Mark has 30 years’ experience in construction and real estate and is a recognised international commentator on a variety of industry and policy related issues. Mark is a member of the Mayor of London’s Construction Skills Advisory Group, a board member for the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, a co-chair of Constructing Excellence, a vice chair of the ULI UK Residential Council, a trustee of the MOBIE educational charity and is an honorary professor at The University of Salford’s School of Built Environment.
Mark authored the Farmer Review, an influential 2016 independent government review of the UK’s construction labour model entitled ‘Modernise or Die’. He is a member of the Construction Innovation Hub Industry Board, The Construction Leadership Council Advisory Group and chairs the MHCLG joint industry working group tasked with enabling greater use of Modern Methods of Construction in the residential sector.
Nick Walkley, Chief Executive Officer Homes England
Nick is Chief Executive of Homes England, having become Chief Executive of its predecessor body in March 2017.
He leads the work to create the new organisation, focused on disrupting the land and residential funding market to increase and accelerate the supply of new homes.
Nick has had a senior career in Local Government, including Chief Executive roles at two London Boroughs as well as a range of sector roles at national level. He was rated 4th most influential in the LGC 100 and is an Inside Housing IH50 influencer.
Marvin Rees - Mayor of Bristol
Marvin Rees has worked in diverse areas throughout his career. He was a freelance journalist and radio presenter at BBC Radio Bristol and Ujima Radio. He was the Communications and Events Manager at Black Development Agency (now Phoenix Social Enterprise), an agency devoted to empowering individuals and communities through opportunities to work abroad.
Marvin Rees was employed in the city of Bristol as the Programme Manager for race equality in mental health issues at NHS Bristol. His experiences in the United States included work as an outreach assistant at the Sojourners Community and as a Youth Co-ordinator at Tearfund.
On 5 May 2016, Rees was elected Mayor of Bristol.
Jez Sweetland, Project Director, Bristol Housing Festival
Jez Sweetland is an experienced leader and has managed and initiated change and strategic development in a variety of settings and has worked across a wide range of key stakeholder relationships. He has led both corporate and charitable organisations and enjoyed the challenge of setting and achieving a mission (in partnership with others), affecting culture change and developing relationships.
He is resourceful, emotionally intelligent, entrepreneurial and has excellent organisational and communication skills. In previous job roles he acted as the CEO of Guildhall Chambers, a Barristers Chambers in Bristol, and CEO of a charitable national skills training organisation. His working career started in law where he qualified as a solicitor with Eversheds and then moved to Berwin Leighton Paisner in London where he spent nearly 4 years in their corporate finance department working on M&A transactions and a mix of private equity and public listings.
On leaving private legal practice he spent several years in broader management roles including setting up the operations of a new think tank before moving into his first CEO role.
Jez lives in Bristol, with his wife and 3 children (aged 12,8 and 8).
Tim Bowles, Metro Mayor
Tim was elected as the first Mayor for the West of England on May 4, 2017.
During his career, he has combined international business roles with public service in the West of England.
Born in East Africa, and raised in Somerset, before settling in Winterbourne, he has international experience working in business development, exports, sales and marketing. Having worked with small and medium-sized enterprises and global players, he is committed to supporting businesses of all sizes to achieve their full potential. His business background means he is passionate about the need to promote the West of England and its unique offering, including its global connections and a highly-skilled workforce, nationally and internationally.
Before his election as Mayor, Tim was part of South Gloucestershire Council’s leadership team, working across the organisation with particular focus on policy and resources. He was also a parish councillor, and chairman of Winterbourne Parish Council for many years.
He served 12 years as a governor of one of the largest secondary schools in the region, which led to his passionate belief that children should be encouraged to reach their full potential from a young age. He also sees lifelong skills development for all as essential to driving economic growth in the region.
On a personal level, Tim is committed to promoting the work of the Alzheimer’s Society and encouraging more people and organisations to sign up to become Dementia Friends. He is a very active member of his local community.
Frazer Osment, Director, LDA Design
Frazer Osment BA(Hons) MPhil CMLI is a Director and Owner of LDA Design leading the practice’s development and regeneration offer. Frazer is a talented and creative masterplanner and communicator with a particular strength in creating a consensus for change and building momentum behind delivery processes. He is a regular speaker on planning and design matters and is particularly interested in driving innovation in the design process to achieve outcomes that benefit people and the environment. He has a fresh and clear approach to problem solving and is prepared to challenge and disrupt conventional thinking.
Frazer has particular expertise in planning for and managing long term growth and has exceptional experience of aligning placemaking and delivery processes. He recently authored ‘Liveable Exeter’ which sets out a people-first vision for the city, highlighting the potential for a transformational housing delivery programme to renew infrastructure and meet community needs. Frazer initiated recent LDA Design ‘start ups’ in Bristol, Manchester and Cambridge and personally brought together the new Bristol team.
Richard Pendlebury - Chair
Richard Pendlebury MBE DL - Richard is the Chief Executive of the Anchor Society, a grant making charity serving older people in the greater Bristol region and chair of Bristol and Bath Regional Capital, a social investment Community Interest Company. Prior to this he established a number of charities including Changing Tunes, Emmaus Bristol and The Beacon Centre, Cardiff. Richard is an ordained minister in the Church of England.
Richard was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours 2009. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the County and City of Bristol in June 2010.
Paul Smith, Bristol City Council
Paul Smith is the Cabinet Member for Housing at Bristol City Council. Paul has worked in the housing and social enterprise sectors for 30 years. Paul's responsibilities include the management and improvement of the council's 27,000 homes, tackling homelessness, private sector regulation and the development of affordable homes in the city.
He has led two national charities as Chief Executive and is currently the Interim Director of Placeshapers a national network of housing associations committed to community investment. Paul is also a board member of Connexus Housing Group and sits on the advisory panel to the housing ombudsman.