Meet the team

Network advisors

Adrian Blaylock IRRV, Lead Revenues Advisor, Benefits and Revenues Service

Rob WhitemanAdrian joined CIPFA in 2017 after spending 24 years working in a revenues team in local government where he gained experience in all aspects of revenues with over half that time spent as principal revenues officer, contributing to the management of the revenues team.

He sits on several groups advising and working closely with central government on development of policy. He is a member of the IRRV and previously sat on the executive committee of the Yorkshire and district association.


Sheldon Wood BA IRRV, Lead Benefits Advisor, Benefits and Revenues Service

Sheldon WoodSheldon joined CIPFA in 2003, after spending three years as an associate and seventeen years at Sheffield City Council where he was a principal benefits officer and where he gained experience of all aspects of benefits administration and management as well as leading project teams implementing major changes in the benefits system.

He writes and delivers events on issues affecting benefits services, speaks at national conferences, has worked with nearly 300 local authorities and numerous government departments on benefits policy and consultation responses.

Mohamed Hans, Solicitor, Principal Advisor, Procurement and Commissioning Network

Mohammed HansMohamed 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 interpretation of public procurement rules and has written extensively on this topic over many years. He has also developed widely used practitioner toolkits, is invited to speak at conferences in the UK and abroad, and is the first point of contact for practitioners need to understand complex procurement issues.

He manages the Procurement and Commissioning Network, which has over 130 member authorities. He sits on a number of advisory boards, including the National Audit Office, Home Office and the CIPFA Procurement and Anti-Corruption Advisory Forum.

David Ellis FCPFA, Advisor, Finance Advisory Network

David EllisDavid joined CIPFA in 2012 as an advisor, following a 30 year career in local government. In his practitioner days he specialised in technical accounting, overseeing the introduction of IFRS-based accounting for two local authorities as well as leading on asset and capital accounting matters. In his final practitioner role as chief accountant he held key responsibilities for technical accounting and the preparation and audit of the statement of accounts.

He has an extensive technical knowledge and practical understanding of local authority financial statements and the CIPFA/LASAAC Accounting Code of Practice, with which he provides support and guidance to practitioners across local government and UK public bodies.

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Jennifer Bevan, Advisor, Finance Advisory Network

Jen BevanJennifer joined CIPFA in 2022 after working for seven years in local government. She is a CIPFA-qualified accountant who, for the past five years, has been working at Bury Metropolitan Council where she started as a revenue advisor in Public Health and Adult Social Care. From there she joined the authority's closedown and capital teams, with a particular focus on fixed assets and closure of capital accounts. Her experience also includes working on a number of special projects including transformation, levelling up and land and property disposals scheme. As a CIPFA member, Jennifer is also an active volunteer within the CIPFA North West Region.

Nick Harvey CIPFA, Technical Advisor, Treasury Management and Pensions Networks

Nick HarveyNick is technical advisor for the Treasury Management and Pensions Networks, leading on revisions to and guidance on the Treasury Management and Prudential Codes. He also advises on the changing pension fund investment landscape, particularly the move towards more diverse and sustainable portfolios. He has 14 years of experience as a treasury practitioner at principal officer level, five years experience overseeing pension fund investments, and three years of experience managing a banking team. He joined CIPFA in 2021.

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Diana Melville CIPFA, Advisor, Better Governance Forum

Diana MelvilleDiana is the lead advisor for the Better Governance Forum and is CIPFA's representative on the Internal Audit Standards Advisory Board. She is a CIPFA-qualified accountant and a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

She authored the 2018 edition of Audit Committees: Practical Guidance for Local Authorities and Police, and was part of the CIPFA working group that developed the Good Governance Framework for Local Government. She regularly provides advice and training on the application of good governance in practice and annual governance statements. 

Mark Williams, Advisor, Alternative Service Delivery Network

Mark WilliamsMark leads the Alternative Service Delivery Network and acts as an advisor to network members. He is a qualified accountant, with many years of commercial and project management experience in setting up, managing, amending and exiting a variety of entity based and contract based delivery arrangements. This includes experience in both the upstream supply of public services and the downstream supply chain where the public body is procuring from the private sector, voluntary sector, other public bodies and its own trading companies.

He has worked in both the Cabinet Office's commercial models team and the HM Treasury business case team. He continues to deliver HMT's business case and the World Bank's Public Private Partnerships training on behalf of CIPFA. Mark has also been involved in net zero and levelling up projects, which he sees as policy areas where alternative service delivery arrangement will need to be considered.

Mark Catlow, FCA CPFA

Photo of Mark CatlowMark joined CIPFA in 2022 after working for seven years in local government. Prior to this he worked for both Ernst & Young and the Audit Commission. He is a member of both the ICAEW and CIPFA and has extensive experience of the collection fund, treasury and statutory financial reporting.





Policy and technical

Joanne Pitt, Local Government Policy Manager

Joanne PittJoanne is an experienced local government adviser with 25 years of public sector knowledge. She was responsible for the delivery of the CIPFA Financial Management Code, along with its supportive guidance and is an advocate of strong financial management and good governance. Her most recent publications cover local government reorganisation and the governance of council owned companies.

