Central London Forward (CLF) is the strategic sub-regional partnership for Central London covering 12 local authorities.
Established in 2007, CLF exists to advocate and support the collective interests of its membership through the provision of strategic policy advice, research, advocacy and programme management.
Our goal is to improve the lives of our residents by working together to drive inclusive growth within the Central London area, to ensure our resident’s access the skills, jobs, homes, and support required to benefit from Central London’s dynamic economy.
Our membership is made up of ten member boroughs (Camden, the City of London, Hackney, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Westminster) joined by two associate member boroughs (Haringey & Lewisham) for our work on employment and skills.
Cllr Kieron Williams was elected Leader of Southwark Council on 16th September 2020.
Cllr Williams was elected as a Labour councillor in Camberwell Green ward in 2014. He has spent his career fighting for a better future, as a Labour activist, public health director and advisor to councils across Britain. He joined Southwark’s Cabinet in 2018, taking on the jobs, skills and innovation portfolio, and has served as Cabinet Member for Housing and Modernisation since 2019.
Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz is the Leader of Islington Council.
Prior to becoming the Leader, Kaya was Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families. During her tenure as Executive Member, Islington Children's services department received an 'Outstanding' rating from Ofsted and the Council’s leadership was praised for its ‘unwavering commitment to improving and enriching the lives of children and their families’.
Kaya previously served as Executive Member for Community Development for three years and as Chair of Islington’s Children Services Scrutiny Committee. Kaya’s professional background is in the charitable sector.
Cllr Elizabeth Campbell was elected Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in July 2017 in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tragedy.
Elizabeth has been a Councillor in Chelsea since 2016 and was Cabinet member for Family and Children’s Services 2012-2017. She served as Chair of Chelsea Academy, an outstanding Church of England School, 2013-2017.
Elizabeth is the current portfolio holder on London Councils for Business, Economy and Culture.
Cllr Claire Holland was confirmed as Leader of Lambeth Council on the 2nd June 2021.
Cllr Holland has represented Oval ward since 2014, and has been a legal aid children’s lawyer for more than 20 years. She was appointed as the Deputy Leader of Lambeth Council in May, 2018 and has also served as the council’s Cabinet lead for Sustainable Transport, Environment and Clean Air since that time.
Cllr Georgia Gould was appointed Leader of Camden Council in May 2017 and has served as a Councillor for Kentish Town Ward since 2010.
Georgia studied Politics and History at Oxford, and then graduated with a master's degree in global politics from the London School of Economics.
Georgia has a particular interest in youth politics and published a book called Wasted: How Misunderstanding Young Britain Threatens Our Future. Georgia also helped found Camden’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Commission, designed to understand the future skills market and link them strongly with schools and Further Education, guaranteeing opportunities for young people.
Chris Hayward is the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee at the City of London Corporation.
Previously Deputy Chairman, Chris will now lead the City Corporation’s work on policy issues affecting the UK’s financial and related professional services sector as well as the Square Mile’s ongoing recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Chris's role will also cover the City Corporation’s responsibilities as a local authority, overseeing the governing body’s open spaces, educational commitments and cultural institutions.
Prior to becoming Policy Chairman, Chris had a career as managing director of companies in the construction, aviation, infrastructure and global events management sectors.
Mayor Damien Egan was elected as a councillor for Lewisham Central ward in 2010 and became Lewisham’s Cabinet Member for Housing in 2014.
Before becoming Mayor, Damien worked for the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). The ETI is an NGO that protects workers in sweatshops around the world and fights modern slavery.
Damien was elected as Mayor in May 2018. He is passionate about improving the lives of Lewisham’s residents. As Mayor of Lewisham he has committed to build a further 1,000 council homes, make Lewisham a borough of sanctuary for refugees and double the number of Living Wage employers in the borough.
Mayor Philip Glanville was elected Mayor of Hackney in September 2016 and re-elected in May 2018.
Philip was previously a councillor in Hoxton for ten years, and spent three years as Cabinet Member for Housing before becoming Deputy Mayor in 2016.
As Mayor, Philip has committed the Council to doubling the number of council homes built from 2018, and for Hackney to become the first borough in London to build 500 Living Rent homes - where no-one pays more than a third of their income in rent.
Employment, skills and education are also a key priority for the Mayor.
Cllr Peray Ahmet was officially appointed Leader of Haringey Council in May 2021.
Cllr Ahmet became a Councillor in 2014 and has held cabinet positions in two different administrations covering Environment and Adults and Health and wants to continue making a real change for local people living in the borough.
Lutfur Rahman became the Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets in May 2022.
