Stephen is the former Leader of the London Borough of Merton. Prior to becoming the Council Leader, he was Head of Public Affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). He has extensive public sector experience in local government political circles and private sector exposure in the world of business representation. He can leverage his expertise and contribute value within public and private sector organisations, especially in local government service providers and in the private sector’s growth aspirations.
As Leader of Merton Council for ten years, Stephen has used an eye for performance, transformation, and good political leadership, resulting in many industry awards for the authority, including the ‘Best Achieving Council’ at the prestigious Municipal Journal Awards in 2013.
Stephen also chaired the successful South London Partnership (SLP) for eight consecutive years, with legacy achievements including a new leisure centre within a park setting, a brand-new secondary school and a new library at a time when libraries were being closed in other boroughs.
Stephen is a visionary leader with a proven history of success in pioneering change projects across complex public and business landscapes. With over 25 years of SME insight, working in Westminster and Whitehall before becoming a councillor, Stephen has devised sustainable strategies and ensured that Merton Council was open to multi-million-pound developments and service improvements.
Both a respected leader and sought-after partner, he has engendered loyalty and hard work in senior leadership teams and established long-term fruitful relationships with stakeholders at all levels. He has been known to work constructively with opposition parties to influence local policy and is a ‘go-to’ for London Councils and the LGA when new council leaders or cabinet members seek mentoring or training.