Speakers

Keynote speakers

  • Alok Sharma MP

    Alok Sharma MP

    Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Department for Communities and Local Government

    Alok currently serves as Minister of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government. Elected in 2010 for Reading West, with one of the largest swings to the Conservatives in the country, Alok has served as a member of the Commons Treasury select committee, a member of the Commons Science and Technology select committee, a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Treasury and from 2012-15 as a Conservative Party Vice Chairman.  Alok was appointed in 2016 as the Prime Minister's Infrastructure Envoy to India and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from July 2016 to June 2017. He also served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP, the former Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster who had overall responsibility for the Cabinet Office. 

  • Rt Hon John Healey MP

    Rt Hon John Healey MP

    Shadow Secretary of State for Housing

    John is the Labour MP for Wentworth and Dearne in South Yorkshire and is Shadow Secretary of State for Housing and Planning and has held the a number of positions in the Shadow Cabinet and Labour Government including Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Minister for Housing and Planning, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Floods Recovery (2007), Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Adult Skills.

  • Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP

    Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP

    Secretary of State, for Communities and Local Government

    Before being elected MP, Sajid worked in business and finance, becoming Vice President at Chase Manhattan Bank aged 25. He later moved to Deutsche Bank in London to help build its business in emerging market countries. Sajid left Deutsche Bank as a senior Managing Director in the summer of 2009 to give something back through politics and has served as the Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove since 2010, holding several positions in government including Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

  • Georgie Barrat

    Georgie Barrat

    Technology journalist and broadcaster

    Georgie Barrat is an experienced broadcaster and the new Gadget Show presenter for Channel 5. She writes on tech for Marie Claire, Tech City News and The Mirror. She also features on ITV's Weekend and the BBC's Tech Tent & Click.

  • Laura Kuenssberg

    Laura Kuenssberg

    Political Editor, BBC

    Laura is the BBC's political editor. Until July she was Newsnight's chief correspondent and a regular presenter of the programme after a spell as ITV News business editor, and many years reporting on politics for a wide range of BBC News programmes. Based again at Westminster she now has a particular responsibility for political coverage on the BBC's flagship news programmes, including Today on Radio 4 and the Six and Ten O'Clock News on BBC One.

  • Jackie Long

    Jackie Long

    Social Affairs Editor and Presenter, Channel 4 News

    Jackie Long is Channel 4 News social affairs editor and presenter. She joined the programme in 2011, following more than two decades at the BBC. Most recently she was Correspondent at Newsnight, and she previously worked on The World at One, PM and Five Live.

  • David Orr

    David Orr

    Chief Executive, National Housing Federation

    David Orr is Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation and a former President of Housing Europe, the European network for Social Housing. He is the Chair of the board of Reall, previously known as Homeless International.  He has recently retired from the board of The Housing Finance Corporation (THFC) and as Chair of Building Lives. Previously, David has been Chief Executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and of Newlon Housing Trust, having also worked with Centrepoint. David was awarded in 2010 an honorary membership of the CIH.

  • Babita Sharma

    Babita Sharma

    Presenter, BBC World News

    Babita is a BBC News presenter, regularly seen on the BBC News Channel, BBC World News, and presenting the show Newsday. After working in local radio in TV in Wales and how home county of Berkshire, she moved to Dubai to present shows for broadcasters in the region. She returned to the UK and local broadcasting before moving to the BBC News Channel and BBC World News. Babaita has presented the finance programme Your Money, and fronts business reports for BBC News. She has also covered economic and political stories from around the world.

  • Baroness Diana Warwick

    Baroness Diana Warwick

    Chair, National Housing Federation

    Baroness Warwick is currently the Chair of the National Housing Federation. She is also Chair of the Council of the Property Ombudsman.  She was Chair of the Human Tissue Authority until April 2014. Before that, she was Chief Executive of Universities UK for 14 years where she led a body representing the executive heads of 130 universities, both nationally and internationally. She was a Fulbright Commissioner until last year and is a life time fellow of the RSA.

    Diana was a leading trade unionist for 20 years. She was subsequently Chief Executive of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy in the 1990s.

