John D Batchelor

Politics and Government Advisor

John's experience of politics and local government are extremely valuable assets for Embrace. His work in scrutiny and oversight of complex organisations provides insight into the organisational change process. His background as a politician provides understanding and empathy with the elected officers who have a key leadership role for equality and diversity in their organisations.


John has served for fifteen years as a District and County Councillor and brings a wealth of experience in the practical and political realities of local government. He has played his part in the transformation of UK local government over recent years, holding a range of senior position including Cabinet Member, Scrutiny Chairman, Leader of the Opposition and, most recently, opposition spokesman for Adult Social Care and Health.

Equalities have been a key theme running through the work of local authorities and John has direct experience of the challenges and pitfalls that have to be faced. In particular, John spent three years serving as a member of the Cambridgeshire Police Authority, the body that oversaw and held to account the police force, and, as Lead Member for Performance, played a key role in bringing about a sea change within the police service in attitudes towards the issue of equalities: a true ‘culture change’.

John’s experience will be invaluable in addressing the very real practical challenges that will inevitably face organisations going through a process of major change.

Before taking on the responsibilities of an elected councillor John had a wide experience as a company director and management consultant. Clients included Unilever, BOC, London Underground and Canada Post.

John has travelled widely, particularly in Africa, and has owned and run tourist related businesses in Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many years ago John and his wife Julie made the first descent of the Congo River by kayak. He has also published works on the Congo River and the Euphrates as well as a book on Henry Morton Stanley’s last expedition crossing Africa from the west to the east coast.

John is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Vice President of the Globetrotters Club and chairman of Linton Action For Youth