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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 organisations 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.

Thomas Brooks, Principal Policy Manager 

Tom leads Citizens Advice's policy research on post offices. He is particularly interested in how new technologies can improve consumer access to postal services. Since joining Citizens Advice in 2014 he has led research programmes on pensions policy and the labour market. He previously worked in parliament on pensions and post policy.

Anne Pardoe, Principal Policy Manager - (maternity leave)

Anne leads Citizens Advice's policy research on telecoms and postal service 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 leads research looking at consumer and small businesses’ use of post offices, assessing whether the specific needs of rural and vulnerable consumer groups are being met. 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

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 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. 

Tom Gower, Policy Researcher

Tom is a Policy Researcher in the Post and Telecoms team and has a particular interest in how changing markets affect access to essential services, and issues affecting vulnerable consumers. Prior to joining Citizens Advice, Tom worked in a number of policy, project and business change 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.

James Dawkins, Policy Researcher

James joined Citizens Advice in September 2018.  He will be working on a range of topics including consumer education on parcel mailing and delivery.  Prior to joining Citizens Advice as a Policy Researcher, James was a Researcher at the Equality Challenge Unit where he undertook and published two comprehensive studies on the perceived causes of, and measures implemented to reduce, the gender pay gap in English Higher education.

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 and Advocacy Intern

Rachel joined Citizens Advice in June 2018 for a 6 month internship.  Prior to this she worked as an advisor in a refugee centre and as a support worker for homeless young people.  During her time at Citizens Advice she will be leading a project looking into how consumers send parcels, and assisting on a project exploring the ways in which homeless people receive post.