    She was a member of the Nolan/Neill Committee on standards in public life; a Board Member of the British Council; a trustee of the Commonwealth Institute and Chair of Voluntary Service Overseas (and is still life Vice-President). She has been a Board Member of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations; a member of the Employment Appeal Tribunal; a non-executive Director of Lattice (now National Grid plc), a trustee Director of the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme (USS) Ltd and is currently a Board Member of the Pension Protection Fund. She is also Chair of the Trustees of the charity International Students’ House. Diana is a member of the Councils of University College London and Nottingham Trent University.     

    Diana was awarded a life peerage in 1999 in recognition for her public service.

Speakers

  • Claire Powell

    Claire Powell

    Director of Strategy, Sovereign

    Clare is Strategy and Research Director at Sovereign. In this capacity, she chairs the policy and research group of CASE (the Consortium of Associations in the South East), undertaking research on issues of shared interest. She has worked in housing for over 30 years, the last 16 at Sovereign. In a personal capacity, Clare chairs the CIH Policy Advisory Committee.

  • Peter Andrew

    Peter Andrew

    Deputy Chairman, Home Builders Federation

    Peter has a wealth of industry experience and an indepth understanding of the issues affecting house builders. Hestarted life as a Company Trainee QS at George Wimpey and during a career spanning 40 years progressed to become the UK Land and Planning Director - and a board member - at national housebuilder Taylor Wimpey UK. He was also one of the four practitioners who helped draft the National Planning Policy Framework for then Planning Minister Greg Clark. Peter is also a Council member of the NHBC and Chairman of Burrington Estates – a West Country developer and advises a number of developers including Dorchester Group.

  • Terrie Alafat CBE

    Terrie Alafat CBE

    Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Housing

    Terrie Alafat is Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards.  She was most recently Director of Housing in the Department for Communities and Local Government, with overall policy responsibility for the supply and management of housing across all tenures, housing growth, and homelessness prevention and support. As part of this, she also lead on sponsorship of the Homes and Communities Agency. She has worked in the civil service covering various housing policies and programmes since 2003.

    Terrie was given a CBE in 2013 for services to homeless people.

    Terrie began her career in the UK in social services policy development in a local authority and was Director of Housing and Corporate Strategy in the royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea until she moved to the civil service. Her academic background is in social policy and research. 

  • Dr Jessica Allen

    Dr Jessica Allen

    Deputy Director, Institute of Health Equity

    Jessica’s main activities are in working to embed a social determinants approach to health inequalities in England and globally. She was co-director of the Review of Social Determinants of Health and the Health Divide in the WHO European Region and was previously Project Director of the Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post-2010 (the Marmot Review).  She is currently directing the secretariat for the PAHO Commission on Equity and Health Inequalities in the Americas.

    She has worked closely with national and local governments, third sector organisations and the NHS and published widely on social determinants of health. She is a member of several advisory groups in England and internationally.   Prior to her work at UCL she was head of Health and Social Care at IPPR, Research Fellow in Public Health at the Kings Fund, and worked at Unicef and LSE. She has published and broadcast widely on issues relating to health and social care policy. She holds a doctorate from the University of London.

  • David Anderson

    Director - New Homes, Rightmove

  • Cllr Sean Anstee

    Cllr Sean Anstee

    Leader, Trafford Council

  • Julian Ashby

    Julian Ashby

    Chair, HCA Regulation Committee, HCA The Social Housing Regulator

  • Tim Barclay

    CEO, Appello

  • Matt Brazier

    Matt Brazier

    Director of IT, Flagship Group

    Matt Brazier has a wealth of information and communications technology knowledge having worked in IT for 18 years. He has been with Flagship for four years and became the Director of IT in early 2017. Matt is responsible for the strategic direction of IT, the Business Intelligence Team, the operational delivery of software development and Flagship’s IT Support Team.

  • Carolyn Brown

    Carolyn Brown

    Chief Technology Officer, National Housing Federation

  • Javier Burón

    Javier Burón

    Housing Manager, Barcelona City Council

    Javier Burón Cuadrado is manager of housing at City Council. He has previously been a consultant in public policy and housing market as well as in administration reform and new forms of public-private management. It was lawyer of Cuatrecases Gonçalves Pereira in the area of public law. He was deputy minister for housing and planning director of the Basque Government. He has also been legal counsellor and economic parliamentary group in the Congress of Deputies and in the Basque Parliament.

