Future London Leaders Mentors

Each Future London Leader is paired with a senior mentor from Future of London’s extensive cross-sector network. These mentors provide a ‘safe space’ sounding board for candidates, as well as invaluable experience and insights from their own careers. See here for more about mentoring.

Future London Leaders Round 30 Mentors

Jon Abbott
Head of Regeneration North, LB Southwark

Jon has worked in planning and regeneration for three local authorities for over 30 years, 25 of which have been at LB Southwark. He is a member of the RTPI and started work as a planner but moved across to the council’s regeneration team in 1993. Initially Jon was part of a small team preparing what became the council’s successful Single Regeneration Budget Bid for £60m to regenerate the North Peckham estates and revitalise Peckham Town Centre. In 1999 Jon moved to the council’s Elephant & Castle regeneration project as assistant project director and subsequently from 2007 as Project Director. Jon led the preparation of development framework for the area and partner selection processes which resulted in Lendlease becoming the council’s development partner for the Heygate estate. He was involved in consultation with residents and delivering a package of early homes to help rehouse them, and was the council’s lead witness at the subsequent CPO public inquiry. In 2011 Jon started his current role, focusing on the ongoing regeneration of Elephant & Castle including the shopping centre. From 2014 he has been leading the commercial negotiations with British Land to establish a JV to regenerate Canada Water.

Paul Augarde
Director, Augarde Consulting

Paul is a hands-on placemaking consultant with 15 years’ experience in regeneration – conceiving, structuring and delivering a range of strategies and initiatives across the capital and further afield. His experience includes estate regeneration, high streets, economic and commercial strategies, community & cultural placemaking, social value, asset value maximisation, and stakeholder engagement. Previously, as Director of Placemaking at housing association Poplar HARCA, Paul established the award-winning Accents placemaking team. Work included design of a sustainable fashion and creative cluster for the Lower Lea, and delivery of the first phase, the £6m Poplar Works, with the GLA and London College of Fashion. Paul also helped set up the Mayor of London’s Creative Land Trust, co-founded the Placemaking Collective UK, and is a trustee at arts charities ACAVA and UP Projects.

Karen Barke
Head of Strategic Development, LB Lewisham

Karen has worked in local authority urban regeneration and housing for over 18 years. Her current role is at Lewisham council where she is responsible for the delivery of the council’s housing development programme with aspirations to deliver new high quality homes alongside associated social and economic benefits. Prior to this Karen worked at Hackney Council where she was responsible for the delivery of the council’s high profile Estate Regeneration Programme. This was a council led housing programme with aspirations to deliver over 2,500 new high quality homes. Karen started her career at Newham council where she worked on a range of area based regeneration initiatives including the West Ham and Plaistow New Deal for Communities Programme and the Canning Town and Custom House Regeneration Programme. Karen is an alumni of FoL’s Future London Leaders round four.

Steve Beard
Partner, Beacon Partnership LLP

Steve has worked in the social housing sector since the mid-1990s and has worked with over 30 housing associations and local authorities in development and finance. These have included key providers such as London & Quadrant, LB Camden, Guinness, as well as the Greater London Authority and smaller providers across the UK. Steve has developed sophisticated appraisal tools for housing providers across the UK and has an interest in new housing tenures and innovative funding mechanisms. He has overseen the delivery of over a thousand homes for social housing and has a postgraduate diploma in Quantity Surveying.

Christina Calderato
Head of Transport Strategy Planning, Transport for London

Christina has spent the last 12 years working across a diverse range of policy areas at TfL and led the team that developed the current Mayor’s Transport Strategy. In her current role, Christina is responsible for developing strategic transport policy across the TfL network over the next 30 years. This includes working closely with the Mayor of London, GLA and other senior TfL Managers to set the direction of the Mayor’s transport strategy, develop policies to deliver strategic objectives and ensure delivery across TfL.

