Jill Kirby (a champion of the traditional family and smaller government) has directed the Centre since 2007.
Other team members include two Deputy Directors, Tim Knox (who oversees publications) and Jenny Nicholson (responsible for fundraising); Research Director, Sam Talbot-Rice and Research Economist Bimal Dharmasena.
The CPS relies on commissioning expert contributions from outside experts rather than a large staff team. Distinguished contributors include Lord Lawson and Lord Forsyth.
The Chairman is the advertising guru Lord Saatchi.
The CPS was founded by Margaret Thatcher and Keith Joseph in 1974. Along with the Institute of Economic Affairs it was the most important of influences on the Thatcherite revolution. Accompanying its economic liberalism, however, the CPS has always upheld Keith Joseph’s belief in the family and the institutions of society as essential bulwarks against an overbearing state.
Its first director was the late Alfred Sherman and former Directors include Ruth Lea and David Willetts (now in the Shadow Cabinet).
Despite its very close links to the Conservative Party it operates entirely independently. Its Thatcherite emphases on supply-side tax reform, individual freedom and scepticism about climate change haven't always sat comfortably with the 'über-modernisers' within David Cameron's team. Relations with David Cameron’s team have been much warmer since Jill Kirby’s arrival, a recent example being a series of seminars on the ‘post-bureaucratic age’ held jointly with Shadow Cabinet to explore the impact of technology on decentralising power, a key theme of the Cameron-Hilton agenda.
Impactful policy papers recently published include:
1. Quantitative Easing: Lessons from history by George Trefgarne, commended by the Daily Telegraph as “one of the most thorough and thoughtful investigations into the policy yet.”
2. The Hidden Debt Bombshell by Brooks Newmark MP. This report calculated that the real total public debt equalled £2,220 billion.
3. In Blood Stepp'd in so far: Towards realism in Afghanistanby Adam Holloway MP. This is the report which contained the text of the message in which Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, the most senior British officer to be killed in Afghanistan, warned of the dangers of the shortage of helicopters shortly before his death.
4. It's ours: Why we, not the Government, must own our own data by Liam Maxwell. This outlined an approach that puts the individual in control of their data in the sphere of public services, such as health. This is an idea that has been taken up by the Conservatives.
5. School Quangos: A blueprint for abolition and reform by Tom Burkard and Sam Talbot Rice. Following soon after the calls of politicians for a reduction in quangos this was the first report to lay out an agenda for specific reductions and reforms that would both save public money and free up schools from bureaucracy and interference. Shadow Education Secretary Michael Gove is keen on this approach – not just to save money but also for educational reasons – and so is likely to find this detailed work useful.
The CPS also has a blog.
The CPS aims to become the leading authority on how growth can provide the remedy for the public finances. To this end, they are "focusing on policies which can rebuild UK economic competitiveness and which can encourage economic growth which is strong enough to dig us out of the current economic hole."
They are also continuing work on a range of other domestic policy topics, including reforming defence procurement, education and social policy and developing "a realistic strategy for energy policy."
Budget and staff numbers
Staff total of six plus occasional internships. Budget is not disclosed.