  • Sinead Butters MBE

    Sinead Butters MBE

    Chief Executive, Chair and Board Member, Aspire Group, Placeshapers and National Housing Federation

    Sinéad has been Chief Executive of Staffordshire-based Aspire Housing since 2006.

    Under her leadership the Aspire Housing Group has grown and broadened its services via the acquisition of Staffordshire’s largest apprenticeship provider, PM Training. With a strong combination of new build housing, regeneration, training and employment services, the Aspire Housing Group aims to maximise its impact in local communities and improve people’s life chances. 

    Sinéad grew up in Staffordshire, studied at Keele University and is one of its founding fellows in recognition of her achievements and Aspires support for North Staffordshire communities. 

    In October 2015 Sinéad become Chair of PlaceShapers, the national network of over 117 community-based housing associations, with a collective goal to achieve real and lasting improvements in the communities they serve.

    In the 2016 New Year Honours list, Sinéad was awarded an MBE for her services to housing.

    @SineadBAspire

  • Rachael Byrne

    Rachael Byrne

    Executive Director, Care and Support, Home Group

    Rachael is Executive Director for New Models of Care. She brings over 30 years of extensive knowledge and a wealth of experience and expertise in supported housing to this role to develop integrated housing and health services that ensure Home Group can support and house vulnerable people for the long term.  

    Over the last 12 months her primary focus has been the future of supported housing through the development of a portfolio of care models focused on the integration of health, housing and care. This has included commissioning step down supported housing services offering specialist on site support facilitating early hospital discharge and reducing hospital readmissions. 

    Prior to joining Home Group in 2009, Rachael worked for a range of providers including local authorities (1988-1994), NACRO (1994-1998), and was Director of Supported Housing at Riverside ECHG (1998-2009).

    Rachael is a board member for both the Abbeyfield Society and the membership body CLINKS for all third sector organisations involved in criminal justice. She is also an editorial advisor to Inside Housing.

  • Mairead Carroll

    Mairead Carroll

    Advisor to the Chief Executive, National Housing Federation

  • Carole Clark

    Carole Clark

    Head of Insight, Bromford

    Following a degree in Psychology and Health and Social Care, Carole joined the Bromford Group in 2002, starting her career in the world of supported housing. After moving through a number of roles within care and support services, Carole now leads the Insight Team, ensuring that the organisation is at the forefront of evidence based decision-making and understanding and influencing policy development.  
    Carole has considerable experience leading long-term projects, research, service offer pilots and transformation projects across a range of services. Before joining Bromford, Carole held a number of roles in the voluntary sector.

  • Frances Coppola

    Frances Coppola

    Financial writer and commentator and visiting advanced fellow, Sheffield University

    Frances originally trained as a musician and singer before working in banking for 17 years, completing an MBA at Cass Business School in London, where she specialised in financial risk management. She is the author of the Coppola Comment finance and economics blog, which is a regular feature on the Financial Times's Alphaville blog and has been quoted in The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Guardian. She is a frequent commentator on financial matters for the BBC.

  • Julian Cork

    Julian Cork

    Chief Operating Officer and Board Member, Landbay

    Julian is Chief Operating Officer and board member of Landbay Partners, where he oversees all operational aspects of the business, including FCA regulation and its ISA. Julian is a strong supporter of innovation in financial services with over 20 years experience in the sector. Prior to Landbay, Julian held executive roles at JPMorgan and Macquarie Group in New York, London, Tokyo and Sydney where he led large distributed global teams with a successful track record of organizational leadership and design in FX, fixed income, derivatives, treasury and equities product sets. Julian is also a non-executive director of Bud Financial and sits on various advisory boards in the wider fintech space.

