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West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Plans 2014

Wednesday, 24th September 2014 @ 1530hrs - 1900hrs

Civic Hall, Leeds, Calverley St, LS1 1UR

West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Plans 2014 | Event

FIVE of West Yorkshire’s top Combined Authority figures will be presenting their development/investment plans for the next couple of years!

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Event Sponsored by:          Programme Sponsored by: 

carillion   Morgan Sindall

Event Format

  • 1530 – 1645; Networking with Wine, Beer and Soft Drinks
  • 1645 – 1815; Speaker Presentations
  • 1815 – 1900; Networking with Hot Food, Wine, Beer and Soft Drinks
  • 1900 – 2200; National Sponsor’s Dinner (INVITE ONLY)


Jonathan Riley; Partner, Pinsent MasonsRiley Jonathan

Jon is a partner in the UK’s largest and top-ranked planning law team at global law firm Pinsent Masons LLP. He advises on some of UK’s largest developments including sports stadia, shopping centres, new towns and power stations. The scale of those projects often demands significant improvements to transport infrastructure and collaboration between multiple Councils and developers. Examples in Yorkshire include Trinity Leeds and Victoria Gate, Westfield’s The Broadway, 7,000 new homes in the East Leeds Extension, the White Rose Carbon Capture and Storage Project at Drax, Catterick Garrison town centre and York College. Nationally, Jon’s work includes advising three host Councils on EDF’s nuclear new build at Hinkley Point C, a campus extension for a major university and a new community of 5,000 homes in South Gloucestershire.

Jon is a regular commentator on transport issues, most recently in The Smith Institute’s Making global connections: the potential of the UK’s regional airports.  He’s also Chair of the Bradford Property Forum. Jon formerly combined private practice with being a lecturer in law at Keble College, Oxford.


Tom Riordan; Chief Executive, Leeds City CouncilTom Riordan

The youngest ever Chief Executive of Leeds City Council, Tom has helped set ambitious Best City and ‘Best Council’ goals. Together with the Leader, and working across all political groups, since 2010 he has overseen the construction of a state-of-the-art Arena, helped secure the Tour de France Grand Départ for Yorkshire and made £200m of savings to deal with reduced government funding and increased demand, while protecting key services to vulnerable groups.

Tom has come full circle from a North Yorkshire state education, via Oxford’s Trinity College, followed by a Civil Service fast stream career and leading the Regional Development Agency Yorkshire Forward. Tom gained a distinction in a Business Administration Masters at Imperial College in 1997 and holds an honorary degree from Bradford University.

Ever forward-looking, Tom supported Councillor Wakefield in his role as Chair of the Commission for the future of Local Government, is on the Centre for Cities Board of trustees and is engaged in the “Leaders for Leeds” civic enterprise network.

Joanne Roney; Chief Executive, Wakefield CouncilJoanne Roney

Joanne was born in Birmingham.  She started her career in local government as an apprentice at 16.  Her career specialised in Housing & Regeneration.  She has worked for the voluntary sector, private sector and local government.  Spending 10 years, up until 2008 as Executive Director at Sheffield City Council, responsible for neighbourhood regeneration, housing investment and adult social care which included overseeing the redevelopment plans for Parkhill.

Since 2008 she has been Chief Executive of Wakefield, a Metropolitan District Council in West Yorkshire with a population of 326,000. In response to the economic recession the council embarked on an organisational development and financial strategy called ‘Catalyst Council’ which has delivered over £70M of savings and service innovations including a PFI on waste management.

Despite the economic context Wakefield has seen the completion of major regeneration projects including Trinity Walk Shopping Centre and the Hepworth Gallery and in 2013 the opening of Wakefield One, the Council’s ‘one stop shop’ and new headquarters – significantly repositioning the reputation and economic competitiveness of the city, nationally and regionally.

Joanne has an MBA from Birmingham University, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing (FCIH) and a regional council member of the Princes’ Trust. As a member of Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Board, Joanne has regional lead role for skills.  As the Regional Returning Officer she sits on the national electoral steering groups with the Electoral Commission and the Cabinet Office.  She is also a member of the National Housing Advisory Panel. Joanne was awarded an OBE in 2009 for her services to local government. In 2012 Joanne was awarded a Women in Business Award in Yorkshire and Humber.

Adrian Lythgo; Chief Executive, Kirklees Counciladrian Lythgo

Adrian was appointed Chief Executive of Kirklees Council in July 2010.

His twin focus has been to strengthen the Council’s focus on the local economy and relationships with business, particularly with manufacturing and engineering companies which drive the local economy, and to modernise the Council’s approach to commissioning and service delivery. A key feature of that focus is to strengthen the relationship between schools and local employers with relation to skills and employability and to foster strategic commissioning of health and social care for both children and adults within the local health service.

