Sir Richard Leese, Leader of the Council- Manchester City Council Richard Leese was elected to Manchester City Council in 1984. He became Leader of the Council in 1996.
Richard’s political interests include devolution, place-based budgets and the links between economic development and social policy, developing open democracy and the community leadership role of local authorities; and the role of cities in creating a sustainable future. He has a number of additional responsibilities including Director of Manchester Airport Holdings Ltd, Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Chair of the Association of Rail North Partner Authorities and Chair of the LGA City Regions Board
Mark Gregory, Chief Economist- EY Mark Gregory is the Chief Economist at EY in the UK & Ireland providing knowledge, analysis and insight to help businesses understand the economic environments in which they operate. He is a business economist with over 25 years’ experience in more than 40 countries as an advisor to the Governments and industry on economics, policy and regulation. This includes working with the Governments of Argentina and the World Bank to develop solutions to the debt and economic crisis in 1989 and 1990.
Mark is the sponsoring partner for EY’s Economics for Business Programme and EY ITEM Club, the UK’s leading independent economic forecast. Mark works with both the private and public sectors, supporting economic development, growth and regeneration. Mark is a key contributor to EY’s economic offering across the globe.
Mike Blackburn, Regional Director BT, and Chair Greater Manchester LEP Mike has been BT’s Regional Director since 2007. This role leads the NW board and aims to put BT at the heart of local communities. The board works to better understand and respond to the needs of local people and business, and to promote the NW inside BT.
Mike is also chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership which sits at the heart of Greater Manchester’s governance arrangements, ensuring that business leaders are empowered to set the strategic course, determine local economic priorities and drive growth and job creation within the city region. It works alongside and in partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), offering leadership, insight, guidance and constructive challenge to take forward our strategic ambitions.
Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive (GMCA) Eamonn Boylan was appointed Chief Executive of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority in January 2017. He played a key role in the development of the Housing Market Renewal Programme, the Northern Way Growth Strategy and, through his work with the Core Cities Group and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, in the emerging policy framework for city regions.
Eamonn takes the lead role on Investment and on Planning and Housing for the AGMA Wider Leadership Team.
Ed Cox, Director, IPPR North Ed has led IPPR North, IPPR's dedicated thinktank for the north of England, since 2009.
He was Deputy Chair of the Northern Economic Futures Commission, which set out the first comprehensive industrial strategy for the Northern economy in 2012. He has written over 20 reports on topics covering Northern schools, skills, banking, Brexit, devolution and health innovation. His work on transport laid down a blueprint for what has become Transport for the North and he chairs the Northern Ports, Freight and Logistics Forum. He is also a leading expert on devolution, having published the seminal report Decentralisation Decade and been a long-standing champion for metro mayors and other democratic reforms. He is a champion for a stronger Northern voice in national debates about economy and society.
Anthony Light, Director of City Services at Oxford Economics Anthony specialises in sub-national economic forecasting and analysis and is responsible for overseeing Oxford Economics’ suite of global city forecasting services and city consultancy projects. Anthony works for a broad range of clients across both the public and private sectors. He has led a number of major consultancy projects – recent examples include providing location advice to companies wishing to invest in European markets, an assessment of the likely impact of Brexit on UK cities and regions, and numerous city benchmarking studies.
Anthony monitors the Manchester economy and provides research support to GMCA. Prior to joining Oxford Economics in 2008, Anthony was Head of Economics at Experian Business Strategies. At Experian, Anthony led the Economic Forecasting Unit, with particular responsibility for producing national and regional economic forecasts. Anthony graduated from the University of Surrey in 1999, where he obtained a BSc (Hons) in Economics and Sociology. He is a member of the Society of Business Economists.
Joanne Roney, Chief Executive, Manchester City Council Joanne has been the chief executive of Manchester City Council since April 2017. She was previously chief executive of Wakefield Metropolitan Borough Council, where she held the top post from 2008.
Her career started in local government as an apprentice with Birmingham City Council at 16 and has a strong track record in transforming public services and delivering major regeneration initiatives such as the Hepworth Gallery Wakefield and Parkhill Housing in Sheffield. Joanne has also previously worked as Director of Housing at Kirklees Council and Executive Director with responsibility for housing, communities and adult care services at Sheffield City Council. She has a long standing career in housing and local government and is a Fellow of CIH and a regular contributor to Inside Housing.
Joanne is a Trustee of the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, established in the wake of the Manchester Arena attack, to provide financial support to victims and families affected.
Joanne was awarded the OBE for services to local government in 2009.
Nigel Foster – Director of Strategy, Transport for the North Nigel Foster joined Transport for the North in July 2016 as Director of Strategy. Before joining TfN he worked for 25 years at the global consulting firm Arup, in London and in their Leeds and York offices, leading the planning and transport businesses in the UK, Middle East and Africa, and Consulting in the North.
