MacKay Hannah

City of Edinburgh Council Conference 2013: Vision, Policy and Partners


Kenny MacAskill MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Scottish Government

Kenny MacAskill was an MSP for the Lothians from 1999 to 2007 and was elected as MSP for Edinburgh East and Musselburgh at the Scottish Elections in 2007. He served as Cabinet Secretary for Justice throughout the four years of that administration and has been re-appointed to the role following his election as the MSP for Edinburgh Eastern on May 5th 2011

He was born in Edinburgh on April 28, 1958, and has previously been Shadow Justice and Home Affairs Minister. He was a long standing member of the SNP's NEC and has been National Treasurer and Vice Convener of Policy.

He was educated at Linlithgow Academy and Edinburgh University and was a senior partner in a law firm. In 2004 Kenny wrote a book entitled 'Building a Nation - Post Devolution Nationalism in Scotland'. He has since edited another book 'Agenda for a New Scotland - Visions of Scotland 2020' and has co-authored two books on the Scottish Diaspora, 'Global Scots - Voices From Afar' and 'Wherever the Saltire Flies' with the former First Minister Henry McLeish.

Councillor Andrew Burns

Leader, City of Edinburgh Council

Andrew Burns was first elected to the Council in May 1999 and has represented the Fountainbridge / Craiglockhart ward since. He has previously had responsibility for the transport and education portfolios while in administration.

Andrew gained his first degree from the University of Ulster in 1984 and has had a wide-range of employment experience. He has a professional background in personnel and training, and worked for several years in a variety of personnel and training roles in both manufacturing industry and the service sector. Andrew became a Graduate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in 1990, gaining Full Member status of the CIPD in 2003.

From 2008 to 2011 he was the chair of the Electoral Reform Society.

His personal interests include walking, cycling, films, music and reading. He is 49 and lives in Edinburgh with his wife and son.


Dame Sue Bruce DBE

Chief Executive, City of Edinburgh Council

Sue Bruce serves as a non-executive director with SSE PLC; Chair of Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO); Chair of Young Scot and Vice Chair of Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI). She is also a Professor at the University of Strathclyde in the International Institute of Public Policy.

Until recently Sue served in Local Government. Her most recent post was Chief Executive of The City of Edinburgh Council having previously served as Chief Executive at Aberdeen City Council and Chief Executive at East Dunbartonshire Council.


Brigadier David Allfrey

Chief Executive and Producer, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

David Allfrey retired from the Army in April 2011 to become Producer/Chief Executive of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.  A varied 33-year military career included command of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (SCOTS DG) and 51 (Scottish) Brigade based in Stirling.  He also instructed at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, was a Director of Studies at the Defence College of Management and Technology, Colonel Army Recruiting and - in his last appointment as a Brigadier - Chief of Staff, Personnel and Support Command.  He has pedigree as a producer of civil/military spectaculars including: The Navy - A Fantasy (Dartmouth 1987), Waterfest (Weymouth 1993), 50th D-Day Commemorations on the South Coast (Weymouth, Portland and Bournemouth 1994), the SCOTS DG musical ride Coming Home (1994), Scotland Forever at the Tattoo and a major Usher Hall Concert (1994), Waterloo (Richmond Castle 1995), Parallel Tracks (SCOTS DG album featuring Mark Knopfler), the first Armed Forces Day celebrations in Scotland and The Pipers’ Trail (which showed on the Edinburgh Fringe and was awarded a Marketing Society Award for Best PR Campaign in Scotland in 2009).  David is married to Fiona and has a son and daughter - both working in London.  His interests include: his family, all forms of music and performance art, furniture-making, oil and watercolour painting, travel and the countryside. 

Professor Mary Bownes

Senior Vice Principal External Engagement, University of Edinburgh

Mary is Senior Vice-Principal at the University of Edinburgh with responsibility for strategic development in Widening Participation, Recruitment, Admissions, Community Relations, Postgraduates, Development and Alumni engagement, Scholarships, Sustainability and Social Responsibility and Researcher Training.  She holds a Personal Chair in Developmental Biology.
Mary received her BSc and PhD in Biology from the University of Sussex and spent periods of time in Germany, California, China and Australia undertaking research. She has had productive research collaborations with colleagues across the world in the areas of Developmental Biology, Genetics and Molecular Biology. She successfully trained 27 PhD students, who are now in a variety of positions in research, industry, policy development and other careers. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers in international scientific journals and a number of reviews and book chapters and edited a book. Her research group concentrated on studying the molecular basis of development.