He is passionate about the difference that effective community leadership can make to local people’s quality of life.  He continues to pursue the Council’s established approach of celebrating the diversity of Kirklees in all its different aspects.

He is also Head of Paid service for the proposed West Yorkshire and York Combined Authority which will oversee devolution of power from Whitehall on Transport and Economic Development.  In this role, he works closely with local authority Leaders and Chief Executives on a collaborative approach to this devolution.

Prior to becoming Kirklees Chief Executive, he was the council’s Director of Finance and Performance having joined the council in 2009.  During this time, he conceived and led the Council’s “innovation and efficiency” programme.

Prior to joining Kirklees, Adrian spent 10 years with KPMG where he was an Associate Partner in Leeds where most recently he was responsible for the firm’s public sector offer, advising Universities, NHS bodies and Colleges as well as  providing services to local authorities.  He was the national lead for the firm’s assurance advisory services.

Previously he had a broadly based career in the public sector, including time at the Audit Commission where he was involved in the development of inspection and policy development in addition to statutory audit responsibilities for public sector clients.  He is also Honorary Secretary of the Society of Metropolitan Chief Executives.

He is married with two children and lives close to Huddersfield, 1,000ft up in the Pennines.  Mountain sports and rugby dominate his free time.  He is a school Governor and co-opted member of Leeds City College.

Tony Reeves; Chief Executive, Bradford Counciltony reeves

Since becoming chief executive of City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Tony has worked with Political Leaders, colleagues and a wide range of partners to focus on the long term challenges of repositioning the city and district regionally and nationally.  He has progressed major programmes of regeneration, significantly strengthened the leadership of education in the district, and worked in partnership with employers to help create the skilled and agile workforce needed for Bradford to be a truly competitive city in the 21st Century.

Tony has used his extensive experience of public and private sector partnership, gained through working for a number of Yorkshire councils on all aspects of housing and urban regeneration, including involvement in the regeneration of former coalfield communities.

Tony has built Bradford’s reputation as a ‘can do council,’ working in partnership with businesses to capitalise on the district’s strong entrepreneurial heritage and contemporary culture. Recognising this work, Business in the Community asked Tony to become a HRH Prince of Wales’s Ambassador for Yorkshire & Humber.

The Council has: utilised its assets to support local economic growth, including developing investment vehicles and providing commercial loan finance, established a pioneering £35 million city centre growth fund (jointly funded with RGF monies) and delivered ‘Get Bradford Working,’ an innovative £9 million scheme to create jobs, set up apprenticeships, and make sure schools and colleges are teaching the skills businesses need.

Until recently Tony lead on housing, regeneration and planning within the Leeds City Region and still leads on economic investment and has led the development of a Revolving Economic Investment Fund as part of our City Deal with Government.

The major challenges in the coming years will be the transformation of public services in a very different financial environment and work with business and City Region partners to achieve sustained and sustainable economic growth.

Merran McRae; Chief Executive, Calderdale CouncilMerran McRae

Merran McRae has been the Chief Executive of Calderdale Council since October 2012. She has a professional background in housing management and, more recently, social care, holding positions as Chief Executive at a Housing ALMO and Director of Adult Social Care within a Local Authority. She has also led strategic services focussed on museums and cultural services, creative arts, and leisure services, as well as organisational development and change programmes.

Merran has a degree in History and a Masters of Business Administration, as well as a professional qualification in housing and training and development. She has held positions as a Non-Executive Director in an NHS acute trust, and was on the executive council of the national Association of Directors of Adult Social Care (ADASS). She has also been a school governor.

Kersten England; Chief Executive, City of York Councilkersten England Profile Pic

Kersten arrived as Chief Executive in York in 2009. Against the backdrop of turbulence in the global economy and major change in the policy and fiscal environment for local government, Kersten’s priority has been to keep the organisation focused on its core purpose – supporting locally elected members to secure prosperity for the city now and for the future. Central to this is full deployment of the asset base of the city; public, private, voluntary and community, investment in infrastructure and repositioning York on the world stage to increase access to markets and inward investment.

In addition to leading the authority’s leadership team and the management of 7,000 staff and £500 million annual turnover budget Kersten has lead roles as: a trustee of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta), a Director of Science City York, Chief Executive for Innovation and Growth in the Leeds City Region and Chief Executive for local government workforce issues in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Kersten’s career has included work in the voluntary sector, higher education, central government as well as 21 years in local government. She is passionate about community capacity building, diversity and equality, supporting civic leadership and sustainable urban growth.

















West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Plans 2014 | Details



Wednesday, 24th September 2014
1530hrs - 1900hrs


Civic Hall, Leeds
Calverley St, LS1 1UR + Google Map


Built Environment Networking Ltd
0113 251 5703