Sir Merrick Richard Cockell (born 16 June 1957) is a Conservative politician in the United Kingdom, former Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and former 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."
More recently Sir Merrick joined PA Consulting Group as a Senior Advisor. The Local Government Chronicle reported on this move in 2014 with Sir Merrick quoting: “PA Consulting Group is at the forefront of breaking down barriers between the public and private sectors and encouraging new approaches to co-operation. Having been part of the ongoing transformation of local public services, I am looking forward to working with such an innovative organisation.”
In 1986, Cockell was elected as a councillor of the Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council, representing the Stanley ward, in which he was Chairman of Education 1992-1995, Conservative Chief Whip 1995-2000, and Leader of the Council 2000-2013.
He was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Councillors' Association from 2005 to 2008 and its Chairman from 2008, when he also was given a seat on the Conservative Party Board. and served as a member of the Audit Commission from 2009.
In 2015 he became the first chairman of the Local Capital Finance Company (UK Municipal Bonds Agency), a UK government-owned body that will issue bonds allowing local authorities to borrow competitively instead of only through the Public Works Loan Board.
- ‘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
- PA Consulting Group
- RKBC: Cllr Sir Merrick Cockell profile Linked 2015-02-24
- 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