Patrick Duffy
Director of New Business, Southern Housing Group

Based in Clerkenwell, but covering a large area stretching across London, the Home Counties and down to the Isle of White, Patrick leads Southern Housing Group’s diverse land and planning function to deliver a pipeline of opportunities for new development. He also oversees strategic asset management including the Group’s stock acquisition and rationalisation activity. Patrick was previously Assistant Development Director at Peabody, responsible for a £2.25 billion development programme. He was part of the team that grew the organisation’s development activity from a standing start to the largest in London, including a Stirling Prize nomination along the way.

Jackie Fearon
Director of Resident & Community Services, Housing Solutions

With over 25 years of experience in housing, a deep love of sport, music and new found desire to keep busy, Jackie has mentoring experience that ranges from short term ad hoc meetings to longer term arrangements. She’s worked in small charities, to some the largest housing associations and local authorities in the country. This has helped not only to understand behaviours, challenges and frustrations but to use her experiences to support others. Just as important have been the experience she has had of her own mentors throughout her career, and the benefits that they have brought her on a personal and professional level.

Dan Hill
Director, Real Urbanism Ltd

Dan is an independent consultant working with community groups, residents, businesses, partners and colleagues on a range of projects seeking to make fairer and more resilient communities and neighbourhoods. He has led regeneration teams at a senior level within Local Government and Housing Associations. His work focuses on delivery of new and better homes, more resilient high streets, community hubs and parks, squares and gardens. He has a particular passion for local food and is trying to start up a new farm for London. In his spare time he likes running and exploring new places.

Suzanne Johnson
Head of Area Regeneration, LB Hackney

Suzanne is a regeneration professional and chartered town planner with experience in the development and delivery of social, economic and physical regeneration programmes in urban areas. Suzanne advises on regeneration, economic development and planning policy issues and practice, and has delivered a number of regeneration programmes and projects across London including leading on the regeneration of Tottenham High Road as part of the Tottenham Regeneration Programme.  Suzanne is responsible for delivering area regeneration in Hackney; by working across council departments and externally with partners and stakeholders she ensures that economic growth and development benefits as many residents and businesses as possible.

Bevan Jones
Associate Director, Turner & Townsend

Bevan has over 10 years’ experience working in sustainability in the public and private sectors in which time he has contributed to a number of key studies and reports such as the UK’s first Climate Risk Assessment, The Economics of Climate Resilience for DEFRA and Future of London’s Stresses and Shocks study. Before joining Turner & Townsend Bevan worked at Sustainable Homes as well as Catalyst Housing where he delivered the sustainability strategy as well as on embedding sustainable approaches to business and development in new build. Bevan has also worked for Dutch consultancy Ecofys where he delivered work for the UK Government and contributed to EU projects.

Tricia Patel
Partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards

Tricia is an equity partner and leads one of PTE’s design workshops delivering projects from concept to completion, especially for large residential-led regeneration projects. Her enthusiasm, and talent for listening, can draw from clients and user groups a deep understanding of what they really want from their project. She is skilled at using the insights gained to produce successful outcomes. Tricia has over 28 years’ experience in the housing, mixed-use and regeneration sectors, and has both designed and delivered a series of successful and award-winning projects. She has planned and led numerous community engagement programmes and Tricia is also one of the practice’s ambassadors for young people and has won the Junior Open House Architectural Mentor award.

Lizzie Pillinger
Real Estate Senior Associate, Trowers & Hamlins

Lizzie is an experienced Real Estate development lawyer. Her practice is varied but primarily focuses on investment into and development of places people live – particularly later living and affordable housing. She acts for investors, developers, and operators in both the public and private sectors. She has mentored and been mentored formally and informally for several years both within and outside of her firm and has been an advocate of reverse mentoring within her firm. When not working, she’ll be found doing daft things like rock climbing or jumping into cold lakes or with her head (or earbuds) in a book.

Sandeep Sankoli
Head of London Land and Partnerships, Hill

Prior to his role at the Hill Group, Sandeep was a Director at Countryside Properties. He is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Sandeep has over 15 years’ housing experience at regional government and private practice. He specialises in mixed-use development, private rented sector investment and urban regeneration. Sandeep started his career as a Housing Economist at City Hall, advising the Mayor of London on housing supply barriers. He also spent time at L&Q advising on their entry into PRS and strategic growth planning.