He previously served as the Borough’s first directly elected Mayor from 2010-2015. He served as a councillor for Spitalfields and Banglatown ward from 2002-2010, becoming council leader in 2008. During his first period as Mayor, Lutfur introduced many pioneering policies, such as providing universal free school meals for primary school children, building more council homes than anywhere in the country, and granting education bursaries to students attending university.
In his role as Mayor, Lutfur is working to support residents through the cost of living crisis, build 1,000 social homes a year, make Tower Hamlets a greener and cleaner Borough, and protect vital front line services.
Joe Dromey is the CLF Director and joined the team in April 2021.
Joe has worked on employment and skills policy for over a decade, including as an employment advisor in Southwark, a council officer in Newham, and at think tanks and research institutes. Joe was also a Councillor and Cabinet Member in the London Borough of Lewisham.
Joe is passionate about inclusive growth, London, and local government.
Fela is the Finance Manager for the Central London Works programme. She is a Chartered Accountant with considerable post qualification experience.
Fela has worked in both the public and private sectors in a range of financial management and audit roles. Before joining CLF in March 2018 she was the Finance and Corporate Services Manager for Central London Connexions (Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea).
Alison is the CLF Business Manager and is responsible for supporting the CLF Director and Leadership team to effectively manage the varied work of CLF and deliver the objectives of the CLF Board.
Before joining CLF, Alison worked for Clarins UK Ltd where she gained a number of years’ experience of providing support with staff training, supporting projects and events. Prior to this, Alison worked at Central London Connexions (Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea) as Office Manager for 7 years, where she gained experience of Business Management, partnership working and funded programmes.
Nicolina is the Compliance & Risk Manager.
Prior to joining CLF in August 2018, Nicolina held the post as ESF Product Specialist for a leading training provider.
Nicolina managed and monitored the compliance and regulatory risks of multiple ESF contracts, ensuring that the quality standards of the delivery process were met.
Nicolina played an important role in managing and implementing MI systems, supporting management of projects and creating policies for the smooth operations of the programmes.
Nicolina holds a Degree in Law and a MSc in Finance & Risk management.
Nadine is the Contract Manager for JETS.
Prior to joining CLF, Nadine worked mainly within the Welfare to Work sector.
Nadine delivered on a variety of contracts including ESF, SSU, Work Programme and AEB over the last 7 years and managed teams that supported numerous participants in to sustainable employment.
During the 4 years that she worked on the Work Programme, she quickly progressed through the ranks from an Advisor to a Centre Manager which enabled her to attain a vast skill set. Nadine has consistently implemented delivery strategies and processes to ensure she exceeds the expectations of both clients and stakeholders.
Jenny leads the work of the policy team in lobbying on behalf of and supporting the collective interests of CLF’s member boroughs.
Jenny has over eight years’ experience in the charity and public sectors, working in a range of policy and research related roles at organisations including London Councils, Scope and the Work Foundation, developing specialisms in labour market disadvantage and creating inclusive economies.
Jenny joined CLF in July 2019 from London Councils where she led the organisation’s policy activity on employment and economic growth and supported the devolution of the Work and Health Programme in London.
Nanita is the Contract Manager for the Central London Works programme.
With over 11 years’ experience, Nanita has worked across public, private and the third sector when supporting disadvantaged groups into employment.
Before joining CLF in July 2018, Nanita worked as a Contracts & Relationship Manager for BIG Lottery funded projects in Birmingham, improving services for people with multiple and complex needs.
Nanita holds a degree in Psychology, and qualifications in Counselling and Information, Advice and Guidance.
Efa is the acting Senior Policy Manager (Mat Cover).
Efa has over four years' experience in policy and research, working across local government, further education and health and social care. Prior to joining CLF in May 2020, Efa worked at the General Pharmaceutical Council, developing policy initiatives to ensure patient safety and guidance for pharmacy professionals across Great Britain.
Efa holds a Law LLB degree from the University of Nottingham.
Exavia is the Compliance & Risk Officer for the Connecting Communities programme.
Exavia has worked across both Public and Private sectors, helping to deliver projects and services with high importance to health and safety and safeguarding.
Prior to joining CLF, Exavia worked in a Local Authority funded Pupil Referral Unit. Exavia supported with business operations and reintegration, which helped to improve education for teenagers affected by violence, crime or statistics of ‘NEET’ (Not in Education, Employment or Training).
Exavia holds a degree in International Business Management, a qualification in Finance and a MSc PG Dip in Real Estate Surveying.
Jayne joined CLF in November 2021 following a 10 year career in Senior Management within PbR employability contracts.
