Citizens' Assembly speaker profiles 2

John Whitelegg

John WhiteleggJohn is visiting professor, School of the Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University and an associate of the German transport research organisation Zentrum fuer Mobilitätskultur in Kassel in Germany. He has authored 11 books on sustainable transport and related issues and his latest book Mobility: A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future was published in September 2015. He has worked on sustainable transport projects in India, China, Australia, Germany, Sweden and Slovenia and on the same subjects with the European Parliament and European Commission.

John is the technical author of the world's first technical standard on reducing demand for private motorised transport, published by the British Standards Institution. He is a former member of the International Advisory Board of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy in Germany and an adviser on road safety and promoting active travel to reduce obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease to the World Health Organisation in Geneva.

He is a board member of the Californian organisation Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities. He is the founding editor of the journal World Transport Policy and Practice. In September 2020, John was appointed to the position of fellow in transport and climate change by the (UK) Foundation for Integrated Transport.


Margaret Burden

After working for 25 years in a very wide range of organisations and roles within the private sector (ranging from a bookshop to selling furnace linings in Romania) Margaret found her true home within the voluntary sector when she joined CSV (now known as Volunteering Matters) in 1992. For 10 years she was director of innovations before working as manager for an Oxford based grant giving homeless charity.

Meanwhile, services and support for so many vulnerable groups in her community (Chipping Norton) were being decimated, including local bus services. Joining up with others who were equally concerned, we started campaigning against the withdrawal of bus subsidies. 18 months later we had set up a charitable community benefit society and within 2 months started running our first bus service in January 2017. She is a founder Director of West Oxfordshire Community Transport and the current Chair. Margaret also volunteers time to manage the organisation on a daily basis.


John Hultén

John HultenJohn Hultén is director of K2, the Swedish knowledge centre for public transport. He holds a PhD in political science from Lund University and has previously worked with strategic transport planning at regional and national level, including positions as chief strategist at the Swedish Transport Administration and advisor at the Swedish Government, Ministry of Transport.


Professor Sir Dieter Helm

Professor Sir Dieter HelmSir Dieter Helm is professor of economic policy, University of Oxford and Fellow in Economics, New College, Oxford. He was independent chair of the Natural Capital Committee (2012–20), providing advice to the government on the sustainable use of natural capital, and feeding into its 25 Year Environment Plan. In the New Year 2021 Honours List, Dieter was awarded a knighthood for services to the environment, energy and utilities policy.

He has written many books, most recently Net Zero (paperback edition, September 2021, William Collins) in which he addresses the action we all need to take to tackle the climate emergency.

His other books include: Green & Prosperous Land (2019, William Collins), Burn Out: The Endgame for Fossil Fuels (2017), The Carbon Crunch: Revised and Updated (2015) and Natural Capital: Valuing the Planet (2016), all published by Yale University Press.

Dieter is honorary vice president of the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust.


Sarah Faulkner

Sarah FaulknerSarah joined the NFU in 2005 having previously worked for the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) and Powys County Council.

She is currently NFU regional policy manager covering West and East Midlands, in charge of policy work, direction and strategy across the regions and also oversees campaigning.

Before that, she worked as NFU environment and rural affairs adviser.

Dedicated to providing West Midlands' farmers and growers with objective, professional regulatory and policy advice on a wide range of farming and land management issues, Sarah is a chartered environmentalist and RICS member.

She liaises with West Midlands' stakeholders on regional initiatives and also works with members to resolve a range of individual sector problems and issues.

Professional skills extend to practical on-farm management advice and environmental management in industry.


Bill Quan

Bill QuanBill runs a first generation farming business at Pontrilas with his wife Gina growing a variety of combinable crops and potatoes, and rearing pedigree Hereford and Limousin cattle, and sheep.

The family business is also heavily involved with countryside stewardship, HLS and educational access for school children.

Bill became Herefordshire NFU chairman in 2020 having previously served as deputy county chairman.


Dr Andrew Prentis

Dr Andrew PrentisAndrew is a vet who works on environmental and sustainability projects, one of which is the Herefordshire 2030 project for the 99% Organisation.

Previously he spent most of his career in both clinical practice and academia in the UK and overseas.

He sits on the Ethics and Welfare Advisory Panel at the British Veterinary Association, is a board member for an animal hospital in India and is a member of the Greener Veterinary Practice working group with Vet Sustain.

His main professional interests are concerned with modelling the environmental impact of farming, food production and land use, and a multi centre research project looking at the ecological impact of the veterinary use of pesticides.


Ben Taylor-Davies

Ben Taylor-DaviesBen was born and raised on a farm in Ross-on-Wye before studying geography at Liverpool University. A job as an agronomist was going extremely well until 2012 when his son was involved in a horrific car accident, which changed everything, forever and had a huge impact on his mental health. A Nuffield scholarship in 2016 ensued where he studied blackgrass but much more than that was fortunate to travel the world and look at all aspects of farming. It was time to put the fun back into farming and his job and regenerate his mind. Regenerative agriculture and its principles have quite literally saved him.


Helen Stace

Helen StaceHelen has been CEO for Herefordshire Wildlife Trust (HWT) for the last 4 years, though she has worked for HWT for 8 years and worked alongside and supported the Trust since 1994.

