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 Adam Hug has been Leader of Westminster City Council since 2022.
Adam has been a councillor for Westbourne ward since 2010. He has been Leader of the Labour Group since 2015 having previously served as Deputy Leader and Shadow Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Protection.
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.
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.
Cllr Guy Nicholson is Deputy Mayor & Cabinet Member for Delivery, Inclusive Economy & Regeneration in the London Borough of Hackney.
Guy chairs Newable Ltd, a London Local Government company supporting SMEs and he is Deputy Chair of the UK Innovation Corridor, representing Local Government, businesses, and education from London to Cambridge. Additionally, he's a trustee for Autograph ABP, and the East End Community Foundation.
Guy's leadership extends to urban regeneration and socio-economic initiatives, including roles in London's City Fringe and the planning of the 2012 Olympic Games legacy.
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).
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.
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.
Viorica is the Contract Manager for the Central London Works programme.
Viorica has worked within London’s employability and skills environment for the past 8 years on a variety of ESF key contracts and a wide spectrum of other contracted provision for leading skills and employability, specialising in the hardest to help and hardest to reach categories.
Before joining CLF in October 2023, Viorica worked as a Strategic Services Manager for ESF co-funded Work and Health programme delivered in Central London by Ingeus, where she contributed to the programme success through effective performance management, valuable operational support and compliance and risk framework implementation and strong monitoring.
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.
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 UKSPF 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 Officer for the Central London Integration Hub 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.
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.
Shamala is the Business Manager for CLF and first point of contact for any queries. Shamala has worked as Office Manager/Project Manager/Centre Manager in various roles in the Education sector for over 13 years at Newham College primarily focussed on Employability projects for the long term unemployed in Newham. These projects were funded by the GLA - ESF, ERDF and Adult Education budget as well as project funding through the Department of Education such as DSIT driving forward upskilling local residents with IT Skills.
Previous to this Shamala worked in the private sector for over 12 years as Company Secretary Assistant in the Corporate Department of the city law firm, Linklaters.
Kumchee is the Finance Officer for Central London Forward.
Prior to joining CLF in January 2024, Kumchee was an internal auditor for two NHS Foundation Trusts in London, and also has 10 years’ work experience in finance, supporting capital projects for a public and private sector partnership.
She has a Degree in Economics and CIMA qualification in Business Accounting.
Davina leads the digital connectivity programme supporting CLF members on improving broadband and mobile connectivity in the central London region. Davina has 15 years’ experience leading economic development and smart city programmes in local government.
Before joining CLF, Davina worked for Southwark Council where she ran a successful digital infrastructure programme providing fibre connectivity to over 50k council homes and improving one of London’s connectivity hot-spots in Rotherhithe and Bermondsey. Davina has also delivered projects to improve digital inclusion and introducing the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve council services. Davina is passionate about the future of digital services and how data and technology can improve council services and positively impact local communities.