Sue joined the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place at the University of Liverpool in 2019 as Co-Director. She has a professional background in local government practice and public policy and senior leadership experience of delivering public services. Sue leads engagement across local and regional stakeholders to align academic research with place-based policy making to support sustainable cities and regions. She was instrumental in securing the Heseltine Institute’s role as academic partner for the Liverpool City Region All Party Parliamentary Group. Sue was also Co-I for the Responding to the COVID-19 economic (after)shocks project that disseminated learning and resources to strengthen the resilience of the Liverpool City Region economy via policy briefings. She is currently completing a review of Liverpool’s Local Strategic Partnership for Liverpool City Council and leading a project with the Local Government Association to explore the linkages between adults, place, jobs and skills.
Sue’s research interests span English devolution, regional and local economic development, skills strategies, public service reform and associated policy issues. Sue has worked closely with local partners over the past two years to develop and lead a portfolio of research focused on community assets, social infrastructure and public service delivery. She was PI for the City Conversation, a UKRI-funded community-based participatory research project involving Liverpool residents in the redesign of public services. Sue also led Bridging the community asset data gap: Building Back Better in Liverpool City Region which used an asset-based approach to explore gaps in the data ecosystem supporting social infrastructure provision and community assets and included a case study with St Helens Council to gather evidence. Sue is currently Co-I for a British Academy project Situating climate change: understanding the importance of climate, place and community.
A former director at Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Knowsley Council, Sue was the Liverpool City Region's lead advisor for Employment and Skills for over 10 years, operating on behalf of its six constituent Councils, Local Enterprise Partnership and more recently the Combined Authority. She negotiated the skills aspects of the city region's Devolution Deal and successfully devolved £51m Adult Education Budget to the Combined Authority. Between 2010 and 2017 Sue was Knowsley Council’s Director of Policy and led the development of new strategies, service transformation and place-based collaborations involving local residents, public and private sector partners.