Professor Colin Copus was the Director of the Local Governance Research Unit in the Department of Politics and Public Policy, De Montfort University where he was a Professor of Local Politics. Currently he is visiting professor at the Ghent University in Belgium. His academic interests are central-local relationships and the constitutional status of local government, localism, local party politics, local political leadership and the changing role of the councillor. Prof. Copus has worked closely with policy-makers and practitioners in central and local government and he was an advisor to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee and is working with the Communities and Local Government Committee on the role of the councillor. He has published widely in academic journals and books. Colin’s latest book is entitled "In Defence of Councillors", published by Manchester University Press.