She has written widely on topics such as government funding, housing, and financial sustainability, and as a key part of the policy team has represented the Institute on the BBC, local and national radio and is regularly quoted in the press. Through her work with CFOs across the country Joanne supports local government improvement and reform using data analysis and strong evidence-based insight. Always focused on improving financial resilience her role has included membership of government advisory panels.

Alison Bonathan, Technical Manager

Alison BonathanPrior to joining CIPFA in 2021, Alison worked for 14 years as a professional training and higher education lecturer, where she specialised in the design and delivery of audit and financial reporting courses. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant while working in public sector audit at PwC.



Steven Cain, Technical Manager

Steven CainSteven currently provides secretariat support to CIPFA/LASAAC. Before taking on that role, he helped develop CIPFA's view and response to proposals for new standards being consulted by other standard setters in the UK and internationally, including financial reporting standards such as IFRS and IPSASs, and auditing standards and guidance such as International Standards on Auditing and Practice Note 10. Before joining CIPFA in 2005, he trained at the National Audit Office and also spent three years at HM Treasury as an accountancy advisor.

Nina Johansson, Sustainability Advisor

Profile picture of Nina Johansson

Nina has been with CIPFA since March 2020 and her background spans both the policy and the operational space. Before joining, she held roles in a number of certification bodies and consulting organisations operating in the sustainability space. She has extensive experience in the supply chain and procurement remit, having worked in the supply chain audit space and on consultancy projects with the aim of supporting companies in establishing a good sustainability baseline for their business.

She is a trained BSCI and SA8000 auditor and previously spent seven years in her native Sweden as a local politician, serving on the environmental committee. In this position, she was part of the cross-party coalition group responsible for the strategic and long-term environmental work in the city of Malmö.

Hege Larsen, Technical Manager

Hege LarsenHege joined the policy and technical team in 2021. She has a background in social work (Norway and Scotland), social policy research, and policy evaluation before she started working as a methods adviser for performance audit at the Office of the Auditor General of Norway in 2012. She was a seconded national expert to the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg in 2015, where she worked as a course developer with their Professional Training Unit.

From 2016 and until she started working for CIPFA, Hege led the secretariat of the INTOSAI Performance Audit Subcommittee (PAS) on behalf of the Auditor General of Norway and was responsible for coordinating standard setting initiatives and technical developments on performance audit methodology.

Mark McLean, Policy and Technical Officer

Based in Scotland, Mark provides support to the policy and technical team and CIPFA Forums as well as the CIPFA Scotland Branch Executive. He started his career working in Higher and Further Education before joining the institute in 2008 as events officer.

Milan Palmer, Policy Officer

Milan PalmerMilam joined the team in March 2019 after graduating with an degree in economics. He is a policy generalist and works closely with the wider team on a number of projects, including ethics, IFR4NPO, code changes, and other areas. He also works with several of the policy forums, working alongside members to ensure the various workplans plans are moving forward.



Dr Eleanor Roy, Health and Social Care Policy Manager

Eleanor RoyEleanor started her career in academia, completing a PhD and postdoctoral research in immunology and microbiology. In 2007, seeking a new challenge she joined the Welsh Parliament, applying her scientific rigour to the scrutiny of public finance and the evidence-base behind all aspects of government finance policy. She joined CIPFA on secondment as research consultant in 2014, focusing on public finance policy across the devolved nations, in the run up to the Scottish independence referendum. On returning to the Welsh Parliament she focused on constitutional change, primarily related to the devolution of finance and taxation powers.

Given her biomedical background, Eleanor has maintained an interest in health and care, and in 2018, she returned to CIFPA to combine this with her experience of public finance policy, taking on the role of Health and Social Care Policy Manager. She leads on CIPFA's policy work in this area, with particular interest in investment in prevention, social care funding reform and integration of health and care.

Sarah Sheen, Local Government Financial Reporting Technical Manager

Sarah SheenSarah specialises in standard setting, particularly in local government, but has worked on all the public sector and public benefit SORPs. She provides technical advice for the CIPFA/LASAAC Local Authority Accounting Code Board, leads on CIPFA's contract on the Charity SORP, and works in the IFR4NPO project team on the development of financial reporting guidance for NPOs. Sarah has years of experience in local authority financial reporting and on the capital finance framework developing and reviewing numerous publications and bulletins for CIPFA.

Sarah is currently leading on our response to the Redmond Review and local audit, and also leads on the work of the Charity and Public Benefit Entities Forum. Prior to working for CIPFA she was a national lead for PwC as a senior technical manager for their tertiary education sector and was seconded to the Welsh Government where she was responsible for taking forward the local authorities Capital Finance and Accounting Regulations and statutory guidance on local government investments. Sarah has also worked in a number of roles for a major local authority in Wales.


Dr William Burns, Social Care Policy Advisor

William is CIPFA’s social care policy voice, and he runs the Social Care Network. His work focuses on social care reform, and he has produced thought leadership in the areas of charging reform, children’s social care reform, Scotland’s National Care Service, and social care funding.

Before joining CIPFA, he was Social Care Finance Lead at the Scottish Government where he was involved in costing a range of social care reform policies stemming from the Independent Review of Adult Social Care. William attained a PhD in English Literature from the University of Glasgow and started studying accountancy during the final stages of his PhD.