Jayne has vast experience of managing quality, compliance and the performance of internal and supply chain delivery. Ensuring that remote, geographically spread teams both in custody and the community facilitate a progressive journey supporting participants to break down barriers and moving into the labour market.
Jayne has a BSc in Social Policy and Criminology and a level 5 Operations Management with ILM.
Liz has worked in the Employability sector for over 10 years.
With extensive experience of both operational and supply chain management, Liz has managed teams across London and the South East on Work Programmes, Work and Health Programme and Restart as well as GLA/ESF contracts in the past. She has a wealth of experience in delivering results on fast paced and demanding employability and skills programmes.
Prior to joining the sector Liz worked in Further Education as a Community Development Manager, taking skills and learning out to disadvantaged and marginalised groups in the local communities.
Michael is the Finance Assistant on the CLF Connecting Communities programme and joined CLF in December 2021.
Michael has over 15 years’ experience in finance and accountancy industries both in the public, private and non-profit sector. Michael is also the Vice President of Operations, for the charity The 100 Black Men of London, moving on from the Vice President of finance in January 2021.
Michael also mentors under 18’s from the community, supporting with school and career progression.
Aleyna joined CLF’s Policy Team in January 2022 and leads on policy initiatives and research focused on skills and Net Zero.
Aleyna has worked with councils across London and England to support the development of strategies and visions, including on health inequalities, childhood obesity and climate action.
Prior to joining CLF, Aleyna worked as a policy consultant undertaking research across different strands of social policy and public service delivery. During this time, she was involved in helping local authorities progress and deliver on the green skills and green jobs agenda.
Aleyna holds a BA degree in Sociology and MA in Social and Political Thought from the University of Leeds.
Shirah is the Compliance & Risk Officer for the CLW programme.
Shirah has experience in project management and project administration. Prior to joining CLF, Shirah worked as a Learning Programme Manager with clients based in the public and private sector and has also worked for the London borough of Ealing where she provided financial, administrative, and operational support for a variety of training programmes.
Shirah holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business Management and a Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner certificate.
Anu is the Integration Hub Manager, supporting the integration of employment and skills services in central London as part of the No Wrong Door agenda.
Anu is an experienced performance manager from the employment and skills sector. Prior to joining CLF in July 2022, Anu managed ESF and DWP funded projects supporting Londoners with multiple barriers to employment, including SEND NEET young people and Londoners with disabilities or health conditions.
Anu holds a doctorate in Political Science and Master’s degree in International Relations. Anu is a qualified Change Management Practitioner and has completed a university certificate in Careers Education and Guidance.
Miranda is the Project Officer for the Central London Works Programme.
Miranda has extensive experience delivering learning and development programmes in the private and third sector.
Since 2018, Miranda worked as a Project Officer for the Family Holiday Charity leading government and restricted funded projects whose purpose was to facilitate families facing tough times to get away, reconnect and create lasting memories.
Miranda holds a BA (Hons) degree in Drama and Social Policy and a Prince 2 Foundation and Practitioner certificate.
Nicola joined Central London Forward in June 2021.
Working collaboratively with member Boroughs, GLA, DCMS as well as Telecommunications Providers, Nicola is focused on improving digital connectivity in central London.
She has 23 years’ Public Sector experience; having previously worked as Data & Development Manager at Haringey Council and Data & Innovation Manager for Surrey County Council. The latter, working in partnership with BT Group and Openreach on a large scale broadband rollout programme.
Nicola holds a degree in Social Policy from the University of Surrey and is a qualified Neuro Linguistic Programme Practitioner.
Kiefer is the Project Officer for the Connecting Communities Programme.
Kiefer has experience working in both the public and private sectors, supporting business operations as well as project delivery.
Prior to joining CLF, Kiefer worked for a Cybersecurity company for several years, where he gained valuable experience supporting the roll-out of cloud-based solutions geared towards reducing the risk of cyber-attacks within organisations.
Kiefer holds a degree in Business Management & Finance, and is currently undertaking further professional development within Project Management.
Saffron joined CLF's Policy Team in April 2023 and works on policy initiatives focused on labour markets and inclusive economies.
Saffron has experience working in both delivery and strategy roles in varied areas of local government in London, and for a sub-regional partnership.
Saffron also volunteers at a mental health charity, and holds a BA in Human, Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge.
Emma joined CLF's Policy Team in April 2023 and works on policies to support a move to Net Zero.
Prior to joining CLF, Emma worked across a variety of policy research projects, focussing on a range of different policy areas including increasing access to good work, skills and just transition.
Emma holds a MSc in the Politics of Conflict, Rights and Justice from SOAS, University of London, and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford.