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CIPFA Property conference: Sustainability 2020

Sustainability Conference 2020

Stuart Nicholl, Head of Care Development, Safe As Houses

Stuart NichollStuart Nicoll finds himself now in a position where he can combine his public sector and private sector experience. He previously worked within the homeless services of a local authority before moving into the private sector. Stuart has since become the Non-Executive Chairman of Charis Foundation, a counselling charity, which he is committed to currently and moving forward. In his current role as Head Of Care Development, he is now able to call on his local authority experience and blend that with his private sector experience to assist in developing the most appropriate accommodation needed. He has a passion for working collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure future proofed, fit for purpose accommodation is developed in the right areas, and to accurately meet the demand. 

Stuart and the team at Safe As Houses have a real desire to be a positive disruptor in the housing market, to ensure all future housing is developed sustainably, ethically and efficiently. This asset-focused ethical financial approach will deliver sustainable outcomes for the housing needs of local authorities and the NHS.


Adam Cunnington, Chief Executive, Public Sector Plc

Adam_CunningtonAdam Cunnington has been Chief Executive of Public Sector Plc since 2011. Prior to joining Public Sector Plc Adam spent nine years at Land Securities as Development Director, heading up the 17 million sq. ft. Ebbsfleet Valley development in the Thames Gateway.

Public Sector Plc has partnerships with councils and housing associations across the country and is engaged in a broad range of property based projects to create value for its council partners in innovative and exciting ways: delivering zero carbon MMC housing, regeneration, development services and portfolio management. Having been involved since the early days of Public Sector Plc, Adam has been fortunate enough to build upon knowledge accumulated over his career and bring this to our unique way of doing business. Adam's vision is to be the best possible property partner to our colleagues in the public sector.


Dr Alison Knight, Executive Director – Neighbourhoods, Sandwell Council

Alison KnightAlison is the Executive Director of Neighbourhoods at Sandwell Council. The directorate covers a vast range of council services and functions across highways, regeneration and growth, planning, housing, leisure and communities. Alison has worked in local government for over 17 years and previously worked in further education and the private sector.

The Neighbourhoods Directorate leads on the council's regeneration, strategy and development and is also responsible for the climate change strategy for the borough which has wide ranging targets covering all aspects of sustainability. In addition, part of the economic reset and recovery work for the borough sits within Alison's remit, meaning that future investment and development needs to be focused on local jobs and wealth creation.

Alison will be taking on the Chairing of the ADEPT Sustainable Growth Board in the new year. ADEPT is the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport and is at the heart of delivering clean sustainable growth, tackling climate change at a local level. They manage projects that are fundamental to creating a more resilient inclusive and safe communities, economies and infrastructure.

Joseph Holmes, Executive Director and CFO, West Berkshire

Joseph HolmesJoseph Holmes is the Executive Director (Resources) and CFO at West Berkshire. 

He is responsible for the finance and property, HR, legal, IT, commissioning and customer services functions as well as leading the council's recovery programme from COVID-19. Prior to working at West Berkshire he held senior roles, and was CFO, at Winchester City Council and Slough Borough Council. 

Joseph is also a member of the CIPFA/LASAAC Local Authority Code Board.


Emma Harvey, Programme Director, Green Finance Institute

Emma Harvey

An experienced and passionate green finance specialist, Emma Harvey joined the Green Finance Institute in 2019. Emma leads a portfolio of coalitions and projects including the Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings, an industry-led collaboration with more than 150 individual members, focused on developing new financial products and solutions to help accelerate the decarbonisation of buildings.

Emma previously worked across several areas within Barclays Bank including product development, portfolio management and corporate debt structuring. Throughout this period she championed the green finance agenda, supporting the bank's first green bond issuance and pioneering the Barclays green home mortgage.

Professor Richard Smith, Chair, Centre for Partnering

Prof Richard SmithProf Smith has enjoyed various senior management positions in both public and private sectors. He has developed a variety of commercial skills within the defence sector and legal skills, qualifying as a barrister in 1978. In the second phase of his career, he founded Public Sector Plc, a private sector organisation using a new and innovative legal framework based on a cultural relationship between partners forming in advance of formal legal commitments. His work has been based on the notion of the market strengthening the public sector, not replacing it.

His work in the public/private partnering field formed part of the Public Sector Plc Government Pilot Partnership Network (PPN), established to consider Best Value and its introduction. This opportunity came about at the same time as evidence he presented to a House of Commons Select Committee. Currently he is in discussions with a number of universities to establish a Centre for Partnering (CfP) to undertake research programmes in this partnering field and to consider the positive impact it can have on delivering socio-economic benefits to local communities, particularly in the field of health.

This work builds upon his experience of setting up the Local Government Council Consortium Group, which was a a group of 22 councils that delivered a 'Commission' Report containing 11 recommendations on unlocking additional value from local authority property estates. Richard is an Honorary Professor at the University of Stirling and Chairman of CiP.

Dr Gemma Jerome, Director, Building With Nature

Dr Gemma Jerome

Dr Gemma Jerome is an environmental planner with a specialism in the delivery, management and maintenance of green infrastructure. She chairs the British Standards Institute panel for the emergent Biodiversity Net Gain standard, and sits on the advisory group for the Natural England Green Infrastructure Standards Project.

The Building with Nature initiative came out of a collaboration between Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT) and the University of the West of England (UWE). It was born out of a desire to have a proactive approach to nature-friendly development, sensitive to location and context, that cares about long-term maintenance and management. It was co-developed with users and potential beneficiaries - local authorities, private sector developers and citizens – and has been tested, proven and refined in multiple locations. Building with Nature is a values and mission-led company, wholly owned by a registered charity - the GWT. By supporting and championing best-practice, our mission is to mainstream green infrastructure in place-making in the UK, raising the bar for industry and maximising benefits for both people and the natural world.

Andrew Drury, MD HATC Ltd

Andrew DruryAndrew is a highly regarded and experienced property development and management practitioner, who has worked successfully in the affordable housing sector for over 30 years. Andrew has worked in housing association property development, maintenance and housing management since 1983.

In 1994 Andrew established a consultancy practice that incorporated as HATC Ltd in 2003. Andrew has provided strategy and policy advice, senior level interim management services, staff competency development and other support in delivering affordable housing projects and programmes.

Andrew is the author of several national publications dealing with HA Development issues, and operates at all levels, from business plan and strategy development to detailed programme and project management. Andrew has very successfully delivered training courses for over 25 years for the National Housing Federation and HATC. He was a member of Homes England's Design and Sustainability Panel from 2009 to 2013 and is a corresponding member of the RIBA Housing Group.

Andrew has been an active board member of four housing associations, most recently with an LSVT HA in Yorkshire, chairing the Audit and Performance Review Committee for four years.

Professor Andrew Hardy, CEO University Hospitals UHCW and CIPFA President

Andy HardyAndy is Chief Executive Officer of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW).  Andy was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2010.  For the six years prior to that he was Chief Finance Officer of UHCW, as well as Deputy Chief Executive Officer from 2008 – 2010.

In addition, Andy sits on a number of Boards including the following West Midlands Academic Health Service Network, CIPFA, Warwick Business School Faculty Advisory Board and NHS Elect.  

In January 2016 Andy was appointed Professor of Industry at the University of Warwick.  

In addition to his Chief Executive Officer role, Andy was appointed as Senior Responsible Officer of the Coventry & Warwickshire STP Footprint in March 2016.

Andy is also a Director of Albany Theatre Trust, Coventry. 

Ian Hutchcroft, Director, Energiesprong UK

Ian HutchcroftEnergiesprong is an approach to delivering net zero energy retrofit and new build homes, using offsite approaches, financed by savings and with performance guaranteed. Ian is part of the Energiesprong team adapting the Dutch developed approach for the UK market, working closely with teams in Netherlands, France and Germany. He is leading ground-breaking delivery projects across the UK, including the Mayor of London's Retrofit Accelerator Homes programme and the Zero Energy Buildings Catalyst project, and working with leading social landlords and industry partners to build a volume market.

Ian is also Chair of Plymouth Energy Community and has previously worked with leading NGOs, local authorities and architects developing low carbon solutions. He has won two Ashden Awards for sustainable energy innovation.

Professor Andy Phippen, Professor of Digital Rights at the Bournemouth University

Prof Andy PhippenProfessor Phippen is also visiting Professor at the University of Suffolk. 

He has specialised in the use of ICTs in social contexts and the intersection with legislation for over 15 years, carrying out a large amount of grass roots research on issues such as attitudes toward privacy and data protection, internet safety and contemporary issues such as sexting, peer abuse and the impact of digital technology on well-being. 

He has presented written and oral evidence to parliamentary inquiries related to the use and regulation of ICTs in society, is widely published in the area and is a frequent media commentator on these issues. 

Andrew Smith, Pillar Lead Research Environment and Sustainability, Crown Commercial Service

Andrew SmithAndrew joined CCS in 2018 as commercial lead in technology and carries with him three decades of tech sector experience working with global manufacturers through to SME consultancy services.

Andrew is now CCS's environmental and sustainability lead, enabling the joining of his two passions – tech and sustainability, working hard at delivering a better planet for all and helping on the relentless march towards carbon net zero.

Andrew works with central government departments, the NHS, local authorities, councils and cities and across all CCS agreements to support the development of long-term customer-focused solutions that can contribute to not just the public sector net zero journey but a long-term sustainable environment.