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 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.

Future London Leaders Round 28 Mentors

Ruth Angel
Housing Regeneration Project Manager, LB Hackney

Ruth has worked in social housing for more than 30 years, and during this time has been involved in a variety of aspects of social housing. Ruth spent some years working as an Independent Tenant and Leaseholder Adviser on a number of large regeneration schemes and therefore has extensive experience of community consultation. Over the past eight years, she has worked in development, initially in LB Waltham Forest and then in RB Kensington & Chelsea and currently works for LB Hackney, so has experience of varied and contrasting places in London.

Virginia Blackman
Principal – National Head Site Assembly & Compulsory Purchase, Avison Young

Virginia’s particular interest is in getting involved from the start of the project through to delivery, ensuring site assembly is integrated with the commercial, planning and wider project process and team, and communication and engagement with the local community. She is a regular speaker for the Compulsory Purchase Association, Waterfront Conferences and Westminster Briefings. Recent projects include five garden communities, West Hendon Estate Regeneration, Vicarage Fields Barking, High Road West, Kings Landing Maidenhead, Calverley Square Tunbridge Wells, growth plans at Bristol City Airport and advising a number of those affected by HS2 at Euston. Clients include LB Haringey, Metropolitan Housing Association, Barratt, London & Newcastle and Regus. She is a member of the RICS Working Group on Compulsory Purchase, an experienced expert witness, and a Registered Valuer. Virginia has worked with the Future of London Diversity Speaker Network and has experience of mentoring colleagues previously.

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.

Clare Chettle
Associate Partner, Airey Miller LLP

Clare has over 11 years’ experience of providing interim and consultancy development services to G15, national and specialist housing associations, London boroughs and local authorities as well as private sector consultancy. She has held a number of roles and led teams through restructures and transitions and specialises in troubleshooting tricky schemes. Clare is a CIHCM and undertook Planning and Development Surveying (RICS) at the University of Reading. Clare is keen to share her experience and help diversify the housing, construction and built environment sectors and to help develop female leaders and role models for upcoming generations of young women and men. In addition to her work Clare is also an Assistant Scout Leader and enjoys camping, leading walks and navigation. Clare has a female partner and 2 adopted children and lives in London.

Sara Hanrahan
Partner, Lewis Silkin

Sara is a planning partner at Lewis Silkin with over 20 years’ commercial experience. She advises on all aspects of planning and specialises in major re-development and urban regeneration projects. Sara acts for a wide range of clients including developers, housing associations, local authorities as well as high net worth individuals. She is a committee member of the City of London Law Society Planning and Environmental Committee and has been recognised as a leader in her field in both the Legal 500 and Chambers.

Chris Hartiss
Design Director, Modulous

Chris is an architect with over twenty years’ experience leading teams designing and delivering significant schemes across London. With previous roles at Canary Wharf Group and Squire & Partners, he has worked on large and complex projects including North Quay, Chelsea Barracks, Southbank Place and One Tower Bridge, each having many and varied challenges and interfaces. He is currently Design Director at Modulous, a start-up who are focusing on the delivery of residential projects using modular construction. He has taught and mentored students and young architects for several years and continues to deliver advice, mentoring and workshops providing support for further education, job applications and careers in architecture and construction.

Steve Kennard
Regeneration Director, Hadley Property Group

Steve joined Hadley as Director of Regeneration in 2015 after leading a number of major private/public partnership projects across the capital. Between 2008 and 2012 he served as Director of Land and Development at the London Development Agency, leading the team responsible for the 2000+ acre, £600m+ land portfolio; this included the specialist team responsible for concluding the land purchase within Stratford’s Olympic Park. As part of the ‘Urban Communities Development’ team at Land Securities, Steve has also led urban extension projects across the south east. This included the Ebbsfleet International Eurostar Station, Harlow North and the White City masterplan. A vastly experienced and enthusiastic development, regeneration and design specialist, Steve has operated in client and consultant management, leading delivery teams on a wide variety of mixed-use urban regeneration schemes.

Chris Langdon
Development and Investment Director, Engie UK

Chris joined ENGIE in 2017 as Development and Investment Director to develop a programme of major regeneration projects based on low carbon and sustainable futures. As a Chartered Surveyor Chris has over 20 years’ experience in major mixed-use development, property and construction. Chris’ current focus is working on how place shaping and integrated solutions can deliver Zero Carbon outcomes. Prior to ENGIE, Chris was Development Director at Byrne Estates and the Ardmore Group. Previously Chris managed the development and disposal property division for Bexley Council and worked at St George Plc, part of Berkeley Homes. Chris believes that collaboration and partnership is the key to delivering new and innovative market solutions and currently has a pipeline of more than 3,500 thousand units including the 139-hectare former coal fired power station site at Rugeley in Staffordshire, West Midlands.

