Movers & Shakers: Centre for Cities chief Alexandra Jones to chair London Stansted Cambridge Consortium

The London Stansted Cambridge Consortium (LSCC)'s new chair, Alexandra Jones.

The London Stansted Cambridge Consortium (LSCC)'s new chair, Alexandra Jones. - Credit: Archant

The London Stansted Cambridge Consortium (LSCC) has a new chair. Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities, was appointed through an open recruitment process.

She has been a member of the City Finance Commission chaired by Sir Stuart Lipton and the London Finance Commission chaired by Tony Travers, as well as being a senior adviser to the City Growth Commission, chaired by Lord Jim O’Neill. She is currently a member of the London Stansted Cambridge Corridor Commission and on the Board of the Heseltine Institute at Liverpool University.

Previous posts have included working as a private secretary to the permanent secretary in the Department for Education and Skills.

She said she was “delighted” to be appointed.

“Through my involvement in the recent LSCC Growth Commission, I have gained a fuller understanding of the huge opportunities in the region and its attractiveness for global investment in knowledge-based industries,” she said.

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“But the area also faces important challenges around infrastructure, housing, skills and helping to ensure that communities see the benefits of growth. I look forward to working with the local authorities in the region, as well as key partners such as the four Local Enterprise Partnerships and the businesses who drive the region’s growth, to support them in making the most of the London Stansted Cambridge Corridor’s enormous potential.”

Outgoing chair, Professor Greg Clark, said it had been a “privilege” to serve over its first four years.

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“The LSCC Growth Commission report sets out how our innovation and growth corridor is already a vital part of the UK economy, and adds substantially to the UK’s competitiveness and prestige in advanced industries. Yet we face substantial challenges in retaining our global competitiveness, primarily due to the need to invest in smart and high quality growth.

“I can think of few people better placed than Alexandra to take forward the work of the consortium, and I wish her every success.”

Councillor Kevin Bentley, deputy leader at Essex County Council and deputy chair of the LSCC said: “I would like to thank Greg for his excellent leadership during the formative years of the consortium, bringing together the political leadership of the region around a common narrative and a shared agenda – no mean feat. I know Alexandra will do an excellent job of taking the consortium to its next stage and I was pleased to be part of the selection process.”

::Visit Essex, the official tourism organisation for the county, has welcomed new members onto its board.

The new members are Demetra Lindsay from Hedingham Castle, Andrea Lee from English Heritage, Steve Mannix from Colchester’s Mercury Theatre, Oliver Brown from Wivenhoe House Hotel and Sally Looker, who is independent, and Mary Tebje will be a co-opted board member.

Andrea Lee, English Heritage Marketing Manager for London and Essex, said: “I’m honoured to have been appointed as a Visit Essex board member and am excited to be working with my peers within the tourism sector in Essex. I’m looking forward to the challenges that will come our way and getting stuck in to ensuring that Essex is the number one tourist destination in the UK.”

The new members join chairman George Kieffer and vice–chair Cllr Sue Lissimore, Peter Murphy from Lifehouse Spa, Karen Turnbull from Colchester Borough Council, and Scott Dolling from Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

::Facilities management firm Servest Group, based at Fornham All Saints, Bury St Edmunds, has appointed Jason Etherington as its new managing director of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Division.

Jason has been in the army for the last 25 years and has served all over the world, including Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. His professional background includes everything from commanding the UK’s Apache Helicopter Force to senior operations officer and East Africa Lead at the Joint Force HQ - the MoD’s deployable crisis headquarters. He has also worked closely with FM teams, particularly in his most recent role as station commander at Wattisham.

Seeking to grow the existing contract portfolio with the MoD and create a bigger footprint in the armed forces arena, Servest specifically created the role for Etherington.

The new MD will manage and develop numerous contracts as part of the MoD account and will share his comprehensive experience and MoD understanding with the wider Servest team in order to improve the working relationship, while identifying future opportunities and proposing how the Group may continue to innovate its public sector offering.