Following that role, he helped set up a new company called Fore Consulting with colleagues from Arup, and he has had a range of non-executive director roles in the public and private sectors.
Steve Rumbelow, Chief Executive of Rochdale Borough Council Steve Rumbelow has led Rochdale Borough Council since December 2014, having previously been Chief Executive of Burnley Borough Council.
During his time at Rochdale, Steve has played a key role in the continuing £250m regeneration of Rochdale town centre, as well as positioning Rochdale as one of the most ambitious places in Greater Manchester.
Since his appointment, Rochdale has been at the forefront of proposals to create 15,000 new homes and 19,000 new jobs as part of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. The borough’s Northern Gateway proposals, to turn land on the M62 corridor into prime employment sites, represent the biggest employment opportunity in the entire city region.
Steve is also the lead chief executive on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority for Planning, Housing and Homelessness.
Jean Stretton, Leader, Oldham Council Jean Stretton became Oldham Council Leader on January 27, 2016, succeeding Jim McMahon who she had served as Deputy Leader since 2014. In June 2016, she was given the newly-created Fairness, Equalities and Cohesion portfolio in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) following the devolution of more powers from a fourth agreement with Government. Cllr Stretton's remit includes the Inclusive Growth agenda.
Jean believes everyone who lives and works in GM should be able to benefit from our growing economy and transformed local services – and that there are big challenges which need tackling to improve life for people in every part of our city region.
Donna Hall, Chief Executive, Wigan Council Donna Hall has been Chief Executive at Wigan, the second largest council in Greater Manchester for the last five years. Despite being the third worst affected UK council by cuts of £100 million, Wigan has been voted by 72% of its staff as the best council to work for in the UK.
Donna leads on Public Service Reform in Greater Manchester and was awarded a CBE for services to local government in 2009. Donna initiated a major programme of reform in partnership with residents, The Wigan Deal. She is a passionate feminist and last year won Transformational Leader at the Northern Power Women Awards
Steve Connor, Co-founder, Creative Councern Steve co-founded the full service agency Creative Concern in 2002 in the belief that inventive, high impact communications could help to make the world a better place. Fourteen years on and he works with a team of 30 people who prove the case. Whether it’s transforming the image of a place, combatting climate change, fighting food waste or finding foster parents, strong campaign and branding solutions are key.
Steve started out as a writer and media spokesperson and before starting Creative Concern he worked as communications director for a sustainability think tank and before that, as head of campaigns for a national charity. Currently his key clients include the Homes and Communities Agency, Forestry Commission, Asda, Manchester City Council, the University of Manchester, Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce and the national transport charity, Sustrans.
Jill Rubery, Professor of Comparative Employment Systems and Director of the Work and Equalities Institute, Alliance Manchester Business School.
Jill Rubery is Professor of Comparative Employment Systems and Director of the Work and Equalities Institute at Alliance Manchester Business School. The Institute develops world-leading interdisciplinary research focused around four key themes: business transformation and work futures, fair treatment at work, inequalities and the life course, and regulation and representation.
Professor Rubery’s own research focuses on comparative analysis of employment systems, including wage structures and payment systems, working time arrangements, welfare systems and gender regimes. She has acted as a consultant and collaborator with many international organisations including the EU, the International Labour Organisation, and the United Nations.
Dr. Anthony Rafferty, Senior Lecturer (PMO) Division, Alliance Manchester Business School.
Dr Anthony Rafferty is Senior Lecturer in Employment Studies at Alliance Manchester Business School and is also a senior researcher at the Inclusive Growth Analysis Unit at the University of Manchester.
His current research chiefly concerns issues surrounding sustainable and inclusive economic growth, human resource management, and labour market inequalities. He has undertaken advisory roles or research consultancy for a variety of organisations including the International Labour Organisation, the European Institute for Gender Equality, the UK Commission for Skills and Employment, and the UK Research Council. He has also acted as an expert advisor to the UK government on employment and welfare reform issues.
Gary McIndoe, Solicitor, Latitude Law
Gary is the founder and managing director of specialist business immigration law firm, Latitude Law. Helping businesses across the UK to retain and attract outstanding international talent since 2007, Latitude boasts the largest dedicated business immigration team in the north of England. Following the Brexit vote last year, Gary and his team have been busy providing strategic advice and support to businesses concerned about their ability to recruit and retain international employees, both now and in the post-EU commercial environment. Gary is also a contributing author to the recently released book: 'Doing Business After Brexit.
