About

An experienced Chairman and business leader, I bring tremendous drive, energy and creativity to all my roles, with a dynamic track record in leading successful teams to improve organisational performance.  Politically astute and experienced in creating relationships at the highest levels, I’m a well respected facilitator and leader, with excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Throughout my career I have developed and maintained strong credibility as a highly effective regional, national and international leader and demonstrated my clear commitment to the public sector values of accountability, fairness, openness and transparency.

History

2014-Present Lay Member of the Royal College of Anaesthetists

2014- Present Chair of Hanover Housing Association

2013-Present Board Member of Passenger Focus

2011-Present Chair of the Directors of The Wesley

2005 – 2013  Chair of the Commission for Rural Communities

2004 – 2010  Rural Advocate to the Government – an appointment of the Prime Minister

2004 – 2005   Chair of the Countryside Agency

Key achievements during this time include:

  • Management of change process when the Countryside Agency was dissolved and new bodies, including Natural England and the Commission for Rural Communities, were established.
  • Establishing a credible, well known and focused Commission for Rural Communities.
  • Leading the formulation and promulgation of the Commission’s strategy and raising the profile of Rural Communities within the Government and across the political parties.
  • Establishing and leading an effective Board of Commissioners for the organisation.
  • Producing the annual ‘State of the Countryside’ report.
  • Responding to the Prime Minister who invited me to report to him on the future of the Rural Economy – known as the ‘Burgess Report’.
  • Producing a report on the future of the Upland Communities for the Prime Minister.
  • Production and targeted dissemination of a number of reports including affordable housing, digital inclusion, a participation inquiry, as well as health and transport issues.
  • Making regular Rural Advocate visits around the country and, when necessary, responding to particular needs such as foot and mouth and the flooding in Cumbria.
  • Developing and maintaining an effective relationship with the Executive, including recruitment of a new CEO and a new management team.  Ensuring Non Executive and Executive roles and responsibilities are properly fulfilled.

2004 – Present     Member of the Ethics Committee of the Department of Work and Pensions.

2004 – 2010    Member of the University Court of the University of Nottingham.

2000 – 2006    Chair of the Inter Faith group for the Safer Neighbourhood Scheme for the Metropolitan Police for the London Boroughs – concerned with community cohesion.

2004 – 2007        Chair of the Patient Liaison Group for the British Medical Association. This involved establishing a new group around concerns and issues of patients.

1999                    President of the Methodist Church of Great Britain (equivalent to the Archbishop of Canterbury).

1995 – 2004        Member of the University Court – University of Hull.

1989 – 2004        Regional leader of the Methodist Church in Yorkshire (equivalent to the Archbishop of York).

Achievements during this time include:

  • Working with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, the President of the World Bank, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Gordon Brown) the Secretary General of the United Nations and the Presidents of Zambia and Malawi concerning debt cancellation.  One of the main achievements was taking Stephen Timms  – then in the Treasury – to Malawi to put in place a package for debt cancellation.
  • Working with Lord Stevens when he was Metropolitan Police Commissioner, to work out compensation for the Lawrence family after the death of their son Stephen.
  • Acting as a confidential messenger between the political leaders in Ireland.
  • Starting, and seeing through, the signing of a Covenant between the Church of England and the Methodist church – signed in London in the presence of HM The Queen in 2003.

1981 – 89            Chaplain to the University of Birmingham

1970 – 81            Chaplain to the University of Nottingham

Achievements during this time include:

  • Founding the Nottinghamshire Hospice
  • Founding the St Andrews House – a home for the mentally vulnerable
  • Establishing the Stirchley Community Centre in Birmingham

Education

2008                    Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa University of Gloucestershire

2006                    Freedom of the City of London

2006                    Doctor of University honoris causa University of Birmingham

2004                    Doctor of Divinity Lambeth

2003                    Fellow of York St John University

2002                    Doctor of Divinity Honoris Causa   University of Hull

1989                    MA Honoris Causa University of Birmingham

1978                    Master of Education Nottingham University

1973                    Master of Theology Nottingham University

1969                    Bachelor of Divinity London University

Awarded the CBE in the Birthday honours 2009

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