“We are delighted to welcome Jason to the team,” said UK and Europe group chief executive Rob Legge. “Jason’s arrival as MD of MoD will allow us to grow the Servest name and further solidify the company’s strong reputation with the armed forces sector. The insight that Jason brings to the team will be invaluable and I know that this appointment will be a contributing factor in our continued success.”

Jason said: “Servest’s culture and values mirror the way I have always worked and I’m very excited about joining the family. I am also looking forward to enhancing and formalising the links Servest has already established with the military community and Service leavers.”

::Ipswich-based energy supply company Flow Energy has appointed Charles Breslin as customer service delivery director.

The new hire follows the rapid growth of Flow’s customer service team, which has increased by 146% in the last 18 months. Flow intends to recruit a further 150 staff members in the Ipswich area by the end of 2016.

Charles joins from contact centre provider CCI South Africa, where he was responsible for managing both UK and Australian clients including EE, Carphone Warehouse and Foxtel. He brings with him a wealth of experience, having held service roles for over 30 years. Charles will be responsible for further developing the customer service delivery function and providing leadership and guidance to Flow’s existing customer service team.

Managing director Andrew Beasley said: “We intend to employ as many local staff as possible to continue to deliver excellent service. We’re delighted that Charles will be joining the team and helping us build on our already strong reputation in this area.”

Charles said: “I’m looking forward to stepping into the role at such a fundamental time for the business and helping to grow the customer service function further, with 150 new roles being added this year.”

::Healthcare Homes Group, which is based at Langham, near Colchester, and provides residential, nursing and homecare support, including specialist dementia care, has announced the internal promotion of its new finance director.

Mathew King has been appointed to the position, having worked for the organisation since 2008. As part of the role, he will be looking to progress a number of projects to implement new group finance systems. These will improve the efficiency and accuracy of management information across the business, allowing operational teams to have enhanced access to information they need to deliver their work.

Before joining Healthcare Homes, Mathew worked as a chartered accountant, carrying out audit work on the organisation while working for another company. He specialised in large corporate organisations and gained exposure to a number of complex business cases. He was later approached by Healthcare Homes to join its finance division.

Mathew will be working as the finance director for the care homes division, while retaining his role as group financial controller for the entire group, encompassing the homecare division. He will oversee a team of 15, based at the main office in Langham, Colchester.

Mathew said: “I am really pleased to have been given this opportunity and am looking forward to taking my career to the next level. It has always been my ambition to be a finance director of a large organisation and I am delighted to have achieved it at such an early stage in my life. I am keen to work with the other directors in taking the business forward. Having an efficient finance system supported by a strong finance team will help to achieve our goal of being one of the leading providers in our region.”

When asked why Mathew has remained with the organisation for so long, he comments: “We are a people-focused business, caring for people’s lives. You can’t get a better feeling than knowing that you have enhanced someone else’s life in some shape or form. I have known, or worked with, the senior management team for more than 10 years now, and the head office culture is one of a family-owned business. It is both the people and the work they deliver, that makes the business so special.”

::East of England law firm Birketts has promoted Stefan Harris-Wright to partner.

Stefan, who joined Birketts’ construction and engineering team in 2010, said: “I’m thrilled to have been appointed a partner. It’s an exciting time for the firm and I look forward to playing a central role in helping to continue the growth of our construction practice.”

Team head Andrew Rush said: “Stefan has been an integral part of our successful team for several years and his promotion is richly deserved. He has a wide range of experience working on non-contentious construction matters and acts for a variety of both public and private sector clients, including colleges, local authorities and NHS Trusts, as well as funders, developers, contractors, sub-contractors and consultants.”

Chief executive Jonathan Agar said: “I am delighted to welcome Stefan to the partnership in recognition of the hard work and dedication that he has made towards our success.”

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