11th Annual Scottish Rail Conference: What's next for rail in Scotland?
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Scottish Government
Michael Matheson was born in Glasgow in 1970 and educated at St John Bosco Secondary School. He went on to study at Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh, where he obtained a BSc in Occupational Therapy. He also holds a BA and a Diploma in Applied Social Sciences from the Open University.
Prior to becoming an MSP, Mr Matheson practised as a Community Occupational Therapist with Stirling Council, Central Regional Council, and Highland Regional Council.
He was elected as the MSP for Falkirk West following the May 2007 elections. Previous to that he was a Regional MSP for Central Scotland from 1999 to 2007. Before being appointed Minister for Public Health and Sport, Mr Matheson was Vice Convenor of the European and External Relations Committee. He also sat on the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee, and previously served on the Justice and Enterprise and Culture Committees. He was re-elected in May 2011 and thereafter appointed as Minister for Public Health.
Michael Matheson was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Justice in November 2014 and reappointed in May 2016. In 2018 he was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity.
Conference Chair and Partner - Planning, Addleshaw Goddard
Sarah is a Partner with international business law firm Addleshaw Goddard LLP and is part of their award winning and market leading UK Transport practice. Her clients include transport operators, developers, central & local government, transport & planning authorities and funders. She is uniquely dual qualified as a Law Society of Scotland Accredited Specialist in Planning Law & as a qualified chartered planner (MRTPI). She is a consenting specialist particularly known to guide major infrastructure projects from their early conceptual stage, through the complex consenting process to their delivery & beyond. She has been a lead adviser on a number of national infrastructure projects in Scotland includingfour heavy railways, which sought authorisation through the Scottish Parliament, such as Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway & Borders Railway. Further afield, she was the lead advisor on transport matters to the Olympic Delivery Authority and on the transport improvements necessary for the delivery of the Olympic Park and the wider regeneration of Stratford City. Sarah is also a Scottish Legal Award Winner and is an elected member of a number of planning & development committees which scrutinise legislation and policy including the Law Society of Scotland, Scottish Property Federation and Construction Scotland.
Deputy Director - Consumers, Office of Rail and Road
Stephanie joined the ORR in 2014 as Deputy Director, Consumers following a long career in the energy sector specifically managing the interface between retail energy businesses and the energy regulator Ofgem. This led her to work with Scottish and Southern Energy, ScottishPower and also Logica and encompassed the opening of the energy market to competition, the development of regulation in the retail energy environment and the substantially increased focus on compliance and enforcement in the areas of competition and consumer law and also regulation. Immediately prior to joining ORR Stephanie was Head of Consumer Policy with the energy regulator Ofgem. Previously she also held the voluntary role of Deputy Chair of the Water Industry Consultative Committee, which was established to advise the Water Industry Commissioner on the promotion of the interests of customers in the North of Scotland. Stephanie has a background in biological sciences and also health and safety.
Strategic Business Development Director - Rail, Transport Systems Catapult
Senior Stakeholder Manager, Transport Focus
Commercial Director, Abellio
Stewart is the Commercial Director for Abellio UK who operate ScotRail, MerseyRail, Greater Anglia, London buses and from December West Midlands Trains. Responsibilities are for revenue development, marketing, communications, customer experience and retail strategy.
Stewart joined Abellio in July 2017 from Time Inc where he was Digital Director for 2 years. Before that Stewart was at the Post Office for 9 years and was part of the Senior Leadership that took the company to revenue growth and profit for the first time in years. During that time he built the HomePhone and Broadband business, lead the London branch network for a year before becoming Marketing Director for his final 4 years, redefining the brand strategy and values of the largest retail network in Europe.
Prior to that at Colt Telecom he led European product strategy and his career started with 9 years at Cable & Wireless in global marketing, product development, strategy and commercial roles during the formative years of the internet.
Member of the Williams Rail Review Expert Challenge Panel and Director, Third Avenue Communications
Tom Harris is Director of Third Avenue Communications, a member of the Williams Rail Review Expert Challenge Panel and a columnist for the Daily telegraph.
He was previously a Member of Parliament and Government Minister and has extensive experience in politics at every level.
Tom worked previously as a journalist and before entering politics he worked in public relations initially for the Labour Party, followed by a successful career in local government PR and Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT). As well as heading up SPT’s press and public affairs department, Tom also took charge of a £1 million marketing budget. Elected to Westminster in 2001, Tom was a Member of Parliament for 14 years. During his political career, Tom was Railways Minister at the Department for Transport and a Private Parliamentary Secretary (PPS) in both the Department of Health and the Northern Ireland Office. Tom was a member of both the House of Commons Transport Select Committee and the Science and Technology Select Committee. During his last term in Parliament he was a Shadow Minister for the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. He set up Third Avenue Communications having decided that after 14 years, electoral politics were behind him for good.
Tom is a senior counsel to Message Matters public affairs company based in Edinburgh and is also a member of the cross-party advisory board of Reform Scotland.
Legal Counsel & Head of ADR, Rail Ombudsman
LL.B (Hons), PGDip, ACIArb, Solicitor
Judith read Law at King’s College London for 3 years before graduating with honours in 1998. She then went on to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and a training contract before qualifying as a solicitor in 2001.
Judith was previously employed by a City Law firm, practising in Commercial Law. An experienced legal professional, Judith also specialises in Alternative Dispute Resolution and joined The Ombudsman in 2011. Since her appointment, Judith has written and presented a wide variety of training courses on Consumer Law and Compliance.
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Good range of speakers & commentary on various aspects of Planning Review. Encouraged by optimism of speakers.