Leaders Plus candidates

Leaders Plus Round 5 runs from October 2017 to July 2018. Profiles of the candidates are below.

Shehzad Ahmed
Economic Development Officer, LB Harrow
Shehzad has 16 years’ experience in regenerating neighbourhoods and town centres through economic development, community development and placemaking. He also has experience of programme and project management, setting up partnerships with stakeholders (public, private and C&VS), securing and attracting funding, and consultation. Shehzad has worked on the South Kilburn New Deal for Communities programme, Southall Big Plan, Acton Town Hall development (now Everyone Active Acton Centre) and is currently working on an exciting economic development and regeneration programme to ‘build a better Harrow'.
Joe Baker
Head of Carbon Management, LB Haringey
As a passionate environmental professional, Joe has over 15 years’ extensive and successful experience in London local government. Having worked at LB Barking & Dagenham and Westminster City Council, he started in Haringey in 2015 as Head of Carbon Management. The team’s objective is to deliver a Zero Carbon borough by 2050, leading as a council and working with borough stakeholders to deliver a sustainable future alongside economic growth. Joe’s team has responsibility for energy procurement and generation, housing retrofit programmes, zero-emission transport, and ensuring low carbon regeneration.
Gemma Bourne
General Manager – Sustainability, Lendlease
I’m passionate about understanding how the built environment can unlock opportunity for everyone in society. In my 12 years in consultancy, public and private sector organisations, I’ve been increasingly driven by delivering these opportunities. In the last six years, I’ve been at Lendlease working in construction, development and managing some of our not-for-profit businesses, all with a focus on social and environmental sustainability. I’m a Chemist turned Chartered Environmentalist who didn’t start out thinking about a career in the built environment, but now I’m motivated by the opportunity it can provide for everyone.
Matthew Dibben
Head of Employment, Skills & Enterprise, LB Brent
I joined Brent Council in 2015 to lead the employment, skills and enterprise agenda, supporting economic growth and socio-economic outcomes from regeneration in the local area. This includes management of the adult education service that supports circa 3,000 learners each year with key basic skills, a range of employment services and contracts, as well as activities to enable businesses to succeed in the borough, including regeneration of Brent’s town centres, supply chain activity, inward investment and place marketing. I have 10 years of experience in local authorities, focused on regeneration, economic development, environmental sustainability, and public health.
Neil Fenton
Head of Performance & Development, LB Lambeth
Neil has over 20 years in the customer experience field across the private and public sector. At Lambeth, he has focused on transformation work to consolidate customer engagement activities and champion channel shift within his directorate. He currently heads up the Parking Service and is responsible for the provision of on-street and CCTV equipment and enforcement activities, as well as developing policy and responding to statutory correspondence. He is currently working to transform public perception of parking and to look at how to discourage car ownership to tackle the ever growing issue of poor air quality in London.
Lee Georgiou
Housing Needs & Refugee Services Manager, LB Lewisham
I have over 20 years’ experience in the public sector, predominately in Homelessness and the Housing Revenue Accounts. I am currently strategic and operational lead for Housing Needs and Refugee Services, overseeing more than 80 staff and managing a large budget. Following the enactment of the Homelessness Reduction Act, I am leading my services through cultural, structural and digital transformational change. Outside of my primary role, I sit on a panel of referees for the Local Government Association dealing with local connection disputes. I am also a Trustee for Emmaus Medway, a Homelessness Charity Community.
David Harley
Head of Regeneration, Be First

I am currently Head of Regeneration at LB Barking & Dagenham where I have worked in various planning/regeneration roles since 1999. My current role covers estate renewal, new-build housing, inward investment, physical development/major projects, town centre regeneration and economic development. In October 2017, I transfer into Barking & Dagenham Council’s new private regeneration company, Be First. I am a Chartered Town planner with a Geography degree and Environmental Planning Masters. I am also a Director of Barking Enterprise Centres Community Interest Company.

Kieron Hyams
Associate Director – Planning, Policy & Economics, Arup

An economist and chartered town planner with sector-leading UK planning research and advisory experience, Kieron has led more than 35 studies for DCLG, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to shape and improve planning policy, practice and legislation. He delivers management, process, structure and resource reviews providing applied management consultancy to local authorities, and directs socio-economic studies on plan making, transport, forecasting, infrastructure and economic development. This has included acting as an International Expert for OECD missions and projects in Europe, the Middle East and South Africa. (Promoted from Associate during LP5)

Richard Irish
Finance Director, London Legacy Development Corp.

