'I was encouraged to go to Reading University and then do post-graduate study at the LSE – I was Dustin Hoffman’s Graduate, rejecting business and commerce without any clear ambition. Fortunately, I was encouraged to take an academic post in political thought at Swansea University where I mainly taught undergraduates about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.
In 1988 I founded ORS (Opinion Research Services) as a social research interface between the university and the public and charity sectors. Eventually, in order to grow, ORS left the university in 2000 and now has over 50 full-time employees with a UK-wide reputation for its research in health, housing, local government and emergency services. I am now chair rather than managing director; but I still enjoy conducting focus group and forums because it is always interesting to see how people think, and why. Recently, I’ve been involved in complex controversial consultations about replacing two-tier local government with unitary councils.'