The National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA) has employed James Watkins to the full-time role of Public Affairs Manager reporting to Chief Executive, Ray Perry.

James Watkins will be responsible for forming and successfully implementing external relations strategy, policy and campaigning work. He will be working to develop positive awareness campaigns about the NPA and educate and build relationships with Government and Members of Parliament, local authorities, consumer advice bodies and consumer groups.

NPA Chief Executive, Ray Perry, says:

‘The appointment of James Watkins is a great step forward for the NPA in raising awareness of how modern pawnbroking works. The process is fair, transparent and the rates are reasonable, our members act with integrity and professionalism. This new permanent role will provide Government and all relevant agencies with a full understanding of this £billion industry. The industry is having a positive impact on the UK economy and we want to make sure people understand this as well as how it works.’

Public Affairs Manager, James Watkins, says:

‘I’m really looking forward to building the role and will be focusing on developing relationships and strategic objectives in the next few months. I believe there is a great opportunity to improve understanding of pawnbroking amongst Parliamentarians, Government and the public.’

James Watkins has extensive experience in local and national politics, most recently as Policy Advisor to Oxfordshire County Council, and is also a lecturer at a London-based business school. James ran the National Business Crime Forum and was secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Committee on Retail Crime. He worked as Policy Adviser to the Japanese Embassy, and was researcher to the late Earl of Longford, Jim Cunningham and Ian Pearson MP.