Meet the team
Southern Policy Centre (SPC) was established in 2014 as the only independent think tank and policy forum for central southern England. SPC is a small organisation which operates as a not-for-profit enterprise and comprises three directors and a general manager. We are joined from time to time by associates who work on specific projects.
Professor John Denham
John Denham is a founder and director of the Southern Policy Centre. John’s projects have included work on regional strategy, devolution, widening participation, poverty in southern England and youth issues. John Denham was the MP for Southampton Itchen from 1992 until he stood down at the 2015 election. He held a variety of ministerial and Cabinet posts in the last Labour Government and also chaired the Home Affairs Select Committee. In addition to his SPC role, he is a Professorial Fellow at Southampton University where he is Director of the Centre for English Identity and Politics. Prior to entering parliament, John worked in the voluntary sector and was a Hampshire and Southampton councillor.
Dr Simon Eden
Simon is a public policy consultant and a Director of the Southern Policy Centre, the think-tank for the central South. Originally from London, Simon began his career as a research biologist before joining the Civil Service, where he worked on local government funding and policy. In 1999 he was appointed Assistant Chief Executive of Southampton City Council and became Director of Sustainability & Development in 2001. In 2003 Simon was appointed Chief Executive of Winchester City Council. He led the Council for 13 years before leaving to become a policy wonk all over again.
Director and Chair
Stewart has extensive business knowledge following a life long career in Regional Newspapers at Senior Management level and for twenty-two years was Managing Director of Newsquest Hampshire. Following retirement from the press, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Solent University for his contribution to business and the media. Stewart joined CarswellGould Communications, as Managing Director and was appointed as CEO of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce in 2013. During his time with the Chamber, he was chair of Creative Network South an organisation promoting and supporting the creative industries, together with being Chair of Future South. He was appointed as a Hampshire Commissioner to work with colleagues on the Hampshire 2050 project in 2018.
With a background in academic publishing, Ruth is our main point of contact and manages the day to day operational aspects of Southern Policy Centre. She looks after the governance, finances and digital marketing and works with the directors to support project planning and budget management. Ruth arranges our live events and online seminars and ensures SPC is organised and running smoothly at all times.