Meet the network advisors

Biographical information about our network advisors.

Network team

CIPFA's team of network advisors.

Alison Dewhirst, Police Advisor, Police Network | LinkedIn Profile

Alison Dewhirst, Police Advisor, Police Network

Alison has worked in and for policing for over 25 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 and Fire Network, running events and writing publications. She manages the CIPFA Police and Fire Panel and oversees the coordination of its sub-groups. Alison works closely with colleagues in the CIPFA Policy and Technical team, the Networks team and across CIPFA on a whole range of finance and governance related issues affecting police and fire services. E: alison.dewhirst@cipfa.org, T: 01904 675587.


Cliff Dalton, Head of Networks, CIPFA | LinkedIn Profile

Cliff Dalton, Head of Networks, CIPFA

Cliff is a qualified CIPFA accountant and Shared Service Practitioner. He is CIPFA's Head of Networks, representing the Institute and shaping policy voice, position statements and speaking at events on local government and transformation issues. Cliff has also worked for 20 years in local government. E: cliff.dalton@cipfa.org, T: 01904 671938.


David Ellis | LinkedIn Profile

David Ellis

David joined CIPFA in July 2012 as a FAN advisor, after a 30-year career in local government, spending several years as Chief Accountant with key responsibilities for the statement of accounts. E: david.ellis@cipfa.org, T: 01502 584395.


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

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

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. E: mohamed.hans@cipfa.org, T: 01924 461825.


Adrian Blaylock - Lead Revenues Advisor, CIPFA | LinkedIn Profile

Adrian Blaylock - Lead Revenues Advisor, CIPFA

Adrian has more than 23 years' experience in the revenues area of local government. During this time he covered all aspects of revenues, including customer service, training and development, recovery, court officer, benchmarking, statistics, and the completion of all returns as well as performance monitoring. His role for the last 12 years has been Principal Revenues Officer, contributing to the management of the Revenues Team, mainly focusing on non-domestic rates. He developed the forecasting methodologies for loss on appeals and analysis of VOA data for the Doncaster MBC.

He has been an active CBRS participant for many years as well as a contributor to CIPFA’s online forum, TISonline. He was invited to and sat on the consultation group with the VOA for the development of the information sharing protocol. He is a member of the IRRV and has previously sat on the executive committee of the Yorkshire and district association. E: adrian.blaylock@cipfa.org, T: 07718 242833.


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

Diana Melville, Governance Advisor, Better Governance Forum (BGF)

Diana is the lead advisor for the CIPFA Better Governance Forum and is CIPFA’s representative on the Internal Audit Standards Advisory Board. She is a CIPFA qualified accountant and is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Prior to joining CIPFA in 2008 she was head of internal audit at Salisbury Council and held other audit roles in local government and at the National Audit Office. She has authored the 2018 edition of Audit Committees, Practical Guidance for Local Authorities and Police and co-developed the CIPFA Code of Practice on Managing the Risk of Fraud and Corruption (2014). She was part of the CIPFA working group that developed the Good Governance Framework for Local Government (2016) and supports other CIPFA policy initiatives and publications on governance, internal audit and counter fraud. E: diana.melville@cipfa.org , T: 01722 349398


Caroline Newman, Finance Advisor, Finance Advisory Network (FAN) | LinkedIn Profile

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

Caroline has been a Finance Advisory Network advisor at CIPFA since early 2013. Prior to joining CIPFA, Caroline had 15 years practitioner experience at East Riding of Yorkshire Council during which she led the introduction of IFRS and the annual production of the statement of accounts for six years. As FAN Advisor she supports practitioners in all aspects of local government accounting and particularly in the technical area of collection fund accounting. E: caroline.newman@cipfa.org, T: 07919 018938.


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

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

Sheldon has 16 years' local government experience, including as 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. E: sheldon.wood@cipfa.org, T: 01142 559322.


Richard Lloyd-Bithell | LinkedIn Profile

Richard Lloyd-Bithell

Richard began his career in local government and has over 7 years’ public sector experience. Richard formerly worked as a principal accountant managing a treasury and technical accounting team, and has gained broad and detailed experience in treasury, pensions, banking and accounting, before joining CIPFA in 2019. As CIPFA Advisor for Pensions and Treasury Management, Richard runs networks on both subjects, providing advice and support for officers and members and facilitating events across the country to promote best practice and the latest guidance. E:Richard.Lloyd-Bithell@cipfa.org T: 07748 396 985


Sandra Beard, FAN Advisor | LinkedIn Profile

Sandra Beard, FAN Advisor

Sandra is a qualified accountant, and has 15 years’ experience in local government working at Warwickshire County Council, initially as a principal accountant within adult social care and then as the capital accountant within corporate. She joined the CIPFA Fan Advisory Network as a FAN Advisor in 2017 providing advice and support to practitioners across the public sector. E: sandra.beard@cipfa.org, T: 02476 591922.