About us

About Us

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.

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Members

Board

Elizabeth Campbell (Chair)

Elizabeth Campbell is the Chair of Central London Forward and was elected Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in July 2017, having been elected to the Redcliffe ward in 2006 and Royal Hospital ward in 2010. Since her election as leader, Elizabeth has made it her priority to ensure RBKC acts in accordance with its new core values: putting communities first, respecting others, acting with integrity and working together.

Elizabeth previously held the cabinet post for Families and Children’s services since 2012 where she was praised by Ofsted for excellent leadership. Before this, she held the cabinet post for education services and libraries. She also served as the Chair of Governors at Chelsea Academy from 2013 - 2017.

Jack Hopkins (Deputy Chair)

Cllr Jack Hopkins was confirmed as Leader of Lambeth Council on the 13th February 2019.

The Leader of the Council is responsible for setting the overall political and strategic direction for the council; acts as the lead spokesperson and manages external relations including with Government, the GLA and local and regional bodies; as well as managing the council’s relations with key stakeholders, partners and investors and holding the council’s Chief Executive to account.

The Leader also oversees communications and public awareness campaigns.

Cllr Hopkins first worked at Lambeth as an officer in the Strategic Partnership and Chief Executive’s office in 2005.

Richard Watts

Councillor Richard Watts is Leader of Islington Council and has represented the Tollington Ward in the north of Islington since 2006.

Previously, Richard served as Executive Member for Children and Families from May 2010 and Executive Member for Finance and Performance from May 2013 until becoming Council Leader in October 2013.

Prior to being a full-time member of the Council Executive Richard ran the Children's Food Campaign, a national campaign to improve children's diets.

Ravi Govindia

Councillor Ravi Govindia is the Leader of Wandsworth Council. Ravi has served the authority as a Conservative councillor since 1982. During his local government career Ravi has specialised in the fields of planning, housing, economic development and regeneration.

Ravi's achievements include the redevelopment of Wandsworth's industrial riverside and the transformation of Nine Elms on the South Bank. This regeneration programme is underpinned with a £1bn Government guarantee for the Northern Line Extension and includes sites earmarked for the new US and Dutch Embassies.

Kieron Williams

Councillor 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.

Rachael Robathan

Councillor Rachael Robathan was appointed Leader of City of Westminster Council in January 2020.

In 2010, Cllr Robathan was elected to Westminster City Council to represent the Knightsbridge and Belgravia Ward. Before becoming Leader she has previously held the Cabinet Member portfolios for Finance, Property and Regeneration; Housing and Adults and Public Health and was Deputy Cabinet Member for both the Adult Services and Customer Services portfolios. Cllr Robathan has also sat on the Finance and Children’s Policy and Scrutiny Committees and Planning Committees.

Georgia Gould

Georgia 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.

Catherine McGuinness

Catherine McGuinness is the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee at the City of London Corporation, and a member of the CLF Employment and Skills Board.

Catherine is a specialist in financial law, and was for several years a partner in a City law firm advising a number of international financial institutions, headed the London legal department of a major European bank, and as a consultant in the financial sector.

On the City of London Corporation she has particular interest in arts and culture, education, open spaces. Catherine is a member of the governing body for The City Academy, Hackney, which is co-sponsored by the City and by KPMG, as well as the board of the Barbican Centre.

Damien Egan

Damien 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.

Philip Glanville

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.

Joseph Ejiofor

Cllr Joseph Ejiofor has been the Leader of Haringey Council since May 2018.

Cllr Ejiofor was previously the Deputy Leader, and held two different Cabinet portfolios. In addition to serving 8 years as an elected representative for Haringey, he has also been elected three times as a Councillor in Newham.

Over the past 18 years, Cllr Ejiofor has worked as a manager in the public, private and the voluntary sectors; specialising in ‘risk and performance management’ and ‘diversity and change management’. Over the past couple of years, he has worked in a number of freelance consultancy roles specialising in iBusiness development.

