Meet the network advisors

Biographical information about our network advisors.

Network team

CIPFA's team of network advisors.

Victoria Barnard, Senior Consultant, CIPFA Advisory Services

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Victoria Barnard is a Senior Consultant for CIPFA. She has a background in local government finance and delivers bespoke consultancy work covering technical accounting, financial strategy, options appraisal, VfM studies and transformation support. She also provides in-house training, oversees the CIPFA accountancy toolkits and contributes to CIPFA publications. Previously she worked as a finance advisor for FAN, delivering training events at venues around the country.

Alison Dewhirst, Police Advisor, Police Network | LinkedIn Profile

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Alison has worked in and for policing for over twenty years since her first days as a researcher for City of London Police and has experienced an incredible amount of change in the sector over that time. Alison runs the CIPFA Police Network, running events and writing publications. She contributes to the CIPFA Police Panel and works closely with CIPFA policy and technical colleagues on police accounting issues.

Cliff Dalton, Head of Local Government, CIPFA | LinkedIn Profile

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Cliff is a CIPFA qualified accountant with over 20 years’ local government experience covering all authority types across the North of England.

Dr Louise Dunne, Lead Housing Advisor, CIPFA Housing Benchmarking and Diagnostic Service | LinkedIn Profile

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Dr Louise Dunne manages the new CIPFA Housing Benchmarking and Diagnostic Service, and prior to that the CIPFA Housing Advisory Network. Louise has worked with professionals from across the local authority, housing association and arm's length management organisation (ALMO) sectors for the past ten years.

David Ellis, Finance Advisor, Finance Advisory Network (FAN) | LinkedIn Profile

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David Ellis joined CIPFA in July 2012 as a FAN advisor, after a 30-year career in local government. David possesses an extensive knowledge and practical understanding of local authority statements of accounts and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)-based Code of Practice, and uses that knowledge and experience to provide support and advice to practitioners across the public sector in his role as FAN Advisor. David qualified with CIPFA back in 1989 and is a committed life-long learner, with a passion for understanding the evolving technical aspects of local authority accounting.

Lisa Forster, Principal Consultant | LinkedIn Profile

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Lisa is a CIPFA qualified accountant, and has worked for CIPFA since 2008. She joined the organisation as a finance advisor in CIPFA Networks, and has more recently moved across to the advisory team. Lisa’s two areas of expertise are in education finance, particularly academy accounts and assurance, and also in local government ‘transformation’ around the consideration of ‘alternative service delivery models’.

Mohamed Hans, Procurement Advisor, CIPFA Procurement & Commissioning Network (CPCN) | LinkedIn Profile

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Mohamed Hans joined CIPFA in 2004 after working as a Senior Commercial Solicitor for a number of West Yorkshire Local Authorities. He is an expert on the European Public Procurement Rules and has written extensively on this topic as well as developed widely used practitioner toolkits. He is also invited to speak at Conferences (UK and abroad) and is often the first point of contact for practitioners understanding complex procurement issues. He manages the CIPFA Procurement & Commissioning Network which has nearly 100 member authorities.

Caroline Lee, Lead Revenues Advisor, Benefits and Revenues Service

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Before joining CIPFA as Revenues Advisor, Caroline worked in local government for 25 years, 12 of which at chief officer level as Head of Revenues and Benefits. She is committed to supporting the provision of high quality public services by revenues professionals within local authorities. She combines skills, knowledge and experience in policy, legislation and strategy development within Revenues with a pragmatic focus on the issues facing practitioners around resourcing, management and relationships with taxpayers, partners and stakeholders. She has an honours degree in politics, an MA in counselling and is IRRV (Hons) qualified.

Diana Melville, Governance Advisor, Better Governance Forum (BGF) | LinkedIn Profile

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Diana is the lead advisor for the CIPFA Better Governance Forum. She is a CIPFA-qualified accountant and is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Neil Sellstrom

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Neil has been a CIPFA Advisor for pensions and treasury management since 2009, running networks on both subjects with over 150 subscribing authorities combined. He represents CIPFA and Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Funds at various key events and also attends CIPFA pensions panels. He also organises workshops and conferences, produces newsletters, and co-ordinates queries to support members and promote best practice.

Caroline White, Finance Advisor, Finance Advisory Network (FAN)

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Caroline has been a Finance Advisory Network advisor at CIPFA since early 2013, supporting practitioners in all aspects of local government accounting and particularly in the technical area of Collection Fund Accounting. Prior to joining CIPFA she had 15 years' local government experience at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, where she qualified with CIPFA in 2002 and was the finance manager responsible for financial reporting and led the application of International Financial Reporting Standards at the authority. Caroline gained an MBA (Exec) in 2009 and is also a Collaboration Transformation Architect.

Sheldon Wood, Benefits Advisor, CIPFA Benefits & Revenues Service (CBRS)

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Sheldon has 16 years' local government experience, including Principal Benefits Officer at Sheffield City Council, where he managed the service and implemented major changes to the Council's benefits administration. He joined the CIPFA Benefits and Revenues Service (CBRS) in 2003 and has trained and advised members of the team on all aspects of benefits legislation and local authority benefits service administration, focusing on the changes required as a result of successive government welfare reform policies and change programmes.