Localise West Midlands is registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee (not for profit). LWM has a board of directors elected by a wider group of members. We also have associates, who undertake our consultancy activities, and there is some overlap between the two.
We’re seeking new active board members to help us achieve more change. Click here.
Phil works for LWM and others as an environmental and third sector consultant specialising in thought innovation. He founded the renewable energy co-operative CoRE50. His clients include local authorities, utilities, construction companies and social enterprises. In 2010 Phil was voted one of the top 50 Green Leaders in the West Midlands, is the Third Sector Assembly Environment Network Champion and member of Birmingham’s Green Commission. Phil is also a LWM associate.
Paul Cobbing (Vice-Chair)
Paul has worked for the last 30 years on environmental issues, from operational land management to policy development and implementation across climate change and the natural environment. He is now chief executive of the National Flood Forum, a charity that supports and represents people at risk of flooding. He has experience of developing and supporting sustainable development, climate change and environmental networks across the West Midlands, and working with them to progress strategic action. He is convenor of the West Midlands section of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and a member of the West Midlands Forestry & Woodland Advisory Committee and the Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Local Nature Partnership.
Friends of the Earth’s Regional Campaigner for the West Midlands. Chris has been involved with Friends of the Earth (FOE) since the late 80s, initially as a campaigner on air pollution and transport in Birmingham and the West Midlands and now as campaigner, policy officer and spokesperson in the region. Previously he worked for an environmental consultancy specialising in contaminated land and industrial water.
Sarah Longlands is a senior research fellow at IPPR North. Her recent PhD examined the influence of economic growth policy on spatial planning in England. Previously she was Director of Policy at the Centre for Local Economic Strategies. She also undertook some work on a freelance basis on the second phase of LWM’s Mainstreaming Community Economic Development project.
Jon Morris (Chair)
A housing, planning and regeneration consultant who led LWM’s work on Birmingham Energy Savers and contributed to MCED. Former Director of Coventry New Deal for Communities, Chair of Royal Town Planning Institute Housing Panel, Extensive experience in the fields of housing, planning and regeneration, as a practitioner, researcher and lecturer. Jon has also been a member of a number of ministerial advisory groups and an expert witness to the House of Commons Environment Select Committee.
Rose Poulter is a Board Member and Associate of Localise West Midlands. Now a freelance consultant with a focus on securing decisions, policy development and organisational change, she was previously Director of the West Midlands regional grouping of local authorities (WM Councils; WM Leaders’ Board; WM Local Government Association) for fourteen years. She also spent two years on a secondment to regional development agency Advantage WM, and held various economic development posts with Birmingham City Council. Rose also works with Age UK Birmingham’s Information and Advice Team on a voluntary basis.
Hannah was chair of LWM until the October 2012 AGM, and at the same time co-founder and associate of the Chamberlain Forum, a neighbourhood think-and-do tank based in Birmingham. She first came to LWM as a volunteer after completing a Masters in Global Ethics. She moved on to manage Birmingham Community Empowerment Network, facilitating community networks that aim to involve people more effectively in local decision making. Hannah now works for Renaisi in London for the Big Local Lottery programme.
Karen Leach (Joint Coordinator and Company Secretary)
Karen was involved in setting up LWM, and has been employed as LWM Coordinator since October 2002 , reporting to the Board on its strategy, activities and systems as well as undertaking projects. She previously created the role of Campaigns Support Worker with Birmingham Friends of the Earth, and within this role developed interests in planning, trade and local food. She is also on Birmingham FOE’s Management Committee, responsible for the running of community environmental building The Warehouse in Digbeth, and chairs a community group aiming to secure a future for Moseley Road Baths in Balsall Heath, Birmingham.
Karen McCarthy (Joint coordinator)
Karen is the new joint coordinator of LWM, sharing the role with Karen Leach. Karen has worked in the public and third sectors in a variety of roles. Most recently, she has run care services both as a social enterprise and for a local authority. Her interests include co-production, practical devolution and dignity in care. She is looking forward to working on initiatives around the new Midland Metropolitan hospital, but also contributing to LWM’s wider work. She is also a councillor in Birmingham and a youth leader for St John Ambulance.
Steering group members and others
Jackie Milton (Treasurer)
Jackie has run her own accounting practice for the last eight years, with a special interest in community projects and new business start-ups. She is also a Trustee of the Cwm Harry Land Trust and involved in Lightfoot Enterprises CIC (Household Energy Services), and was formerly a Trustee of Fordhall Farm Community Land Initiative.
Andrew Lydon (steering group)
Andrew was initially involved in the Labour Party, where he developed his interest in decentralisation and economic development in drafting parts of their Birmingham Council manifesto. Since 1992, when he left Labour, he has been involved in the politics of the regions as a spokesman for the West Midlands New Economics Group and later for Birmingham NHS Concern. Andrew ran the Prosperity and Inflation campaign for LWM some years ago.
George Morran (steering group)
Has been involved also in the Campaign for the English Regions and the West Midlands Constitutional Convention. Formerly senior research associate at Aston and Warwick University Business Schools, Director of the West Midlands Regional Forum of Local Authorities, the West Midlands Regional Economic Consortium and Assistant Chief Executive of Dudley MBC.
Pat Conaty (steering group)
Pat Conaty is a Research Associate of the New Economics Foundation. He has produced a number of recent policy reports on local community banking, rural regeneration and community land trusts, micro-credit for small business, and affordable housing finance for low income homeowners with disrepair problems. He was formerly the Development Director of Birmingham Settlement, an inner city voluntary organisation.
Phil Davis (steering group)
Phil represents transport consumers nationally and regionally and has extensive public policy experience, consumer and community engagement. A former trade union officer who specialised in lay advocacy and tribunals, he has more recently been a local authority Leader and a voluntary sector CEO. He is now a non-executive director of a number of public and community bodies and is a councillor in Birmingham.
Colin Hines (founder, steering group)
Colin is founder and convenor of the Green New Deal group, author of ‘Localization- A Global Manifesto’ (Earthscan) and of the forthcoming e-book ‘Protect and Thrive- the Case for Progressive Protectionism’. Before that he was the Co-ordinator of Greenpeace International’s Economics Unit having worked for the organisation for 10 years. He was one of the founders of LWM.
Barbara Panvel (steering group)
Barbara produces websites for eight groups, Civilisation 3000 (defence), Vested Interest in Politics, regional SME manufacturers, Fair Deal Farmers Council, New Era Network, India’s CHS-Sachetan, Concerned Co-operators and the Thomas Attwood group. She has been involved in LWM since our earliest discussions.
Jon Stevens (steering group, former associate)
Jon has worked in the field of community housing and neighbourhood regeneration for almost 40 years. Initially he trained as an architect and went on to work on community action in various posts over this period including Director of Birmingham Cooperative Housing Services, Community Development Worker for Birmingham Inner Area Study, Organiser of Community Forum in Birmingham, Senior Urban Renewal Officer, and Tenant and Association Support Manager for the Housing Corporation.
If you are interested in getting involved in our Board or steering group or as an associate, please contact Karen Leach to discuss this further.