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Post and Telecoms policy research team

Policy work by the team

Read more about our post policy work.

Matthew Upton, Director of Policy

As Director of Policy at Citizens Advice, Matthew leads on the organisation’s work on post, telecoms, consumer, debt, health, housing and public services.  This has included work on how the 'loyalty penalty' can be reduced for vulnerable consumers, research to inform action in high cost credit markets such as rent to own, and advocacy leading to the introduction of a ban on letting agent fees. Before Citizens Advice, he worked in local government and as a director at a communications consultancy.

Anne Pardoe, Principal Policy Manager

Anne leads Citizens Advice's policy research on telecoms and post issues. Since joining Citizens Advice Anne has led on the delivery of projects on a wide range of topics including energy, telecoms, welfare reform and consumer rights.

Andrew Willshear, Policy Manager

Andrew has led a range of different projects, including research into disabled people’s access to post offices and mapping the location of parcel shops and access points in the UK.  

Andrew has a number of years experience in reviewing individual branch changes, as part of the team’s statutory scrutiny functions. He leads our work to convert branch­ specific data into programme ­level intelligence. Prior to working at Citizens Advice, Andrew worked in infrastructure policy at an associate parliamentary group, and at the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Annabel Barnett, Senior Policy Researcher

Annabel works on a range of post and post office projects, with a particular interest in access to services. Annabel is also responsible for running the stakeholder Post Offices Advisory Group. Previously she held research, development and marketing roles at a range of national third sector organisations.

Cara Holmes, Senior Policy Researcher (Maternity leave)

Cara joined the Post and Telecoms team in 2017 and is based in Wales. Since then she has worked on projects relating to parcel delivery, the impact of the Network Transformation Programme on Post Offices in Wales and mail scams.

Before joining Citizens Advice, Cara has held various positions in local government as well as teaching statistics and research methods at Cardiff University.

Emma Bailey, Senior Policy Researcher

Emma is a Senior Policy Researcher, with a particular interest in issues affecting vulnerable consumers. Emma joined Citizens Advice from the research consultancy ComRes, where she headed up its Third Sector research team, designing mixed methodology programmes of research to support charities in understanding their policy and operational contexts.

Tim Harrison, Senior Policy Researcher

Tim joined the Post and Telecoms team in February 2019 and works on parcel delivery projects. Tim joined Citizens Advice from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Sydney, Australia, where he developed policy and advocated on behalf of residential energy and water consumers.

Tom Gower, Policy Researcher

Tom joined the Post and Telecoms team in September 2017 and has a particular interest in how changing markets affect access to essential services and issues affecting vulnerable consumers. He currently works on postal regulation and telecoms issues. Prior to joining Citizens Advice, Tom worked in a number of policy and project roles in local government.

Gemma Byrne, Policy Researcher

Gemma joined Citizens Advice in June 2017 and works on post and telecoms policy, with a particular focus on vulnerable consumers. She is currently leading research into homeless people’s access to post and the issues they face when they cannot receive post. Before joining Citizens Advice, Gemma worked in a number of policy research roles in charities and think tanks.

Toby Strudwick, Policy Researcher

Toby joined Citizens Advice as a Policy and Advocacy Intern in January 2017, before being made a permanent member of staff. Prior to joining Citizens Advice he interned with Forum for the Future. Since joining, Toby has worked on a range of projects, including supporting local Citizens Advice to research post office service provision in their area, and investigating the experience of benefit claimants who use the post to manage their claim.

Charlotte Witsø, Policy Researcher

Charlotte joined Citizens Advice in the autumn of 2018.  She is working on projects related to postal regulation and vulnerable consumers’ access to postal services. Previously she worked for Kantar Public, a social research agency, where she worked as a quantitative researcher across a range of projects for various government departments.  

Joe Parrott, Policy Research Assistant

Joe joined Citizens Advice in June 2018. Prior to this he worked in the health sector whilst completing an MSc in International Development. Joe will be working on various projects, including monitoring changes made to the post office network and investigating the effectiveness of Royal Mail’s Freepost service.

Rachel White, Policy Research Assistant

Rachel joined Citizens Advice as an intern in June 2018 before being made a permanent member of staff. Prior to this, she worked as an advisor in a refugee centre and a support worker for homeless young people. Rachel has led on a project on consumer use of parcel services and assisted on a number of others including one looking at how homeless people access essential services.

Laura Clark, Policy Research Assistant

Laura joined Citizens Advice in January 2019. Prior to this Laura worked for a variety of non-profit organisations whilst completing an MA in Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy. Laura works across the Post and Telecoms team, supporting projects related to the monitoring of the postal service and evaluating the accessibility of essential postal services for vulnerable consumers.