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.
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
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