  • Marie-Claire Delbrouque

    Marie-Claire Delbrouque

    Director of Housing and Customer Insight, Flagship Group

    Marie-Claire is responsible for Housing, Customer Insight including Flagship’s Response Call Centre and the Customer Operations Group. She has worked for Flagship for 13 years, four of those at Director level. An experienced housing professional, Marie-Claire has spent 20 years in a management role within the customer services sector.

  • Kevin Dodd

    Kevin Dodd

    Chief Executive, Wakefield and District Housing

    Kevin Dodd is Chief Executive of one of the country’s largest Registered Social Landlords. Wakefield and District Housing was awarded three stars and excellent prospects in only two years of operation. It has also been awarded the UK and Regional Business Excellence Award, Charter Mark and Investors in People (full and work life balance).

  • Jane Dudman

    Jane Dudman

    Editor, Public Leaders, Housing and Voluntary Sector Networkd, Guardian News & Media

  • Julie Fadden

    Julie Fadden

    Chief Executive and President, South Liverpool Homes and Chartered Institute of Housing

    As Chief Executive at South Liverpool Homes, Julie has proved that if you have the right people and the right focus, you can achieve fantastic results.  Julie is nearing the end of her role as CIH President where she has raised awareness of homelessness through her ‘Changing Lives’ appeal, raising funds for Crisis UK and creating joint working opportunities to get our homeless people off the streets and into homes and employment.

  • Tamara Finkelstein

    Tamara Finkelstein

    Director General, Building Safety Programme, Department for Communities and Local Government

  • Ian Fletcher

    Ian Fletcher

    Director of Policy, British Property Federation

    Ian Fletcher is Director of Policy (Real Estate) at the British Property Federation (BPF) – the trade association for the property investment sector. Ian speaks for the sector and his team covers a wide range of housing, commercial property, planning and sustainability issues. He was a member of the Government’s Montague Review Group, which examined how to encourage greater institutional investment in rented housing, and is a long term champion of the nascent Build-to-Rent sector. He has also recently helped Government review the case for making client money protection compulsory for letting agents.

    Away from the BPF, Ian has recently stepped down from chairing the committee of management which regulates the quality of private student accommodation in the UK. 

    Ian was formerly Head of Policy and Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce. He has also worked in banking and teaching, and holds professional qualifications in finance and market research, and is an honourary Fellow of the Institute of Residential Property Management. He is married, with one young son.

  • Larry Gold

    Larry Gold

    Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer, Trafford Housing Trust

    Larry oversees the running of finance, organisational development (HR/learning and development/facilities) and the newly formed developer business stream. He is also responsible for overseeing social enterprise. Recruited to assist in setting up the Trust, Larry was the Trust’s first employee in 2004. Larry has been a member of the Leadership Team since the Trust’s inception and has over twenty years’ experience within the public sector – previously working for Walsall Housing Group, Prime Focus Regeneration Group, and has held a number of senior management positions within central and local government. 

  • James Green

    James Green

    Futures Programme Director, National Housing Federation

  • Dr Jenny Harries OBE

    Dr Jenny Harries OBE

    Regional Director: South of England, Public Health England

    Jenny trained in Public Health in Wales following formal qualifications in pharmacology, medicine and health economics. She was the Regional Public Health Advisor to the South East Wales Regional Commissioning Unit and Director of Public Health in Monmouthshire before taking up positions as Director of Public Health in England, first in Swindon (in 2009) then for the Norfolk & Waveney Cluster (in 2011). She was a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation from 2008 until her current post commenced, and more recently has been a member of the Expert Advisory Group on the NHS Constitution. She has worked in public health and medicine in many countries including in New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Kenya and Albania and is an international tutor for students at EHESP, the French National School of Public Health. Within Public Health England she leads operations input to several areas including healthcare public health, tobacco control, HCAI, social marketing and immunisations.

  • Alistair Hawes

    Programme Director, Clarion Housing Group

    Alastair is the Programme Director for Clarion Housing Group’s ambitious transformation programme that will bring Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and new digital services into the recently merged organisation.  Alastair has more than 20 years experience of ERP and Business Transformation Programmes and began his career at Nestle working across Europe on one of the largest global ERP programmes of the time. After that he moved into consultancy and has worked in a variety sectors including manufacturing, financial services and logistics. Alastair’s first experience of the housing sector was on joining Affinity Sutton in January 2014 to mange the ‘Future Foundations’ Programme and since then has developed a passion for the sector and the invaluable services it provides.

