Sir Merrick Richard Cockell (born 16 June 1957) is a Conservative politician in the United Kingdom, Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Chairman of the Local Government Association. He was made a Knight Bachelor in 2010.
Cockell was born on 16 June 1957 to Peter Colvile Cockell and Hildegard Christina Cockell (née Gaskell). He was educated at Pierrepont School, Frensham.
Cockell became a trader with F. M. Barshall Ltd. From 1977 to 1982, he served the company overseas in Ghana, Togo, Sierra Leone, Gambia, and China. In 1982 he founded and became a director of Abingdon Cockell Ltd, an import-export company, remaining with it until 2006. He has served as a director of Localis, a local government think-tank, since 2008 and as its Chairman since 2009. From 1999 he was also a director of Peter Barshall Ltd.
In 1990, as a director of the importers Barber Cockell, he was quoted in China Trade Report as saying "Everyone was shocked by events in June last year, but in reality what occurred in Tiananmen Square had little effect on our business even during the troubles."
In 1986, Cockell was elected as a councillor of the Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council, in which he was Chairman of Education from 1992 to 1995 and Conservative Chief Whip from 1995 to 2000, before becoming Leader of the Council in 2000. Kensington and Chelsea now has the third-lowest Council Tax in Britain. There, Cockell has represented the ultra-safe Stanley ward since 1986, and in 2002 was re-elected with 1063 votes, his nearest opponent gaining only 209.
He was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Councillors' Association from 2005 to 2008 and has been its Chairman since 2008, as well as holding a seat on the Conservative Party Board since 2008 and serving as a member of the Audit Commission since 2009. He has been a director of the Chelsea Academy since 2008 and also serves on the Conservative Party's Social Justice Policy Group.
- ‘COCKELL, Sir Merrick (Richard)’, in Who's Who 2011 (London: A. & C. Black, 2011)
- Peter Barshall Ltd at whorunsit.org, accessed 4 July 2011
- China Trade Report, vol. 28, Issues 2–12 (Far Eastern Economic Review, 1990), p. 3249
- Cllr Sir Merrick Cockell to be new LGA Chairman at conservativehome.com, accessed 4 July 2011
- Cllr Sir Merrick Cockell profile at lga.gov.uk, accessed 4 July 2011
- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea election results, 2 May 2002 at rbkc.gov.uk, accessed 4 July 2011
- The Chelsea Academy at companiesintheuk.co.uk, accessed 4 July 2011
- Cllr Sir Merrick Cockell at londonsays.org, accessed 4 July 2011
- Sir Merrick Cockell's speech to the LGA in full dated 28 June 2011 at lgcplus.com, accessed 4 July 2011
- David Sparks announced as Chair-elect after Labour confirmed as largest party in the LGA at local.gov.uk, accessed 10 November 2014
- Merrick Cockell knighted for services to local government at localgovernmentexecutive.co.uk, accessed 4 July 2011
- Merrick Cockell profile at btconnect.com/MerrickCockell
Margaret Eaton, Baroness Eaton
|Chair of the Local Government Association