Sherine McFarlane
Head of Social & Economic Regeneration, Notting Hill Genesis    

Sherine is from a social housing background and has specialised in community regeneration for the past 20 years. She is a qualified practitioner and is currently responsible for the development and delivery of social and economic programmes on two large regeneration schemes, Woodberry Down in Hackney and Grahame Park in Barnet. She has worked with a variety of communities across London and managed an array of cross-thematic programmes, including enterprise development, employability, health & well-being, financial inclusion, children and young people, and older people.

Maggie Rafalowicz
Director, Campbell Tickell

As Director at Campbell Tickell, Maggie is a dynamic senior executive with successful track record in housing, development and regeneration sectors. She has led and managed complex programmes and has in-depth knowledge and experience of public, voluntary and commercial sectors. She also has experience of leading complex teams in a matrix environment and is a successful programme manager with knowledge of industry standards. She has developed strong communication skills while working with national network of contracts and has particular strengths in leadership, influencing, problem solving, negotiating and partnership working.

Kush Rawal
Director of Residential Investment, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing              

Kush has had various roles within Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing largely focused on the delivery of affordable housing development and specifically home ownership. His team is working to develop and deliver an extensive development pipeline, and his recent projects include the development of Shared Ownership Plus, a new way to help shared owners purchase more equity in their home. Kush also heads up Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing’s development collaboration initiative, which seeks to bring all internal parts of the development process together to help deliver a shared vision.

Sarah Beth Riley
Associate Architect, Be First

Sarah is responsible for enhancing and protecting design quality across new build projects from inception to completion. Prior to Be First Sarah was the Design & Technical Manager for Lewisham Homes following time spent in private practice at Ash Sakula Architects, HTA Design and Studio Egret West. Sarah sits on Hackney Regeneration Design Advice Group, is a mentor for Public Practice and is a regular guest critic at the University of Westminster. She studied at The Glasgow School of Art and Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, Stockholm.

Luke Riley
Projects Director, Swan Housing

Luke has over 25 years of experience in housing, leading Craylands Estate regeneration (c.1,000 new homes) and the regeneration of Laindon Shopping Centre in Basildon. Luke has also led one of the largest housing-led mixed tenure regeneration projects in the country for Genesis Housing Association (3,000 new homes, new social and community infrastructure, £550m over 15-18 years). Luke shaped the transformation of Grahame Park in Colindale, ensuring the reality and reputation of the area changed positively. Luke has also worked in partnership with Berkeley Homes on the transformation of Woodberry Down in Hackney.

Kaye Stout
Partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards

Kaye Stout is the equity partner in charge of Pollard Thomas Edwards’ Design Delivery group, which provides detailed design and construction stage services to PTE’s contractor clients and also offers technical advice and auditing to PTE’s project teams at the planning stage. She takes pride in building good working relationships with clients and the wider design and construction teams. “I like the way that successful buildings and places are not conceived in ivory towers, but emerge from a complex process of engagement with lots of different people with a wide variety of views. Some projects evolve over many years, and I work hard to maintain everyone’s enthusiasm and commitment.” Kaye has long experience in the housing, mixed-use and regeneration sectors, and has both designed and delivered a series of successful and award-winning projects, ranging from large-scale masterplans for estate regeneration to infill sites. She also has experience in commercial interiors, office buildings and business parks.

Sharon Strutt
Head of Regeneration, LB Redbridge

Sharon has a wealth of experience in regeneration, having worked as a Head of Service in two London authorities with responsibilities for developing and delivering major regeneration initiatives. These have included large scale brownfield regeneration, major infrastructure development in addition to a number of town centre regeneration programmes. As Head of Regeneration for LB Redbridge, Sharon led production of the borough’s regeneration strategy, which will encourage enterprise, strengthen the borough’s town centres and employment hubs, and improve pathways into employment for the borough’s residents. She is leading the regeneration of Ilford, working alongside the GLA to deliver its Housing Zone programme, and establishing partnerships with landowners, developers, businesses and residents to shape future regeneration activity.

Elaine Taylor
Director of Development – Cambridge Road Estate, RB Kingston

Elaine is a specialist in residential development and regeneration in the not-for-profit sector. She started her housing career with L&Q delivering new build and refurbishment projects some 30 years ago. A succession of career progressions, both internally at L&Q and externally with other major Housing Associations including Hyde Housing and Clarion, enabled her to build development and regeneration experience.  She held Senior Management positions at L&Q with responsibility for leading the Land and Planning team in L&Q’s East Region. She is now Development Director at RB Kingston, responsible for delivering the ambitious Cambridge Road Estate regeneration scheme.