Todd Holden, Director Low Carbon and Social Inclusion, The Growth Company
Having spent over 20 years working in Greater Manchester’s not for profit sector delivering environmental support to businesses, Todd is now leading on The Growth Company’s Social Value agenda, which aims to ensure that economic growth benefits the communities where its generated. As the Director for Low Carbon he is a key member of the GM’s Low Carbon Hub, which spearheads and promotes low-carbon investment and sustainable growth in local businesses. Todd is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a registered Environmental Practitioner with the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.
Dr Rory Shand, Senior Lecturer, Public Services and Programme Leader for Politics and Public Services, Manchester Metropolitan University
His research interests focus on governance networks and delivering regeneration initiatives.
Rory gained his PhD from the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield in 2011, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) which was a comparative study of regeneration initiatives in the UK and Germany, focused on the role of communities, sustainability, and partnership delivery.
He is author of Governing Sustainable Urban Renewal: Partnerships in Action (Routledge, 2013) and The Governance of Sustainable Rural Renewal: A Comparative Global Perspective (Routledge, 2016) Retirement, Pensions and Justice (Hyde and Shand, 2017) with Palgrave MacMillan, and Sport, Community Regeneration, Governance and Development (2017) with Routledge.
He has published in several titles including Political Studies Review, Policy Studies and International Labour Review, looking at governance and also social policy issues, and contributed to a Palgrave edited work on Social Divisions (2013). He has worked on funded projects from the ESRC and HEFCE and has worked with the Department for Communities and Local Government on designing community regeneration mechanisms, and various think tanks, and has most recently worked with a local authority in Greater Manchester.
Oliver Chapman, Associate Director, Regeneris Consulting Oliver Chapman is an Associate Director at Regeneris Consulting, specialising in labour markets and skills. He works with a range of clients, including Local Enterprise Partnerships, FE Colleges and developers to understand skill needs and labour market challenges and develop strategies to address them. Recent projects include the Science Industry Partnership Skills Strategy, a national strategy to address the skill needs of science employers and a strategy to maximise the employment and skills benefits from HS2 in Cheshire and Stoke and Staffordshire (the Constellation Partnership).
Suzanne Benson, Partner, Trowers & Hamlin Suzanne is a Partner in Trowers & Hamlins' Manchester office and leads our north west Real Estate practice. She specialises in the development of home ownership products and acts as lead advisor to the Homes and Communities Agency in relation to all of its grant funded sale products, including the shared ownership lease and most recently the £9 billion Help to Buy programme.
On a wider basis, Suzanne advises clients on large scale property projects, including public private partnerships and regeneration schemes, Suzanne is also the partner in charge of our Residential Sales team in Manchester. Suzanne is named as a Leading Individual in both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 and was named 'Lawyer of the Year' in the 2014 Women in Construction Awards.
Kirsty Styles, Talent and skills lead, Tech North
Until 2016, Kirsty worked as a technology journalist, editor, economics podcaster and campaigner in East London, but she recently headed back home to head up the talent and skills programme for DCMS-backed Tech North.
It's her job to help us establish what our 'digital skills crisis' looks like in the North and work with others to do something about it, and she's already been recognised in the Northern Power Women Future List for 2017. So far, her work has included creating the Northern Voices speaker training programme to make women in the northern tech industry more visible, and completing the Upskill accelerator programme to help digital skills providers train more people, more quickly.
Guy Butler, Director, Glenbrook Property
Guy founded his career with 15 years at Grosvenor based in London. He worked on three main projects - Festival Place Basingstoke, Liverpool ONE and a £1bn development in Mayfair. His expertise spans the whole investment and development process, from funding, purchase and sale, through to design, planning, financial appraisal and leasing. Guy read Land Management at Reading University and European Property Investment at City University, regularly presenting on the development process to academia, such as Cambridge University and Oxford Brookes University. Guy is Chairman of the Chester Growth Partnership and a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Richard Farnell, Leader, Rochdale Council & Councillor for Balderstone & Kirkholt
Councillor Richard Farnell retired from Liverpool City Council where he ran their Press Office and was an advisor to the directlyelected Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson. Richard was elected a Labour councillor for Balderstone and Kirkholt ward in 2012. Richard was previously Leader of the Council in the 1980s and was re-elected Leader of the Labour Group and Leader of the Council in May 2014 and is responsible for the policy direction of the council and also for regeneration and special projects. Richard, as a member of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, was appointed by the new major of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham in May 2017 as the City’s Region’s Lead for the Digital Economy. Richard also serves as national vice-chair of the Cooperative Councils Innovative Network. Regeneration of the boroughs town centres, attracting new firms and jobs to the area, and improving education, skills and opportunities for young people are major priorities for the Leader. Richard also wants to see Rochdale Council become one of most customer-friendly councils in the country.