On the academic side, she is now putting her energy into public engagement and science communication.  She is the Director of the Scottish Initiative for Biotechnology Education. This involves developing materials to support teachers and science communication with the public.  We have developed several exhibitions and organised the University of Edinburgh contribution to family activities at the Edinburgh Science Festival in partnership with the Royal Museum of Scotland for a number of years.

Mary successfully led a team of partners including Universities, Museums, Science Centres and others to become a Beacon of Public Engagement funded for a 4 year period by RCUK, Wellcome Trust and Scottish Funding Council. Its aim is to embed a culture change in the partner Universities to have more researchers engage with the public. It is hoped that by effectively engaging with the public more people will be confident in taking decisions about their own health and lifestyle and the environment in which we live and take part in influencing policy decisions in the Scottish Parliament. This activity has now been embedded by the all the universities in Edinburgh joining together as a partnership to fund the project going forward.

As Senior Vice Principal she deputises for the Principal as and when required.

Councillor Steve Cardownie

Deputy Leader, City of Edinburgh Council

Steve is Leader of the Scottish National Party on the City of Edinburgh Council and represents the Forth Ward.  He has been a Councillor in Edinburgh since 1988.

Steve is Edinburgh’s ‘Festivals and Events Champion’ and holds various Directorships including Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival, Edinburgh Mela and Spartans Community Football Academy Ltd, Pilton Central Association/West Pilton Neighbourhood Centre (observer).  He also serves on the Lothian and Borders Police Board and is one of Edinburgh Council’s representatives on the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities. 

Steve was born in Leith and went to school at Fort Primary School, followed by Leith Academy.  He was a Trade Union full time elected official with the Scottish Office for 17 years and a National Executive Committee Member for five years.  He is also an Employment Tribunal Member, a position he has held since 1981.

Steve’s interests include walking, being an avid Heart of Midlothian supporter and he enjoys the arts, good food, good company and fine wine.

Councillor Cammy Day

Vice Convenor, Health, Wellbeing and Housing Committee, City of Edinburgh Council

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Dr Margaret Douglas

Deputy Director of Public Health, NHS Lothian

Margaret Douglas has been a consultant in public health in NHS Lothian for 12 years and is currently Deputy Director of Public Health. She is the NHS Lothian lead on Health Improvement and Health Inequalities. She chairs the Edinburgh Health Inequalities Standing Group. Her main areas of interest are the physical and social environmental determinants of health, and ways to influence these through partnership work with local authorities and other agencies. She has a longstanding interest in Health Impact Assessment and chairs the Scottish HIA Network.

Councillor Paul Godzik

Convenor, Education, Children and Families Committee, City of Edinburgh Council

Paul Godzik is the Councillor for Meadows and Morningside Ward, and the Convener for Education, Children & Families.

A public policy graduate Paul worked in the Scottish Parliament from 1999-2005.  As a communications adviser Paul has previously worked on behalf of a number companies, charities and public sector organisations, including Scottish Power, Scottish Water, RBS, the Royal Highland Show, and InBev.  Paul was also previously employed within the Parliament of New South Wales in Australia, and was most recently Scottish campaign adviser to environmental charity 10:10.  

He is a former member of the Edinburgh Festival Council, the Royal Lyceum Theatre Board, and Festival City Theatre Trust, and currently serves on the board of Royal Blind.

Paul is a member of the Co-operative Party and Community, he was first elected in the 2007 council elections, becoming Labour’s first ever councillor for the Morningside area.  He was Election Agent for Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray in 2010 election, and was Labour’s candidate for Edinburgh Southern in the 2011 Scottish elections.

Paul has lived in south Edinburgh area for over 10 years, and currently lives in Shandon with his wife Elinor, and their young son.

Nathan Goode

Partner - Energy, Environment and Sustainability, Grant Thornton

Nathan formed his own business, Aventia, in July 2015. Previously, as a Partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP, Nathan worked with public and private sector organisations, across a wide range of projects and programmes in social, environmental and economic infrastructure. Latterly, Nathan was the global lead for Grant Thornton's international Energy & Cleantech sector group, having created the UK firm's Energy, Cleantech & Sustainability team in the UK.

Nathan also has 20 years' experience advising fundraising and project delivery for a broad range of public / private infrastructure projects in education, health, digital and IT.

Nathan has focused in recent years on the commercialisation and development of growth strategies for "green", low carbon and smart business strategies for cities and regions in the UK.

Highlights include:

• Working with the Scottish Government on financial mechanisms to accelerate housing infrastructure
• Working with the Social Value Portal on a social value business case for NHS Newham CCG on the Olympic Park in Stratford, London
• Developing a strategic economic case for a major leisure and retail development in Ayrshire
• Advisory member to the Liverpool LEP Low Carbon Committee, focusing on economic growth from low carbon projects
• Writing and presenting the business case for the successful campaign to locate the UK Green Investment Bank in Edinburgh
• Member of the Advisory Board for the Scottish Green Investment Partnership (Green Investment Bank and Scottish Government Collaboration)
• Publication of an influential Sustainable Cities report focusing on integrated sustainability strategies pursued by UK cities and potential financing mechanisms to support them.

Nathan is currently working on a number of initiatives for community and social investment platforms and developing social value metrics and frameworks to support business cases and procurement.

Councillor Lesley Hinds

Convenor, Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee, City of Edinburgh Council

Lesley Hinds first became a Councillor in 1984 and currently represents the Inverleith ward. She has held numerous positions in the Council, including Leader and Lord Provost.

Born in Dundee, she has lived in Edinburgh for over 30 years in the Drylaw area of the city with her husband Martin, while bringing up her three children. Lesley is a qualified primary school teacher. In addition, she is a past Chair of NHS Health Scotland, appointed by the Health Minister and is a member of Unite trade union, CND,  the Co-op Party and Scotmid.

Lesley has extensive experience of board membership in a personal capacity, as well as representing the Council in numerous public and private sector organisations, such as Edinburgh’s Telford College, Pilton Partnership, Edinburgh’s Mela, Dance Base, Edinburgh Fairtrade City, One City Trust and the City of Literature.

Lesley has significant detailed knowledge of health matters, regeneration issues, education, community safety, policing, social inclusion and housing built up because of her work on various boards and community organisations over 30 years. She also has knowledge of various industries such as retail and tourism (former Chair Tourist Board) and was Convenor of Lothian and Borders Police Board for 4 years. The first chair of Edinburgh’s Fairtrade City, she has campaigned on international development issues including Scotland-Malawi partnership, Make Poverty History Campaign, as well as establishing and chairing the Edinburgh Tsunami Taskforce.

She is currently the Convener of the Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee.
Message from Cllr Hinds
“My work with people in my ward is hugely satisfying and keeps me very much in tune with local peoples’ needs and views. It is what motivates me to seek to bring about improvements to services that will benefit everybody.
As Convener of the TIE Committee I no not underestimate the size of the task ahead in delivering the trams project and other infrastructure initiatives. The agenda to reduce waste to landfill by increasing recycling is no less important and I intend to use all my skills and experience, in partnership with our coalition partners, to ensure the people of Edinburgh see the benefits of these projects coming to fruition.”

Alasdair Humphery

Lead Director - Scotland, Jones Lang La Salle

The majority of Alasdair’s 26 year’s experience in the Scottish Property Industry have been with Jones Lang LaSalle in Scotland.  Originally joining Jones Lang Wootton from Donaldsons in 1989, Alasdair specialised in Office/Industrial Agency & Development but moved to a role in Capital Markets in 1995 acting for a variety of Institutional and Private UK and International Property Investors.  He was assumed as a partner to Jones Lang Wootton in 1997 and became a National Director following the merger with LaSalle Partners in 1987.  Alasdair now runs the Scottish Operation of Jones Lang LaSalle’s newly merged UK business and is Lead Director in Scotland.  He continues to have an active role in Capital Markets undertaking both investment acquisitions and disposals.

Alasdair is now an International Director of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc and a member of the UK Executive. 

Alasdair graduated from Heriot Watt University in 1986 with a BSc (Hons) in Estate Management and completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Property Investment  at the College of Estate Management at Reading University in November 1997.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a member of the Investment Property Forum and is currently Vice-Chairman of the Scottish Property Federation.

Alasdair is married with three children and lives in central Edinburgh, his wider interests include golf, tennis, rugby and hillwalking.

Antony Johnson

Technology Innovation Director, Capita Group

I started off in the public sector in the early 1990s fixing networks made of copper wire - just before PCs really started to take off - then hopped around a bunch of diverse sectors and industries picking up technology on the way. I've worked on IT projects in food manufacturing, pharma, fine art logistics and marketing. I started at Capita as an Information Architect with a background in information security, designing and building search and taxonomy solutions for clients such as NHS Choices. Nowadays, I have the best job in Capita, I think - figuring out how to use new and emerging technologies in ways that make the lives of our clients' customers better. But - as I work for Capita - in a grounded and risk-lite way. Quite a challenge! A key part of what I do, and the part I most enjoy, is to engage with end users of products and services to find out what they love or hate about them - then with a team of people and customers I get to build prototype solutions I play back to them to see if they think they'll work. Then I get to think about what that solution might look like in five, ten or even twenty years' time and talk about that too.

Councillor Frank Ross

Convenor, Economy Committee, City of Edinburgh Council

As part of the Capital Coalition, Frank is Convener of the Council’s Economy Committee where he is responsible for taking forward the Coalition’s pledges to ensure Edinburgh’s economic growth and continued prosperity.
Frank is Chair of - EDI Group Ltd; Waterfront Edinburgh Limited; PARC Craigmillar; Marketing Edinburgh Ltd and the Capital City Partnership.
Frank is a Director of - Cre8te Opportunities Limited; Edinburgh International Conference Centre Limited; CEC Holdings limited and the Edinburgh International Science Festival.
Frank is a Ward Councillor representing Corstorphine Murrayfield where he has lived for over 40 years.
Originally from London, Frank went to school at Leith Academy primary followed by George Watson’s College and finally on to Napier University.
Frank has been a key figure in major Scottish businesses, working in the manufacturing/engineering sector of industry, mainly in Scotland, for a range of blue chip companies such as Racal, Chubb, Tomkins and Motherwell Bridge. An accountant to trade (FCMA) Frank worked his way up to operate at the highest managerial level in these organisations.
More recently Frank has operated as a self employed Interim Manager focussing on Company turnarounds. This allowed Frank to become more politically active resulting in his election to the Council in 2012.
Frank is a member of the Corstorphine Youth Community Centre management committee.

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Lorraine Stone

UK Country Manager, Telefonica Dynamic Insights, Telefonica Digital

Gordon Robertson

Director of Communications, Edinburgh Airport

Gordon Robertson is Director of Communications at Edinburgh Airport. He and his team handle all external and internal communications for Scotland’s busiest airport  - a role that sees them deal with a huge variety of stakeholders, media and situations.  Following the successful rebrand of the airport Gordon’s key task is to explain to the world how the new ownership of the airport will drive growth and choice for passengers and improve the experience at Edinburgh Airport as a whole.

Gordon spent most of his career as a PR and Political Consultant in Edinburgh before joining the airport in February 2010, just in time for the ash cloud crisis.

A Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Gordon is a Board Member of Marketing Edinburgh and Chair of its Interim Management Group.  He is also on the committee of the Association of Scottish Public Affairs.
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Graham Birse

Director, Edinburgh Institute of Leadership and Management Practice, Edinburgh Napier University

Graham Birse is Director of the Edinburgh Institute of Leadership and Management Practice at Edinburgh Napier University.

A former Managing Director of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, Graham is an experienced director in both private and public sectors, with a track record of leading business membership organisations. During his seven year spell there, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce became UK Chamber of the Year in 2010.  Previously, Graham was Director of Marketing for the Edinburgh and Lothians Tourist Board and Director of Communications for VisitScotland.

He is experienced in commercial and partnership development, marketing and communications, strategy and policy formulation, leadership and team building. He understands the anatomy of businesses- and in his current role is helping businesses implement solutions to help them prosper in a changing world.

Graham is a Board Member of SACRO (Safeguarding Communities, Rehabilitating Offenders)) and of Marketing Edinburgh Ltd, the city’s promotional body. He has also served on many of the city’s economic development and civic partnership bodies.  Now a board member of Planning Aid for Scotland.

Liz McAreavey

Commercial Director, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce

Liz McAreavey enjoyed an entrepreneurial career spanning 16 years, founding Le Bistro Hospitality, Scotland’s largest independent hospitality company, which she led to a successful exit in 2001. This was followed by a period of business consultancy

In 2005 Liz joined Deloitte to lead their Brand and Business Development for Scotland. In 2007 she became a Director at Ernst & Young, heading up their Market Leadership Strategy as Business Development Leader UK&I.

In 2010 Liz joined Edinburgh Chamber becoming Group Commercial Director in 2012 and has project managed the ‘Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference’ in conjunction with Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government. In 2011 she was seconded to Essential Edinburgh as interim Chief Executive. She took over as CEO of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce in October 2016.

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Duncan MacLennan was great as ever, bringing a very interesting perspective to the challenges (and failings) of housing.

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