CCN Team

The County Councils Network has eight members of staff, based at 18 Smith Square in Westminster.

Simon Edwards, Chief Executive

Simon is the Chief Executive of CCN, responsible for leadership of the organisation, business management and all aspects of CCN’s membership. Simon has led the transformation of CCN into an influential and respected network which advocates innovative policy solutions on the challenges facing local government and the wider public sector.

James Maker, Director of Policy & Communications

James is responsible for the delivery of CCN’s full portfolio of policy and research aimed at influencing government on behalf of our member councils and supporting the delivery of effective and efficient local services. James also oversees CCN’s communications, parliamentary, Whitehall and public affairs engagement work.


Jonathan Rallings, Senior Policy Advisor

Jon leads the CCN’s work on people-based areas of the network’s policy and research, overseeing our work across adults and children’s social care, alongside CCN advocacy on education. He leads the network’s work on health and social care reform and integration. Jon joined the CCN team in early 2019 having previously been an assistant director at children’s charity Barnardo’s and specialising in children’s advocacy over a number of years prior.

Peter French, Senior Policy Advisor

Peter leads on the CCN’s place-based policy areas and research. His remit includes leading work on housing, spatial planning, climate change, and infrastructure.

Alun Hughes, Senior Policy Advisor

Alun leads the CCN’s work on economic growth, devolution and levelling-up, ensuring that the views of our members are properly reflected in government policy.  Alun joined the CCN team in May 2022 having previously worked in the civil service on economic growth, including supporting Lord Heseltine’s work in this area.

James Holden, Senior Corporate & Public Affairs Advisor

James leads on CCN’s on the network’s public affairs engagement work, including liaison with Parliamentarians, special advisors, and senior officials from the CCN membership.

Ian Burbidge, Senior Media and Communications Officer

Ian is responsible for CCNs communications, marketing, and public affairs support. In his role, Ian leads both external and internal communications, including press releases, media relationships, newsletters, and articles. He acts as the first port of call for journalists.

Hannah Chard, Partnerships & Events Officer

Hannah is responsible for managing CCNs Strategic Partners and Conference partners. Hannah also leads on the planning and organisation of CCNs events including the Annual Conference which takes place in November. She acts as the first port of call for any partnership enquiries and event queries.