Gavin Callaghan

Former Council Leader

Gavin Callaghan is the former leader of Basildon Borough Council in Essex.

For four years Gavin led a coalition of political groups from the left and right of the spectrum, and successfully formed an Administration which governed the largest district council in the UK and largest business-base in the East of England.

Gavin was recognised by his peers for his pragmatic and diplomatic leadership and negotiating style as well as for being a clear political communicator.

Whilst serving as Leader, Gavin steered the council through the COVID19 crisis and secured the council’s financial base. He initiated enhanced levels of shared working across the South Essex Region and was central to the formation of the Joint Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) which has attracted more then £1bn of investment from central government. With Basildon one of the most economically deprived areas in the UK, Gavin led initiatives to narrow the educational attainment gap, increase employment opportunities for young people and increase funding for public health initiatives in the borough.

Prior to becoming leader of Basildon Council, Gavin worked as a political advisor to three Members of the UK Parliament and as a lobbyist for national charities. Gavin’s expertise centres around local government, stratgey, young people, devolution of powers, public sector reform and local government reorganisation.

In addition to Gavin’s experience in frontline politics, he has worked closely with national and local media and communications teams to advise civil servants, parliamentary staff and politicians on communication techniques and media training.

Gavin has a degree in politics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with specialisms in US Foreign Policy.