Allison Sofekun
Director of Corporate Services, CDS

Allison is a senior level executive with a strong track record in strategic leadership of people, change, financial and operational management with over 30 years of experience. Allison led the Corporate Services at Gateway Housing and has extensive experience developing potential through mentoring and coaching. As Group Director for Corporate Services at Genesis Housing, she led the strategies and delivery of HR, IT, Communications, Diversity, Business Excellence, and other enabling services. Allison qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG and further expanded her areas of expertise through becoming a Chartered Fellow with the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD). Allison led the achievement of the ‘Times Top 50 Employers for Women’ at Genesis and is an individual national award winner, Excellence in Practice – BITC, championing balanced leadership teams for superior business performance.

Karen Swift
Director of Housing and Regeneration, LB Tower Hamlets

Karen has worked in local government for over 25 years with secondments to the Home Office and Metropolitan Police. Her local government career started in LB Camden, with a stint at LB Enfield and a return to LB Camden. She is currently Divisional Director of Housing and Regeneration at LB Tower Hamlets. During her career she has overseen initiatives and services related to homelessness, housing options, temporary accommodation, private sector conditions, commissioning, asset management as well as being Head of Housing Strategy at LB Camden for 10 years. In her current role she oversees a new build council homes programme, a housing options service undergoing transformation, sustainability and fire safety. Karen has a MSc in International Housing.

Janet Townsend
Director of Development (South), London Legacy Development Corporation

Janet is a Chartered Surveyor with over 30 years property development and regeneration experience. Working previously for public bodies such as London Transport Property, English Partnerships and the London Development Agency, she has been involved in large scale regeneration and development projects around London including the Royal Docks, Greenwich Peninsula, and Lewisham Town Centre. She is currently Director of Development at the London Legacy Development Corporation, where she is responsible for their Housing Delivery Programme, delivering of over 5,000 new homes across the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and surrounding communities.

Dritan Uka
Director of Asset Management, Optivo

Dritan currently works as the Director of Asset Management for a large G15 Housing Association.  He has previously worked with other large housing associations, local authorities and also in the private sector. Dritan has extensive experience in strategic asset management, sustainability, facilities management and investment planning. He is also a board member at Ability Housing Association.

Future London Leaders Round 29 Mentors

Polly Barker
Associate Director, Hatch

Polly is an Associate Director in Hatch’s global Urban Solutions team. Her specialism is working at the early stage of projects, and brings experience in strategic spatial planning, infrastructure and economic development. Her most recent projects have involved collaborating with a number of public sector organisations to help make the case for infrastructure investment to support economic growth and recovery. This has included securing funding for town centre renewal and case making for major transport led regeneration. Polly is a Chartered Town Planner by background and was identified as a Woman of Influence by the Royal Town Planning Institute in 2019 and 2021.

Meera Bedi
Head of New Build, Barnet Homes

Meera has worked in Development for over 30 years delivering rented and mixed tenure schemes with commercial success working in several housing associations. She is particularly keen on serving London’s women, working for Ekaya and Housing for Women for a number of years. Since 2016 she has been Head of New Build at Barnet Homes/Opendoor Homes. She is currently delivering a programme of over 500 new builds at Barnet Affordable Rent, 150 new build Extra Care Schemes and c300 mixed tenure new homes. She is an independent board member of Westway Housing Association, a small community-based, black-led organisation in West London and also serving on the inaugural board of Haringey Community Benefit Society. Meera has a wealth of business, planning, risk management, project delivery, change management, strategic development, and partnership experience. She has a deep understanding of working in London’s housing sector and responding to diverse and specialist groups

Simon Bevan
Former Director of Planning, LB Southwark

Simon has recently retired from the position of Director of Planning at LB Southwark where he was at the centre of the borough’s ambitious regeneration plans for over 20 years, taking charge of the planning division in 2008. Simon led the preparation of the strategy framework that has delivered the most affordable housing of any London borough over the last four years and prepared the division of planners, transport planners, urban designers and building inspectors for the challenge of delivering 11,000 new council homes over the next 30 years.

