Leaders Plus – Proposals for London


IMG_3397After an appropriate nine months of bespoke professional development, candidates from Leaders Plus Round 3 delivered a series of thought-provoking ‘Proposals for London’ on 12th July as their final task before graduation.

The fast-paced pitches included an estate regeneration mediation service; a public-public joint venture model; an area investment framework pilot for Thamesmead; a Green Belt Exploratory project; and a post-Brexit approach to connecting London.

The audience included mentors, course presenters and senior London influencers able to critique, champion or possibly fund their ideas. All including candidates voted on the presentations, and the winners were:


Favourite idea

Naomi PomfretNaomi Pomfret, Planning Policy Manager, LB Barking & Dagenham:
Valuing the ordinary

What does it mean to value the ordinary and why does it matter? London is home to many high streets which on first sight seem mundane and uninspired. But few people know these spaces well, let alone appreciate them. We need to celebrate these places; to break out of the duality of multinational versus independent; to explore these lesser-known parts of our shared city as places of possibility, value and ordinary beauty. How might we capture, enhance and promote the intrinsic value of these places, and can we plan for an ‘ordinary advantage’?


Most feasible

Samuel AttafuahSamuel Attafuah, Business Development Manager, Genesis:
Container architecture for affordable housing

The proposal is to use recycled cargo containers as a means to help local authorities provide housing more cheaply and as quickly as possible. Attractively designed container architecture has been used in a number of countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and the US, and there have been small-scale trials in England. Container architecture and modular construction use similar principles, but containers are already part of the economy and are cheaper to procure. This means partnerships with providers and local authorities to develop on LA land could produce good affordable housing at a much reduced cost, faster than traditional methods.


Best pitch

Paul AugardePaul Augarde, Head of Creativity & Innovation, Poplar HARCA:
Spatial Alchemy: Open London

The capital is losing 88 hectares of industrial space each year. Some 30% of current creative workspace will disappear in the next five years. Residential values can only increase this pressure. Could the answer be centralised spatial alchemy – a pan-London body turning liabilities into assets in partnership with local authorities and other landowners – thereby creating sufficient scale to allow a genuinely sustainable breadth of workspace offer and affordability?


Honourable Mention

Jo Revett FLL8Jo Revett, Project Officer, Estate Regeneration, LB Hackney:
Shared Housing: Overcoming Stereotypes

In a rapidly shifting world, our housing needs are changing too. I am exploring the idea of living in shared spaces and demonstrating options for shared housing, a concept which can often be misunderstood. Innovative new opportunities are particularly relevant for older generations, as changing personal circumstances may lead to under-occupation and social isolation. There may not be a ‘product’ which can solve these issues, or which suits everyone. Rather, openness, flexibility and creativity are key to developing relevant and local shared solutions. We need to change attitudes and recognise that shared living can work, and can work in many different ways.



The presentations were followed by a short graduation ceremony and celebration, plus enthusiastic brainstorming about Future of London strategy and alumni involvement. We welcome all candidate and alumni input, and look forward to hearing more at our 24th August all-network meet-up.

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Leaders Plus is the ‘next step’ to Future of London’s acclaimed Future London Leaders course, about to enter its 14th round. Leaders Plus includes senior seminars and workshops on topics ranging from Communicating a Vision through Managing Up to Viability & Negotiation; a live case study – for Round 3, affordable workspace and development pressures at Hackney Wick & Fish Island; plus mentoring from some of London’s top cross-sector professionals.

(It should be noted that four candidates were promoted during the course – as were four mentors! Just saying…)

For Round 4, accepting nominations now and starting in October, there will be more leadership training, a Deptford-area case study, as well as four (out of 16) candidates drawn from the private sector. This inclusion marks FoL’s own evolution, as we help next-generation leaders bridge the tricky divide between sectors as well as between disciplines and organisations.

For now, we wish all the best to the cohort and their mentors, and hope to see you all soon!

Congratulations to our Leaders Plus Round 3 candidates:

  • Ruth Angel, Head of Housing Regeneration, RB Kensington & Chelsea
  • Samuel Attafuah, Business Development Manager, Genesis
  • Paul Augarde, Head of Creativity & Innovation, Poplar HARCA
  • Tom Bridgman, Delivery Lead – Regeneration, LB Lambeth
  • Duncan Brown, Strategic Project Manager, LB Lambeth
  • Zoe Collins, Programme Manager – Regeneration, LB Hackney
  • Steve Dennington, Interim Head of Spatial Planning, LB Croydon
  • Kate Greenaway, Head of Regeneration – Plumstead & West Thamesmead, Peabody
  • Kplom Lotsu, Service Group Manager for Capital Programme Delivery, LB Lewisham
  • Alex O’Keeffe, Senior Development Manager, Home Group
  • Dr Claudia Peñaranda, Principal Technical Specialist (Cycling), TfL
  • Naomi Pomfret, Planning Policy Manager, LB Barking & Dagenham
  • Tim Rettler, Principal Project Officer – Regeneration, GLA
  • Jo Revett, Project Officer – Estate Regeneration, LB Hackney
  • Richard Rollison, Senior Project Manager, LB Hounslow

Thanks to our Leaders Plus 3 Mentors:

  • Ben Denton, Board Member, Group Strategy & Business Development, Keepmoat
  • Andy Donald, Chief Executive, LB Redbridge
  • Ros Dunn, Independent Chair, South Kilburn Trust
  • Claudette Forbes, Director, CAF Consulting Ltd.
  • Gerry Hughes, Chief Executive, Bilfinger GVA
  • Stephen Hill, C20 Future Planners
  • Neal Hunt, Director of Development, Poplar HARCA
  • John Knevett, Group Commercial Officer, A2 Dominion
  • John Lumley, Director of Housing & Regeneration, LB Hackney
  • David Lunts, Executive Director, GLA Housing & Land
  • Paul Nichols, Director of Regeneration & Planning, LB Harrow
  • Sandra Roebuck, Director of Strategic & Neighbourhood Delivery, LB Lambeth
  • Graham Stallwood, Executive Director, Planning & Borough Development, RB Kensington & Chelsea
  • Sharon Strutt, Strategic Head of Delivery, LB Redbridge
  • Tony Westbrook, Head of Development, LLDC


Leaders Plus is hosted by Lewis Silkin. Round 3 was supported in part by Campbell Tickell and Hadley Property Group, and from Round 4 onward, Argent joins as lead sponsor, also placing FoL’s first private-sector candidate. Leaders Plus was designed for urban practitioners from a range of disciplines who facing increasing risk and responsibility. The programme provides tools, insight and senior networks to help them get the job done, grow as professionals, and stay sane in the process. For more information, please visit the Leaders Plus webpage, and/or contact Lisa Taylor.