  • Mark Henderson

    Mark Henderson

    Chief Executive and Board Member, Home Group and National Housing Federation

    Chief Executive of Home Group, with 55,000 homes under management across Scotland and England and is the UK’s largest provider of Supported People services in England, Wales and Scotland in over 500 projects and working with over 36,000 individual clients each year.

    Home Group has a turnover of some £340 million per annum and was voted the UK's best Landlord and best Housing Association in 2014 and 2016.

    Mark previously ran his own business before joining Home Group, before that had worked with the RDA as Operations Director and a variety of regeneration and economic development jobs across the country in local government, most recently as Chief Executive of one of the largest County Councils in the country. He is a Board Member for the National Housing Federation and Chair of Homes for the North.

    Mark is a motorcycle racing fan and a season ticket holder at Newcastle United.

  • Geraldine Howley

    Geraldine Howley

    Group Chief Executive, Incommunities Group

    Geraldine has a BA Hons degree in housing, is a chartered surveryor and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH). In 2015 she became president of the CIH. She holds a number of key influential positions including chair of the National Housing Federation's Yorkshire and Humber chief executive forum, council member of the Yorkshire and Humber CBI and is a member of the international housing partnership and also the PlaceShapers group.

  • Chan Kataria OBE

    Chan Kataria OBE

    Group Chief Executive, EMH Group

    Chan Kataria is the Group Chief Executive of emh group, which has a turnover of over £100m, around 19,000 homes in management, and a significant care and support business. The group is a major developer of affordable homes in the East Midlands region and leads the Quantum development partnership.

    Chan has been in this role since 2004. Prior to this he worked for various local, regional, and national housing organisations. Chan is a Board member of the national PlaceShapers alliance and chair of the National Housing Federation regional Chief Executive’s forum.  Over the years, Chan has held non-executive positions on the Boards of various third sector and commercial organisations. He is an Honorary Association at DeMontfort University.   

    He believes that housing associations are successful social enterprise businesses and have a pivotal role in community leadership and sustainability. 

  • Helen Kings

    Helen Kings

    Managing Director, Touchstone

    Helen Kings is Managing Director at Touchstone, a UK wide property management firm who specialise in the private rented sector and build to rent. As increasing numbers turn to the sector, she believes customers should expect a quality product and professional experience when renting, and is passionate about making this happen. With extensive commercial expertise, Helen has worked for some of the UK’s largest and well-known retailers, including Aldi and Somerfield. Before joining Touchstone, Helen was Sales Director at Compass Group, a market leader in contract catering and FM support services.  

  • Fiona MacGregor

    Fiona MacGregor

    Director of Regulation, HCA

  • Claire Mansfield

    Head of Research, New Local Government Network

  • David Montague

    David Montague

    Chief Executive, L&Q and Board Member, National Housing Federation

    David Montague has been Chief Executive of L&Q since February 2008. He has been with L&Q since 1988 and served as Group Director of Finance before his current appointment. 

    In 2013 David was elected to the NHF board and awarded a CBE for services to housing in London.
    David is a member of the g15 which represents London’s largest housing associations providing homes for one in ten Londoners and one quarter of all new homes.  The g15 is working to solve the housing crisis by delivering good quality, affordable homes of all types.  Until recently David was chair of this group for a two year period.  In this capacity he was also a member of Sadiq Khan’s Homes for Londoners Board.

    David is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.  He writes and speaks on housing issues and publishes regular blog posts on L&Q’s website.

    David is L&Q's most senior lead champion for equality and diversity issues. This includes being an ally of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff and residents network.

  • Mike More

    Mike More

    Group Board Member , L&Q and Chair, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

    Mike began his career in finance roles at Cambridgeshire County Council before joining Suffolk County Council in 1999, initially as Director of Resources and then becoming Chief Executive in 2002. In 2008 Mike was appointed Chief Executive of Westminster City Council where he drove through major strategic and operational changes, including a pioneering service delivery partnership between three London boroughs. A key part of his role with the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation trust as is making sure the business is 'safe' in its pursuit of commercial activity, but also in its focus on patient outcomes. In addition to his role on the main board of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation trust, he has been invited to Chair the Uniting Care Partnership LLP Board an £800 million service provision contract over five years.