Jessica Crowe
Corporate Director for People, Policy & Performance, LB Newham

Jessica is responsible for leading the council’s work on outcomes and delivery, democratic innovation and participation, communications, community engagement and resident experience. Previously she worked at LB Sutton, where she led the council’s commissioning functions, its innovative place-based public service reform, the Sutton Plan, and held the statutory Monitoring Officer role. Before that, she ran the independent governance charity, the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny. She is nationally recognised for her expertise in good governance, having been appointed by both the UK and Welsh governments to statutory intervention and improvement roles. She was previously an elected member in LB Hackney, where she was deputy to the elected Mayor. She has also worked in central government, the Local Government Association, GLA and the Local Government Information Unit.

Mark Jones
Director of Procurement, One Housing

Mark leads a team of procurement professionals through an organisation wide transformation, maximising value and mitigating exposure from all supplier relationships. Mark has 17 years’ procurement experience, a degree from the University of Liverpool in Economics & Business, and graduated Cohort 9 of Future London Leaders in 2015. He specialises in public procurement and contract law, supply chain management, commercial negotiation, housing and construction, alongside a personal passion for developing new procurement talent. Mark is a keen runner, completing a few marathons in his time. He is a big Liverpool fan and has recently found a new love for Formula One.

Leanne Keltie
Programme Manager (Specialist Housing), GLA Housing & Land

Leanne has more than 15 years’ experience working in the private, public and voluntary sectors focusing on housing and community development. She began her career in Canada in 1997 supporting social economic development projects in the charitable sector. After completing her MSc in Urban Regeneration at UCL’s Bartlett School of Planning in 2006 Leanne worked for a leading planning and urban design consultancy promoting key sites for residential and commercial development across England. Leanne has also managed a capital grants programme at Sport England to support schools opening their sports facilities for community users. In her current role at the GLA, Leanne is responsible for managing the Mayor’s dedicated capital programmes for specialised and supported housing. This includes overseeing programme delivery, brokering relationships, and encouraging bids from Registered Providers.

Matt Lally
Associate Director, Arup

Matt is an associate director of Arup’s Integrated City Planning team, and an urban planner/urban designer by background. Over the last 25 years Matt has been involved in a wide-ranging portfolio of major projects throughout the UK, Australasia, Asia, Middle East and Africa. He has co-authored several best practice research and guidance publications in the UK and Australia on urban design, masterplanning and urban regeneration.

Joe Marshall
Managing Director – New Homes (Counties), Catalyst

Joe is a seasoned development professional with extensive experience in the affordable housing sector. He has a proven track record in the delivery of large scale and complex residential developments including joint ventures and partnerships with the public and private sectors. As Managing Director for Catalyst’s Counties region, Joe has oversight of all aspects of the development journey outside of London, with a particular focus on growing Catalyst’s existing presence in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

Neil Parlett
Director – Planning Development and Regeneration, Lambert Smith Hampton

Neil enjoys advising on major development projects where the success of the scheme is best measured by the quality of the design solution, integration of public and community requirements into commercial solutions and good public/private sector partnerships. Neil has worked on diverse projects such as securing a new town hall complex for Lambeth Council and delivering mixed-use development solutions in towns such as West Bromwich, Aylesbury and Woolwich. Neil is a Chairman on the RICS APC programme and a member of the Education Committee of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors, with responsibility for supporting St Saviour’s and St Olave’s students gain access to employability skills, apprenticeships/placements and mentoring. Neil also sits on the Property and Development Committee of the RMBI Care Home Company, concerned with the successful management, operation and investment of 19 care homes across England and Wales.

