Leaders Plus Candidates

The fourth round of Leaders Plus began in October 2016. Profiles of the 17 candidates are below.

symon-bacon-2Symon Bacon
Project Director, Argent LLP

“Since joining Argent in 2014, Symon has worked primarily on the King’s Cross development, coordinating and delivering commercial office space, retail and mixed-use residential schemes. Prior to this, Symon worked for eight years across all aspects of development and construction for a major contractor in the residential, student accommodation and education sectors, as well as focusing on off-site manufacturing and assembly. Symon now leads the Argent/Related Tottenham Hale development, in partnership with LB Haringey as part of the Tottenham Hale District Centre Framework, to deliver around 5,000 homes. Symon holds a BSc Design Engineering and an MSc Commercial Project Management.”

martin-boyce-2Martin Boyce
Regional Operations Director, Lovell London (At start of programme: Project Director, Lovell London

“I have more than 30 years’ experience in the construction industry and a track record of delivering large-scale housing schemes. I joined Lovell in January 2016 as part of the London region senior management team with responsibility for the delivery of our flagship £320m Woolwich development in partnership with RB Greenwich and asra Housing Group. The regeneration of the three estates will create over 1,500 high quality, mixed-tenure homes. Prior to Lovell, I held senior management roles with national housebuilders including Berkeley, Kier and Wilson Connolly, and have won a number of industry awards for quality.”

david-eastwood-2David Eastwood
Services & Commissioning Manager, Greater London Authority

David has worked in housing for more than five years. He has been at the GLA for just over a year, leading the Housing Mobility Team, and is also lead commissioner for Pan-London Rough Sleeping Services. Before this, he carried out a variety of commissioning roles in Westminster City Council, in rough sleeping, criminal justice and drug and alcohol. He is also one of the few non-police staff to have a received a Metropolitan Police Borough Commander commendation for his work on the Drug Intervention Programme.”

laura-gardner-2Laura Gardner
Senior Consultant – Regeneration & Spatial Planning (at start of programme: Regeneration Consultant), GVA

“I manage a diverse range of regeneration and urban development projects across London and the South East. This includes the delivery of economic and inward investment strategies, estate renewal projects and town centre masterplans for local authorities; the identification and assessment of site opportunities for private sector mixed-use development; and a range of evidence-based work supporting planning applications and policy. In leading these projects, I balance coordinating multi-disciplinary project teams with managing the influence of public/private stakeholders and wider strategic factors such as proposed infrastructure investment and political pressures, whilst also undertaking the required technical work.”

will-hoyles-2Will Hoyles
Head of Communications (at start of programme: External Relations Manager), Westway Trust

I’ve been at Westway Trust for about a year, managing media relations and other strategic communications, strengthening our relationships with local politicians and improving our working relationship with our members’ organisations. My background is public relations in charities, membership organisations and educational institutions. I’ve worked at Queen Mary University of London, the National Union of Students, Social Market Foundation, and Royal College of Physicians among others. I also work as a media trainer, mainly with charities and students’ unions to prepare their leaders to use media in their campaigns and preparing them for broadcast interviews.”

rebecca-lee-2Rebecca Lee
Architect, Pollard Thomas Edwards

With more than 8 years in the residential sector, I work as Project Architect on a variety of large-scale residential projects, competitions and regeneration projects. My experience includes public consultation, planning, detailed design and construction, as well as competition entries for large-scale regeneration and residential developments. Recently, I worked on the Alma Estate regeneration, with over 900 new homes in Enfield; the refurbishment of a Grade II-listed building and 290 new homes in Southwark’s Manor Place Depot; and the Lea Bridge Road scheme in Walthamstow with 300 homes, commercial units and a gym.”

conor-mcdonagh-2Conor McDonagh
Delivery Lead, LB Lambeth

“I joined Lambeth in 2014 to manage a team that coordinates the investment and growth of the Vauxhall Opportunity Area, and Stockwell and West Norwood town centres. The role is primarily focused on the delivery of new physical and social infrastructure to support growth, but also includes masterplanning to identify and unlock new opportunities. Prior to this, I managed a Development Management team in Camden Council and had spent nearly 10 years as a planner working on large scale major developments. This included the King’s Cross regeneration programme, and two stints at the GLA where I led on the Southall Gasworks ‘call-in’ and helped produce the Mayor’s Olympic Legacy SPG.”

karen-mercer-2Karen Mercer
Programme Director, LB Barnet

“Karen has worked in development for more than 15 years in the public and private sector, specialising in mixed-use regeneration projects. In the past four years, Karen has led work with private-sector development partners to bring forward the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme, including delivery of a new town centre and 7,500 new homes for LB Barnet. Since 2013, she has been employed as Programme Director by Re, a joint venture between Capita and Barnet to provide development and regulatory services.”

saleh-mirza-2Saleh Mirza
Head of Environmental Services, A2Dominion

2016 will be my eleventh year in housing. I started as a Neighbourhood Officer managing properties in one of West London’s toughest boroughs. Currently I’m responsible for the procurement and delivery of estate-based services to homes across Southern England and the Midlands that cost in the region of £7.5m p/a. I also manage a small team which oversees the performance of all our third-party contracts. I work with our development and construction teams, along with partnering suppliers, to create designs and maintenance specifications for all soft and hard facilities and specialise in large-scale procurement and project management.”

rachel-murrell-2Rachel Murrell
Area Manager – Development Management, LB Brent

I am a Chartered Town Planner with more than 10 years’ experience. I joined Brent as Area Planning Manager in 2010, after working in LB Tower Hamlets and Tandridge District Council. I lead a team of development management planners working across the borough, dealing with applications that encompass wide-ranging social, economic and environmental issues. This includes within the Housing Zones of Wembley and Alperton, which are undergoing rapid change. My role involves working closely with the community, elected members, development industry and other stakeholders to help realise the Council’s vision for Brent.”

peter-obrien-haringeyPeter O’Brien
Assistant Director – Area Regeneration (at start of programme: Regeneration Manager, Tottenham Hale & South), LB Haringey

“I lead on the delivery on a new district centre at Tottenham Hale, LB Haringey. My role involves the delivery of significant public realm, meanwhile and workspace projects, and as importantly, steering and shaping the work of other partners. A key challenge in the years ahead is to energise the social, economic, cultural and environmental activities that must develop in tandem with large-scale physical change. Earlier in my career, I was a consultant working on masterplanning, planning and regeneration projects, including Southall in Ealing.”

adrian-roche-2Adrian Roche
Development Plans Team Leader, City of London

“I joined the City in 2015 and lead a team responsible for setting the planning strategy for the Square Mile. The focus of my role is to undertake a review of the Local Plan, taking forward a positive planning framework for the City of London for the next 20 years. This is supported by a range of other policy documents and placemaking initiatives. Prior to this, I led a planning policy team at Oxford City Council and before that worked at Waverley Borough Council in policy and development management roles..”

nicola-roye2-2Nicola Roye
Project Director, Hyde Housing

“I have over 18 years’ experience in Strategic Asset Management and Development, working across Local Authorities and Registered Providers. My current role includes developing strategic partnerships through joint ventures to enable the delivery of regeneration projects. I also led on various large scale property acquisitions and disposals and have acquired over 8,000 properties through various transactions. I have for the past eight years managed staff and firmly believe that good leadership and management is the secret to success!.”

carol-sam-2Carol Sam
Economic Regeneration Manager, LB Ealing

“I lead Ealing’s Economic Regeneration team, delivering physical and social regeneration projects across the borough. In partnership with a range of partners and stakeholder in the public and private sector we are unlocking development opportunities that 5 new Crossrail stations bring for the benefit of local people and businesses. My background in economic development, gained at North West London TEC, Business Link for London and as director of my own company, is broad-ranging.

lucy-webb-2-2Lucy Webb
Senior Regeneration Manager, Peabody (At programme start: Regeneration Manager, Peabody)

“I have worked in regeneration for the past 13 years within the public, private, voluntary and now housing sectors. As part of Peabody’s Regeneration Team for Thamesmead, I lead on a renewal programme for a challenging neighbourhood within the area as well as on Peabody’s meanwhile use, cultural and social infrastructure programme for the whole of Thamesmead. Previous roles have included Area Manager at Groundwork London, leading on the environmental and regeneration programme for the organisation in 15 boroughs; and Associate Director (Regeneration) at EDAW|AECOM, where I played a key role in the planning of social infrastructure of major regeneration projects across the UK and the Middle East.”

ciara-whelehan-2Ciara Whelehan
Planning Policy Manager, LB Redbridge

“I have 14 years’ experience in the public and private sectors, working on all aspects of development plan-making and planning policy. I now leading the planning policy team to deliver the Redbridge Local Plan, the key spatial strategy for the borough for the next 15 years. This complex project involves working across council departments plus engaging with the GLA and neighbouring boroughs, businesses, residents and amenity groups. I participated in Future of London Leaders in 2012 and found it invaluable for my development, particularly in relation to leading and managing people. Leaders Plus will provide me with an opportunity to build upon the leadership skills and confidence gained in 2012, and to develop further my networks and exposure to senior professionals across planning, regeneration, housing and transport.”

andrew-williamsAndrew Williams
Area Manager, Greater London Authority

“I joined the GLA in 2015 after five years working for local councils in housing and project management roles. I look after a portfolio of Investment Partners, providing a professional lead with these organisations to facilitate the delivery of affordable homes for Londoners. Key investment partners include Notting Hill Housing Trust, Places for People and the City of Westminster. I also lead on key projects such as the Mayor’s Revolving Fund contracts with Genie and Big Issue Invest, and the Edgware Road Housing Zone.”


To view profiles of candidates from previous rounds, visit our alumni page.