Prior to the Trust, she spent her entire career working for government conservation agencies (Nature Conservancy Council, English Nature, Countryside Commission and Natural England), moving to Herefordshire to be lead conservation officer for Herefordshire with a special interest in river conservation. She also founded a local conservation charity and has served for many years on the board of the Malvern Hills Trust.


Emily O'Brien

Emily O'BrienEmily is an expert on food systems and a campaigner on food poverty and food and climate change. After working for many years at Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, she now works for Food Matters on the Sustainable Food Places programme, supporting food partnerships around the country.


Nick Read

Nick ReadNick is an Anglican priest and an agricultural chaplain with Borderlands Rural Chaplaincy. He combines chaplaincy with being director of the Brightspace Foundation, a charity focused on supporting Herefordshire's future sustainable development. He has a degree in agricultural science, a Master's Degree in forestry, an OBE for services to agriculture and is a fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society.

Nick's former roles include research fellow with the Technical Change Centre, looking at technology transfer in the biosciences; national food policy and research adviser for the NFU; co-founder and director of the Rural Stress Information Network, a charity supporting farming families suffering from stress; and chair of the West Midlands Rural Affairs Forum.

He is currently co-chair of the Herefordshire Green Network, chair of the Herefordshire Local Nature Partnership and was also chair of Farm Herefordshire which consists of 12 organisations working collaboratively to improve soil and water management within the county.


Andrew Lovegrove

Andrew LovegroveAndrew has been the chief finance officer (section 151 officer) at Herefordshire Council since March 2017. He is a qualified chartered accountant who started his career in public practice. After qualifying, he has worked in industry and the charity and registered social landlord sectors. He has worked in local government since 2004. He has held a number of non-executive director roles including nine years on the board of the Paradigm Housing Group.


Sarah-Joy Lewis

Sarah-Joy LewisSarah-Joy Lewis is a project director at Local Partnerships, working across a diverse range of projects including renewable energy infrastructure, local authority net zero planning and community engagement projects.

Sarah-Joy has been with Local Partnerships since January 2020 and has previously worked extensively with both local authorities and registered providers, as well as national governments. Sarah-Joy has supported clients with projects that include net zero trajectory development, climate action behaviour change and options appraisals.

Sarah-Joy began her career working in local authority homelessness, and has since worked in local authority commercialisation roles, has supported the development of local authority wholly owned companies and also delivered a range of projects to housing associations. She is experienced in providing critical friend support to organisations setting-up and delivering complex projects.


Christopher Hammond

Christopher HammondChristopher is the network membership director for UK100, the only network for locally elected leaders in the UK taking ambitious action to deliver net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Since joining the organisation in June 2021, Christopher has doubled the network and launched two new ambitious programmes: a climate leadership academy, a coaching programme for elected politicians and the Local Power in Action programme, that supports councils to overcome political barriers for delivering net zero.

Previously, Christopher served as the elected leader of Southampton City Council from 2018-2021. During his tenure as a councillor (2013-2022), he brokered an agreement that led to the country's first commercial shore power facility, devised a green city charter subsequently signed by 75 of the major city organisations and at the time, led the most extensive insourcing programme in the country. In addition to this, he prioritised investing in young people, tackling fuel poverty and food insecurity. In 2020, he was shortlisted for 'Leader of the Year' in the LGIU Councillor Awards.


Steve Burgess

Steve BurgessSteve has worked in transport planning and strategy for over 20 years and currently heads up Herefordshire Council's transport and access team. He is responsible for the development of the transport strategy, passenger transport services including public and school transport, community transport and road safety. Recent achievements include leading the Hereford transport strategy review in 2020, which identified a new strategy for Hereford in response to the declared climate emergency, preparation of the council's bus service improvement plan, which includes an £18m bid for service improvements and working with local transport providers to maintain services during the Covid pandemic.

Previous achievement include securing significant funding for transport through the local transport plan, local growth deal and access funding. Current projects include supporting community groups to assess feasibility for rural cycle greenways, a new rail station for Pontrilas and progressing a transport study for Kington. The main focus for 2022 will be working with consultants to develop the Hereford city masterplan, progressing an update of the local transport plan and taking forward the proposals set out in the bus service improvement plan.


Flo Churchill

Flo ChurchillFlo is a chartered town planner with over 30 years' experience. She has worked in local government including spells at Surrey Heath, Avon County Council and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar in the Outer Hebrides where she looked after planning and economic development. Flo then spent eight years in private practice ending her time as a director of planning for BNP Paribas. Since 2007, she has had an interim practice working only with local authorities, town and parish councils and not for profit organisations.

Flo is currently the planning advisor to the Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex and Kent Associations of Local Councils and she also advises the National Association of Local Councils on planning and related environmental matters. As a career interim, Flo has worked in over 30 organisations ranging from the largest to the smallest unitary authorities in England including Northumberland and Wiltshire to West Berkshire and Herefordshire, metropolitan councils, city authorities including the GLA and Sheffield City councils, to many borough and district councils all over the UK. She has been, since November 2021, the interim service director for economy and regulation at Herefordshire Council.