Dan Pope
Chief Planning Officer, LB Camden

Starting life in planning policy Dan led the teams responsible for adopting the Havering and Barking and Dagenham Local Plans. Following this Dan established and led a new integrated planning service in Barking and Dagenham bringing together planning policy, development management, land data and transport planning with a focus on delivery. He has worked across a number of London’s largest planning and regeneration projects including Barking Riverside, Beam Park and Barking Town Centre. More recently Dan helped set up Be First, Barking and Dagenham’s wholly owned regeneration and planning company.

Eleanor Purser
Co-Strategic Director for Sustainable Growth and Opportunity, LB Lambeth

Eleanor is currently Co-Strategic Director for Sustainable Growth and Regeneration at London Borough of Lambeth, having joined in September 2019. The role oversees the economic, social and physical development of the borough alongside clienting Homes for Lambeth, the borough’s fully owned housing delivery company which has a delivery programme of 4500 homes over the next 15 years funded by a £150m loan facility from the council. Prior to this, she was Director of Regeneration at Notting Hill Genesis, one of London’s largest RSLs. She led the regeneration of the Aylesbury Estate in LB Southwark; a £1.6bn 20 year project working in partnership with LB Southwark to achieve a successful CPO and procure the start on site for 1000 homes, a library, health centre and new public square. She has a background in public sector development having worked previously the GLA/HCA leading on housing and land investment for South London and for the London Borough of Sutton.

John Reid
Development Director, Meridian Water/LB Enfield

In his early career John project managed major city centre regeneration schemes including Bath and Abu Dhabi. Prior to joining Meridian Water John was the Director of Grosvenor’s London Estate development programme in Mayfair. He previously led the country’s largest school building programme during his time at LB Croydon. John now leads development delivery team at Meridian Water, a council owned and led development of 10,000 new homes in North London. John believes that it’s his mix of public and private sector development experience that have allowed him to successfully deliver such significant regeneration projects. He is passionate about how the two can come together to create amazing new places.

David Scourfield
Chaplain, Watford Town Centre Chaplaincy

David enjoyed a career as a town planner for 32 years, 20 of which were at senior management level in councils in and around London. He recently retired as Chief Planning Officer for LB Ealing where he led a team of 60 professionals and in July 2021 became Lead Chaplain for Watford Town Centre Chaplaincy. It is a small Christian charity that places volunteer chaplains into workplaces to provide a listening ear to those who may be experiencing the ups and downs of life. David has always enjoyed working with all stakeholders and customers and has significant experience in working with a range of faith communities, both in professional and personal capacities.

Sammie Steele
Managing Director – Placemaking and Regeneration, Places for People

Sammie has worked in the property industry for over 15 years in a variety of different roles across different sectors. Her career started in surveying, primarily working on London residential schemes and providing development consultancy services to a range of clients. She has also worked for the Homes and Communities Agency, and later spent a decade at Crest Nicholson Regeneration where she progressed to Director level managing large scale mixed used developments with a partnership focus. In her current role, Sammie is responsible for a national portfolio of projects and responsibility for the business plan and future strategy. Her passion is for placemaking and genuine community building and making a difference for residents of the new communities she has helped to shape.

Danny Sutcliffe
Partner, Red Loft

Danny is a founding partner of Red Loft, having grown the business from a startup to a 45-strong team. For the last 25 years, Danny has worked for a range of housing associations and local authorities, managing regeneration projects and securing and delivering large and small developments. As well as project management, his work has involved managing teams and effecting change management. He combines this with the management of a team of consultants at Red Loft, ensuring that clients’ requirements are satisfied in an efficient, co-operative but unobtrusive manner.

Nicola Tilbury
Director, Potter Raper Ltd

Nicola is a partner at a surveying consultancy and her team specialise in delivering housing and regeneration schemes for Registered Providers (housing associations and local authorities). Nicola started her career as a quantity and building surveyor and used that experience to become a highly accomplished project manager and employer’s agent. Nicola has previously worked as client PM for the Church Commissioners for England and the National Health Service, she has also worked for main contractors and sub-contractors. Nicola has experience in delivering schemes across a wide variety of sectors, with both public and private sector clients. She is also an APC assessor for the RICS and is an APC supervisor and counsellor for internal and client staff.