Richard has worked across a range of organisations, including a ‘Big Four’ accounting firm, and has an extensive understanding of the inner workings of public sector finance functions and the unique pressures they face. At LLDC, Richard is responsible for leading part of the Finance directorate and has an excellent insight into one of the largest and most unique regeneration projects in London. (Promoted from Controller during LP5)

Vicky Joseph
Operations Manager, Notting Hill Housing
With more than 20 years’ experience in social housing, I lead a team of seven managers who run 24-hour extra care services, floating support and day services in West London. The role is focused on the delivery of high-quality, safe care and support services. In leading theses services, I work closely with my internal colleagues and commissioners to ensure that our services meet key performance indicators. My focus is on continually improving our standards whilst mitigating risks. A key aspect of the role is delivering change through the commissioning and decommissioning of services. I hold a BA Hons degree in Housing Management and Development.
Joe Marshall
Head of Business Development, Catalyst
My role at Catalyst requires me to identify and lead the bidding for new opportunities which contribute to the growth and development of the business. I am responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with key external partners and inspiring confidence amongst colleagues. Prior to joining Catalyst, I enjoyed a variety of different roles within a specialist supported housing association, ranging from operational housing management to implementing new supported housing schemes.
Bruce McVean
Strategic Transportation Group Manager, City of London
For over 15 years, Bruce’s career has involved exploring and promoting the social, economic and environmental benefits of safe and attractive urban environments and sustainable transport. He leads the development of transport policy for the City of London, with the aim of ensuring the Square Mile remains a great place to live, work, invest and visit. Previous roles include Principal Strategy Planner at Transport for London, Associate Director at Beyond Green and Senior Policy Advisor at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE). Bruce is a Trustee of Living Streets and a member of the Sustrans London Advisory Board.
Stephen Morris
Associate, Pollard Thomas Edwards
I have been working as an Architect in Dublin and London for almost 14 years, in sectors including hospitality, commercial and residential. Since joining Pollard Thomas Edwards in 2010, my focus has been residential-led developments, including large-scale masterplans, consultation-led estate regenerations and most recently housing for our older population. In my current role, I manage our portfolio of housing for older people, or people in their ‘Third Age’, which includes homes for down-sizers, co-housing developments and retirement communities, right through to end-of-life care for those suffering from dementia.
Richard Murrell
Senior Development Manager, Peabody
I have worked for more than 10 years in the public and private sectors, delivering complex brownfield regeneration projects. My role in the Development team at Peabody includes taking schemes from concept stage through planning and managing the construction process. I am leading on our proposals for the redevelopment of the Borough Triangle, a key site that forms part of the ongoing £3bn transformation of the Elephant & Castle area. I previously worked for a large London-based residential developer, managed an area team for a London local authority and provided development advice on a consultancy basis.
Mandar Puranik
Area Renewal & Regeneration Programme Manager, LB Sutton
I joined Sutton in early 2016. My work includes a diverse portfolio of coordinating investment of over £7m as part of the ‘Beddington Programme’ which covers Sutton’s Strategic Industrial Land and Beddington North neighbourhood. At Sutton Town Centre, I programme-manage the Heritage Action Zone and advice on regeneration projects. Prior to Sutton, I worked at Design Council Cabe; led urban design and planning of Whitehill & Bordon green town in Hampshire, implementing exemplar demonstration projects; and was principal urban designer at LB Tower Hamlets.
Alayna Stapleton
Development Manager and Estates Surveyor, LB Redbridge
I have worked in LB Redbridge’s Estates team for the last 15 years, involved in all aspects of the estate and asset management of council land and property including major disposals, cross-service initiatives and management of its investment portfolio. I am working on key projects to help move the council towards financial self-sufficiency, including a major investment acquisition programme and rationalisation of our estate under a new corporate landlord structure. I am also leading on the establishment and implementation of Redbridge’s new development company, which is tasked with undertaking housing development to generate income and assist with housing supply.
Ellen Storrar
Senior Policy Officer (Housing), Greater London Authority
I joined the GLA in February 2017 after four years in corporate policy at LB Waltham Forest, where I led projects including supporting the Waltham Forest Growth Commission to gather economic evidence, make recommendations and set a blueprint for the borough’s economy for the coming years. I was responsible for developing the council’s four-year economic growth strategy, and was part of the team that project-managed the re-opening of Lea Bridge Station after 30 years. At the GLA, I support the development and implementation of the Mayor’s housing strategy and policies, and focus on construction skills, precision-manufactured homes and leasehold issues.
Andrew Turner
Project Director, Argent
Since joining Argent in 2014, Andrew has worked primarily on the regeneration of Brent Cross in North London, a Joint Venture with LB Barnet. Having led the bid team and business plan development for three years, he now directs the placemaking, public realm and ground-floor uses. He chairs the Argent Placemaking Forum, an initiative to explore the relationship between social and economic value in urban regeneration. Before coming to London, he worked at BRIDGE Housing, California’s largest affordable housing developer. Andrew holds a Master’s in Local Economic Development from LSE and a Bachelor’s in Urban Studies from University of Pennsylvania.

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