  • Polly Neate

    Polly Neate

    Chief Executive, Shelter

  • Alistair Parvin

    Alistair Parvin

    Co-Founder, Wikihouse Foundation

    Alastair Parvin is a strategic designer and entrepreneur. He is co-founder of WikiHouse Foundation, a non-profit technology enterprise developing digital technologies to transform housing and planning. He writes, speaks and advises widely on digital housing reform and digital innovation, including 'A Right to Build' (RIBA Award for research 2011) and 'Scaling the Citizen Sector' (2016), and sits on the Scottish Government Task force for Digital Planning.

  • Simon Penny

    lab Designer, Bromford

    Simon has spent the past seven years working within in-house design and innovation teams in both local government and the social housing sector and he is passionate about design thinking and its ability to make a real difference to people’s lives. He believes that the public and wider social sector can no longer afford to deliver one size fits all services which address perceived need and have to start breaking down organisational silos in order to work together to design new types of asset based service which develop communities by treating citizens as customers, really understanding their wants and needs but also focusing on their own strengths and capabilities. 

  • Carl Petrofsky

    Specialist in Public Health, Public Health England

  • Jeremy Porteus

    Jeremy Porteus

    Founder and Director, Housing LIN

    Jeremy was formerly the CSIP National Programme Lead for Housing at the Department of Health (DH) and responsible for its £227m Extra Care Housing capital investment fund.

    He is author of several All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for Older People’s inquiry HAPPI reports, including Housing our Ageing Population: Plan for Implementation, and Housing our Ageing Population: Positive Ideas.

    Since leaving the DH, Jeremy has established the Housing LIN and was a member of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia Health and Social Care Champion’s Group.

  • Cliff Prior CBE

    Cliff Prior CBE

    Chief Executive, Big Society Capital

  • Dave Procter

    Dave Procter

    Chair, Together Housing

    Dave has worked for over 48 years in the social housing sector, ending his fulltime career as the Chief Executive of Pennine Housing, Calderdale’s stock transfer organisation. He now works as a consultant, specialising in governance, executive mentoring and organisational change and improvement. The modernisation of in house maintenance teams, and the implementation of change programmes, is an area of particular expertise. He is Group Chair of the Together Housing Group, and is a regular speaker at conferences and events across the sector.

  • Campbell Robb

    Campbell Robb

    Chief Executive, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

    Campbell joined JRF and JRHT as Chief Executive in January 2017.
     
    Before joining JRF and JRHT, Campbell was the Chief Executive of Shelter for seven years. As Chief Executive, he led the organisation through one of the most challenging periods in its history. This included building a sustainable, fundable model of integrated advice and support that is helping more clients than ever before, a growth in independent income and leading the organisation’s response to some of the biggest changes to housing and welfare policy in generations. 
    Prior to joining Shelter, Campbell was the first Director General of the Office of the Third Sector, an adviser to The Treasury and was previously Director of Public Policy at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).
     
    Campbell is a trustee of Care International UK
     
    Follow Campbell on Twitter at @campbell_robb

  • Gwyn Roberts

    Gwyn Roberts

    Homes and Communities Lead, Building Research Establishment

  • Cllr Darren Rodwell

    Cllr Darren Rodwell

    Leader of the Council and Labour Group, London borough of Barking and Dagenham

    Darren is a passionate community champion. Prior to becoming a councillor, he led a tenants & residents association and was at the forefront of the Labour Party campaign which led to the defeat of the British National Party in 2010. 

    Darren was first elected to the Council in 2010 and became Leader in 2014. Since then he has set the vision and direction of the Council, focussing on ensuring Barking and Dagenham realises its vision of being London’s Growth opportunity and that residents benefit from the growth that is planned.

    Darren was chair of the Area Review process for the East sub-region and is keen to ensure that area develop a wider skills vision which helps residents into employment. 

    Darren holds the following positions:

    • Executive Member for City Development for London Councils (covering, the arts, culture, sport, high streets, planning & regeneration) 

    • Member of Arts Council for London

    • Member of the Create London Board

    • Member of the London Councils’ Challenge Board

    • Member of Local London sub-regional partnership 

    First Gender Equality Charter in the country in March 2016. Darren introduced the Charter which is a commitment on behalf of the council and our partners to create a fair and just society where people are treated equally, discrimination is tackled and the barriers to achieving equality removed.

    Introduced Women’s Empowerment Month every year in Barking & Dagenham. The month is full of events which highlight the achievement of women in our borough. Celebrations start with International Women’s Day and ends with the Women’s Empowerment Awards.

    Established first Young Mayor in Barking & Dagenham in 2014 and leads the annual Youth Parade. 

    Equal Cabinet representation - 6 out of 10 members of the Cabinet Darren leads in Barking & Dagenham are women – making it the most equal in the country.

  • Ann Santry CBE

    Ann Santry CBE

    Chief Executive, Sovereign

    Ann was appointed CEO of Sovereign in 1999. Since joining she has lead the growth of the business from 11k to 56k homes through both merger and development. Prior to Sovereign she was CEO of the Swaythling Housing Society (now part of the Radian Group) and Development Director at Guinness. She is chair of CASE.

    Ann is a NED on the Board of the States of Jersey Development Company and Chair of the RemCo. She was previously Vice Chair of the National Housing Federation,  and has also been on the board of a number of public / private partnerships and charities.

  • Chimi Shakohoxha

    Chimi Shakohoxha

    Partner and Head of Development, Capsticks LLP

  • Cllr Paul Smith

    Cllr Paul Smith

    Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities, Bristol City Council

    Paul Smith is the cabinet member for housing at Bristol City Council, he has held this role since being elected in May 2016. Paul has worked in the housing and homelessness sectors since 1989 when he was a founder of a youth homeless project in Bristol which is now called 1625 Independent People providing housing and support services.

    His career includes Chief Executive of the Furniture Re-use Network and Housing Potential UK. He has worked at Director level within a housing association group and prior to becoming a councillor he was Head of Intelligence and Insight at Aster Group. Paul is a Trustee of Talking Money which provides debt and benefit advice. Paul has also worked, twice, for the National Housing Federation. Paul's cabinet brief includes overseeing 27,000 council homes, delivering new homes, homelessness, private sector regulation and development of the council's property portfolio. Paul is a Fellow of the RSA and the Institute for Consulting.

  • John D Synnuck

    John D Synnuck

    Chief Executive, Swan Housing

    John Synnuck is the Chief Executive of the Swan Housing Association and has been the driving force behind the organisation since it was established.  With almost 50 years in the sector his wealth of experience and business acumen has played a pivotal role in the growth and success of the organisation.  He is a former Director of Housing for the London Borough of Southwark and Housing Services Director for West Kent Housing Association, the second ever large scale voluntary transfer.    

    Under John’s leadership Swan has enjoyed a sustained period of growth over the years. A significant development programme combined with expansion into East London with successful stock transfers in Tower Hamlets has seen the housing association grow. Swan has earned the reputation of being an innovative, forward thinking organisation who works to keep the interests of the residents at the centre of all decision making.

  • Jitinder Takhar

    Jitinder Takhar

    Chief Executive, Localspace

  • Andrew Van-Doorn

    Andrew Van-Doorn

    Chief Executive, HACT

    Andrew is the Chief Executive of HACT.  HACT is a national innovation charity, social enterprise and industry-focused think/do tank established by the housing association sector. It seeks to influence and innovate in ways that help all housing providers deliver more effectively within their communities. This includes their pioneering work on Social Value, helping housing associations to demonstrate their social impact and value for money.

    Andrew has worked for HACT for 14 years although for 18 months he was seconded to the National Mental Health Development Unit at the Department of Health as the National Housing Lead.  He continues to work with NHS England as a member of the National Advisory Group for the Adult Mental Health Care Programme and as an advisor to the Transforming Care Programme. He was invited to provide written and oral evidence to the Royal College of Psychiatrists Commission on Acute Mental Health Care led by Lord Crisp.