Cllr Ejiofor is also a member of the London Capital Credit Union, Unite and the Co-op Party.

John Biggs

John Biggs was elected as the Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets in June 2015, and re-elected in May 2018.

John was first elected to Tower Hamlets Council in 1988 and became Leader in 1994. In 2000 he was elected as the first Greater London Authority Assembly Member for City and East London, chairing the Assembly Budget and Performance Committee, but stood down in 2016 to concentrate on Tower Hamlets.

In his role as Mayor of Tower Hamlets John is working to improve the openness and transparency of the Council, to increase the availability of affordable housing for residents, to improve access to employment and training opportunities for local people, and to improve the physical environment of the borough.

Team

Jo Asphall, Director (Interim)

Joanne Asphall is the CLF Director (Interim).

Joanne joined CLF in July 2015 and gained her experience while leading Welfare reform services for disadvantaged communities across West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

Joanne previously led the commissioning strategy for the new CLF employment programmes and was responsible for leading the commissioning for the Work and Health programme and integrating the Working Capital programme across the 8 Central London Forward boroughs.

Fela Ayinde, Finance Manager

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 Latouche, Business Manager

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 Kheir, Compliance & Risk Officer

Nicolina is the Compliance & Risk Officer for the Central London Works Programme.

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 Spencer, Compliance & Risk Officer

Nadine is the Compliance & Risk Officer for Central London Works.

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 Gulliford, Senior Policy Manager

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.

Aaron Ayling, Project Officer

Aaron joined CLF in July 2019 as the Project Officer for the Central London Works Programme, working closely with the team to support the effective implementation of the scheme.

Prior to joining CLF, Aaron gained four years of project management experience within marketing technology start-ups where he led the delivery of campaigns for key accounts including major FMCG and beauty brands. There he developed skills in stakeholder management, data analysis, and community engagement while being instrumental in developing business-wide processes and KPIs.

Aaron holds a degree in International Business with Japanese and a qualification in Rescue Scuba Diving.

Nanita Sohal, Contracts Manager

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 Gough, Policy Officer (Employment & Economic Affairs)

Efa leads on policy initiatives and project development with a focus on welfare, the labour market, and employment.

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.

Christopher Haley, Policy Officer (Skills & Stakeholder Engagement)

Chris joined CLF’s policy team in May 2020.

Chris's work focuses on skills policy and programme initiatives, including supporting our Employment and Skills Board.

Before joining CLF, Chris was a National Management Trainee at the London Borough of Barnet, where he worked on policy development and projects through placements across the council, in Adult Social Care, Assurance, and Corporate Strategy. Chris also has experience working in Major Projects at City of York Council.

Chris holds a BA degree in History from the University of York.

Tim Lacey, Head of Programmes (Interim)

Tim joined CLF in November 2020.

Tim has over 20 years’ experience of delivering welfare to work and skills programmes across the North East, North West, South East and Greater London.

Tim has direct delivery experience of many programmes including the Work Programme, Flexible New Deal, New Deal, New Deal for Self Employment, Action Teams and Employment Zones.

Jon Smith, Senior Contract Manager

Jon joined CLF in November 2020.

Jon has worked in the welfare sector for over 15 years, supporting large teams and diverse supply chains to deliver contracts in employability, learning and skills, justice and health and wellbeing.

Jon is committed to continuous professional development and has been a chartered fellow of CMI since 2015. Jon is also a passionate advocate of employment as a health outcome, and so has also been a director and fellow of the Institute of Employability Professionals since 2018.

Georgina Brightwell, Policy Officer (Land & Infrastructure)

Georgina joined CLF’s policy team in November 2020 and leads on policy initiatives and research related to place-making, regeneration and infrastructure.

Georgina has over five years experience working in local government, primarily within planning policy but also economic development and corporate policy teams. Prior to joining CLF, Georgina worked in the Spatial Planning team at the London Borough of Croydon developing policy on Housing and Climate Change to support the review of the Local Plan.

Georgina holds a Masters degree in Urban Regeneration from The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL.