Personal Statements for Officer & Steering Group Election Candidates 2023-03-23

Personal Statements for Officer & Steering Group Election Candidates 2023-03-23

FP&SG NF Officer & Steering Group Elections 23 March 2023


Linda Royles
Haringey Resident
Nominated by Dorothy Newton 

I am a former Chief Executive with over 12 years board room experience and over 15 years chairing meetings. I am experienced at managing and working with audiences large and small. My work included  lobbying on behalf of the creative industries, preparing position papers and statements on behalf of over 500 companies to parliament and ministers. I was awarded for my contribution to industry
I have lived and worked in N4 for over 15 years. I have run a small community interest company in Finsbury Park for over ten years, working with local community groups across London. We specialises in working with special educational needs and outdoor education, including tackling food literacy 
I also work as a public speaking coach and horticultural therapist for SEN (special educational needs) groups and a youth charity. I have experience working with and for community, supporting SME and not for profits I am an active member of my local community. I set up our neighbourhood watch scheme in 2017 (with a growing membership of 51 people) we have made great inroads on working to tackle local crime, grime and grow a sense of community on our street and in our area. I set up our a local action committee in response to S20 Major Works and support and advocate on behalf of leaseholders.

Vice Chair / Secretary

Hugh White
Hackney Resident 
Nominated by Susan Lowenthal 

I have lived in Finsbury Park for nearly 35 years and in Hackney for 45 years. I have been involved with Wilberforce Gardeners and the Save Wilberforce Road Campaign (opposing demolition of 13 houses).
Before retirement I lectured in biochemistry and had experience in running undergraduate admissions for both my department and then faculty. I was treasurer of a college society for 21 years and for a couple of years secretary of the AUT (now UCU) branch. 

Membership Secretary

Lawrence Singha
Haringey Resident (a resident of Stroud Green for 23 years)
Nominated by Hugh White )

I would like to submit that I am very keen to be appointed as membership secretary and I consider myself apt for this important position because I am more than willing to contribute my time and efforts to bring structure and streamlined flow to the group.
I am equipped with a competent skill set of information technology, website & social media management, IT network speciality, administrative abilities and will comply with data and privacy security.
I shall strive to bring purpose to my role with a hand-on approach coupled with my people friendly nature.


Dominic Sweetman (Hackney Resident)

Nominated by Dorothy Newton

I’ve lived in the Finsbury Park corner of Hackney since 1994, and with luck will stay here for many years more.  I’ve been active in the Wilberforce Gardeners group (treasurer & cakes) and the “Save Wilberforce Road” planning campaign (website etc).
I am currently membership secretary and contact person for a fairly large choir (North Camden Chorus, c. 90 singers registered).  I have been on their committee for many years, and used to run the web site too.
From 1983-2007 I was managing director of a small and egalitarian computer company, with a turnover of £0.5-1M.  A colleague acted as treasurer, but we divided responsibility for financial planning.
I have a good working knowledge of small-organisation IT and IT management, too.
The role of treasurer will change significantly if the Forum incorporates, and from that time will depend a lot on what form that incorporation takes.  I’m open to the challenge…

Election of Steering Group

HACKNEY Residents

Susie Barson nominated by Elizabeth Lowe

I have lived in Finsbury Park Road (L.B. Hackney) for ten years; before that I lived in Stroud Green. I am an Architectural Investigator with Historic England.

Heritage, architecture and the built environment are my passion, and I would like to be in the group which looks at planning and development within the boundary area. Although much has been already determined in the three local authority Local Plans, I believe there is scope to identify sites and areas where tangible improvements can be made for the benefit of the local community. Together we can put forward ideas and proposals, many garnered during the boundary survey talks, to make Finsbury Park and Stroud Green a better place to live, work and interact socially and culturally.

Mandeep Dhanoa nominated by Dominic Sweetman

I have lived in and around the Finsbury Park area for the last 13 years. In my career prior to becoming a property developer, I have obtained planning permission for the Olympia Exhibition Centre redevelopment. This was a huge place-making exercise to install two hotels, music venue, theatre, office and food court into the area of an extremely sensitive English Heritage building. Prior to that I underwrote acquisitions deals for numerous properties in London ranging from 6,000 home developments to 30 storey office buildings in the City of London. I understand how the new plans for Finsbury Park will be priced and viewed by developers and what compromises can be eked out for the betterment of the local community. 

I believe that capital and land are fundamental in directing of how Finsbury Park will develop. I want to explore ideas such a Local Community Wealth Fund, obtaining area to use for non-profit organizations from new developments and incentivising independent commercial retail through policy or rates.

I want to make Finsbury Park a socially and economically enriched area to give an opportunity for the next generation to live and work in a more prosperous place than they grew up in. I think my set of skills can assist paving a way for this future.

Elizabeth Lowe nominated by Susan Lowenthal

I have lived in the Brownswood Ward (Hackney) for over 40 years and worked in a number of community initiatives. I have been involved with the FPSG Neighbourhood Forum from the very start in 2015. I believe that the Forum and the Neighbourhood Plan are essential to ensure that all 3 councils work together for the benefit of those of us who live or work within the area.

As a solicitor within private practice, major charity, industry and government I have experience engaging and working with a wide cross section of the community.

