having the scale, leadership and influence to make a real difference where it counts.

District councils are at the heart of delivering the ‘doorstep’ issues that matter to communities. District councils are positive about the future. We have much to offer, and are ready to deliver.

Chief Executives’ Group

The Chief Executives’ Group is a 22-person body made up of District Council chief executives from across the country. They work to promote district councils’ role in delivering services to local people, and lobby on behalf of all district councils providing a clear and consistent voice about issues that really matter. They are a senior officer support group to the DCN’s Member Board as well.

The Chief Executives’ Group is elected every two years, and at the same time elects a Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary. The next elections will take place in June 2019.

The current appointment holders are:

Chair – Paul Shevlin from Craven Borough Council.
Vice-Chair – Louise Round, Tandridge Borough Council.

The full list of members is below.

East of England
Adrian Pritchard (Colchester Borough Council)
Ray Harding (Kings Lynn and West Norfolk)
Sally Marshall (Dacorum Borough Council)
Co-opted
Graham Soulsby (Kettering Borough Council)
Allen Graham (Rushcliffe Borough Council)
Sandra Dinneen (South Norfolk Council)
East Midlands
Ian Fytche (North Kestevan District Council)
Robert Mitchell (Ashfield District Council)
Bill Cullen (Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council)
South East
Charles Lant (Wealden District Council)
Daryl Phillips (Hart District Council)
Yvonne Rees (Mole Valley District Council)
David Hughes (Gravesham Borough Council)
Louise Round (Tandridge District Council, Vice-Chair)
Nigel Lynn (Arun District Council)
Yvonne Rees (Cherwell District Council)
North West
Lawrence Conway (South Lakeland District Council)
Marshal Scott (Ribble Valley District Council)
Yorkshire and Humberside
Paul Shevlin (Craven District Council, Chair)
Janet Waggott (Selby District Council)
West Midlands
Ian Miller (Wyre Forest District Council)
Andy O’Brien (East Staffordshire Borough Council)
South West
David Hagg (Stroud District Council)
Stuart Brown (Mendip District Council)
Jon McGinty (Gloucester City Council)