    Andrew has worked in housing and homelessness, supported housing, community development and wider social policy and practice for 24 years.  He is a Non-Executive Director at London North West Healthcare NHS Trust and Chair of Stonewall Housing. 

    @AndrewvanDoorn
    @HACThousing

  • Nick Walkley

    Nick Walkley

    Chief Executive, Homes and Communities Agency

    Nick has extensive local government experience, most recently as Chief Executive of Haringey Council and previously as Chief Executive of Barnet Council. He has led the delivery of a number of high-profile housing and regeneration schemes, including the £1bn large-scale regeneration of the Tottenham area, which is expected to create 5,000 new jobs, 10,000 new homes and more than 1m square ft. of new employment and commercial space. Nick is listed in Local Government Chronicle’s ‘100 Most Influential in the Sector’ and Inside Housing’s ‘Public Sector Housing Most Influential’.

  • Mark Washer

    Mark Washer

    Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chair, Clarion Housing Group and National Housing Federation

    Mark Washer is Chief Financial Officer and a board member of Clarion Housing Group, the largest housing group in England with over 125,000 homes. He is responsible for all aspects of Clarion’s finances and IT, with a focus on financial strategy, investment and corporate finance. Mark is currently leading the Group’s major change programme which will transform the Group's approach to service delivery over the next two years. Mark is a chartered accountant, having qualified with Deloittes in London. He is a board member and vice chair of the NHF. Until recently, he was a trustee and Treasurer of Citizens Advice nationally, where he chaired the Audit and Risk Committee.

  • Michael West

    Michael West

    Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology and Head of Thought Leadership, Lancaster University Management School and The King's Fund

    Michael West is Senior Fellow at the King’s Fund, London and Professor of Organizational Psychology at Lancaster University Management School. He is Visiting Professor at University College, Dublin and Emeritus Professor at Aston University where he was formerly Executive Dean of Aston Business School.  He graduated from the University of Wales in 1973 and received his PhD in 1977.

    He has authored, edited or co-edited 20 books and has published over 200 articles for scientific and practitioner publications, as well as chapters in scholarly books.  He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the American Psychological Association (APA), the APA Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology, the International Association of Applied Psychologists, the British Academy of Management, the Academy of Social Sciences and a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. The focus of his research over 30 years has been culture and leadership in organisations, team and organizational innovation and effectiveness, particularly in relation to the organization of health services.

    He provides regular policy advice to many national NHS organisations. He led the Department of Health Policy Research Programme into cultures of quality and safety in the NHS in England from 2009 to 2013. He also led the NHS National Staff Survey development and implementation for eight years and has built an unparalleled evidence base. He lectures widely both nationally and internationally about the results of his research and solutions for developing effective and innovative health care organizations. 

  • Tim Wilcocks

    Tim Wilcocks

    Director of Development, RHP Group

  • Andy Williams

    Andy Williams

    Accountable Officer, Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG

    Andy joined the NHS in 1985 and has worked at Director and Chief Executive level in both provider and commissioning organisations for the last 14 years. Andy has an MBA (Health) from Nottingham University. He is also a member of the Institute of Health Management and Corporate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

  • Boris Worrall

    Boris Worrall

    Chief Executive, Rooftop Housing Group

    Boris is Group Chief Executive of Rooftop Housing, which provides 6,500 affordable homes in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. Boris has been involved in housing for 10 years and is a regular blogger on policy, politics and business transformation. He began his career as a journalist before working for the Home Office. Boris enjoys surfing, yoga and keeping chickens.

    You can follow him on Twitter @BorisJWorrall

  • Alan Yates

    Alan Yates

    Group Executive Director of Regeneration, Accord Group

    Alan has over 24 years senior management experience in the affordable housing sector in regeneration and development. He is Chairman of the Sustainable Housing Action Partnership (SHAP) and has a particular interest in low carbon housing. Alan led the formation of an offsite manufacturing facility Local Homes, and he and his development team have won a variety of awards for their work.