My aim is the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan that will shape and develop the living and working environment within the Neighbourhood Forum area and make it a green, sustainable, safe and great place to be.

Francesco Mellino nominated by Hugh White

I work at C40 Cities, an organisation supporting mayors in delivering the urgent action needed to confront the climate crisis

I have sat on the Steering Committee for the Neighbourhood Forum since 2020.

Since first moving to the area in 2015, I have lived in the Tollington ward (Islington), Stroud Green ward (Haringey) and Brownswood ward (Hackney), where I currently reside.

HARINGEY Residents

James Holmes nominated by Lawrence Singha

I am a master’s student studying spatial planning at UCL, and have lived in Stroud Green (LB Haringey) for six months. I haven’t been living in the area for long, but value this opportunity to get more involved in the local community while learning about neighbourhood planning in the process. I don’t have particular goals or agendas for the neighbourhood, but I am keen to see that development is of a high-quality and sustainable in both environmental and social terms. As a young adult living in a nine-person rented HMO (house share), I should be able to represent a section of the community that is under-represented in the steering group and in the planning process in general.  

Anne Lavery nominated by Linda Royles

My partner and I run a business on Stroud Green Rd and are active members of the local Stroud Green Traders organisation. Previous to this I was a teacher and journalist. I have now been living on the Haringey side of Stroud Green for the past 10 years. I am passionate about building a better local community and, as a disabled person, have a particular interest in accessibility and inclusivity. A long-time volunteer, I served two terms as Chair of Pedal Power, a cycling club within Finsbury Park for people with learning and physical disabilities. I am currently a Trustee of the national charity Ehlers Danlos Support UK.

Two vacancies remain for Haringey Steering Group members


Adam Hardy nominated by Jonathan Ward

I’d like to be on the FPSG NF steering group because I think there’s a huge need for more environmental and ecological commitment from our three councils, and our NF steering group definitely needs to concentrate on such issues, e.g. climate change adaptation, air quality, natural resources, green space – things that will make our area cleaner, healthier and even beautiful. I have an MSc in environmental technology and experience in campaigning and volunteering on green issues. I live with my partner and school-age children in the Islington Finsbury Park ward.

Edward Farleigh nominated by Hugh White

I am a local resident and architect with extensive experience in residential neighbourhood design in London. Having worked at a number of high-profile practices, including Karakusevic Carson, Alison Brooks and David Chipperfield, I recently founded my own practice with the aim of focussing on community led projects. Over of the years my work has required me to produce design-guides and parameters for emerging neighbourhoods as well as designing within various Plan’s, giving me ample experience of the effectiveness of local planning policies.

I believe that London can address the housing crisis without resorting to tower construction or widespread demolition. By working at the local scale and by thinking carefully about how we ensure development is targeted at those who plan to live and work locally we can densify neighbourhoods sustainably. I hope that working as a member of the Steering Group will allow me to contribute to the sustainable development of my own neighbourhood.

Susan Lowenthal nominated by Elizabeth Lowe

I have been involved with the working group for the Finsbury Park & Stroud Green Neighbourhood Plan since its inception, after the 2015 Finsbury Park Regeneration Conference. I have lived in the area for 35 years and brought my family up here.
What I would really like to see is a greener, safer environment for everyone who lives and works in the area. As a Chartered Landscape Architect, I have a depth of professional knowledge, including experience of Planning matters. I work for a leading engineering professional services company on urban realm and infrastructure projects, but I worked for Hackney Council for 16 years and was later seconded to Islington Council. 
It would be a great achievement for the FPSGNP area to become a healthy place where our whole community has decent housing, great local shops, cleaner air, green streets and parks, feels safe, and is proud to live/ work and spend leisure time.

Dorothy Newton nominated by Hugh White

I have been part of the group working towards setting up a Forum since it began.

I have lived in Finsbury Park for 50 years. My three children were born here and went to school locally. I am committed to our area and to developing planning measures which will enhance life and health for all our wonderful mix of people – using the Forum’s powers to stand up for our area within the three councils and other authorities, encouraging better working together on issues which affect us all – including air quality, the state of our streets and green spaces – as well as the built environment.

I am retired from paid work. I’m involved with various other local groups and activities, which will, I hope, as things develop, help to engage more local people in the work towards a Plan.


Note: we did not ask elected official candidates for personal statements.

HACKNEY Elected Official Member

nominee: Cllr Clare Potter Brownswood Ward

nominated by: Dominic Sweetman

HARINGEY Elected Official Member

nominee: Cllr Eldridge Culverwell Stroud Green Ward

nominated by: Lawrence Singha

ISLINGTON Elected Official Member

nominee: Cllr Asima Shaikh Finsbury Park Ward

nominated by: Susan Lowenthal

Co-opted Members of Sub-Groups (for information: not elected)

The Steering Group has the power to co-opt people to sub-groups. Such co-opted members provide invaluable expertise as well as a great deal of work.

Co-opted at present are:

Jonathan Ward (Islington Resident)

I am a local resident, primary school governor, building engineer and sustainability consultant. I would be pleased to help shape our local planning policy to improve our local environment for all, while reducing our impact on the global environment. I am particularly interested in greening our public realm, improving the efficiency of our buildings, and helping to strengthen our local communities.

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