Welsh Assembly economy and transport secretary Ken Skates has this week announced the members of the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales.
The commission has been established as a non-statutory, advisory body to provide advice and recommendations to Welsh ministers on the economic and environmental infrastructure needs of Wales over five to 30 years. The group will also consider the interactions of these needs with ‘social infrastructure’, such as schools, hospitals and housing.
Mini-biographies of the 12 commissioners are outlined below.
John Lloyd Jones (Chair)
John Lloyd Jones was examining inspector for the Planning Inspectorate (formerly as Infrastructure Planning Commissioner). In that role he was a member of the examining authority that dealt with the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay application. Lloyd Jones is a former chairman of the Countryside Council for Wales and NFU Wales. He is a member of the external advisory board of the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Science at Aberystwyth University. A fluent Welsh speaker, he lives in Tywyn, Gwynedd.
Professor Tom Crick
Tom Crick is Professor of Digital Education and Policy at Swansea University. His academic interests sit at the research/policy interface, from data science and intelligent systems through to science/innovation policy and digital public services. Crick chaired the Welsh government’s review of the ICT curriculum and is currently chair of the National Network for Excellence in Science and Technology. Crick is also a non-executive director of Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.
Ceri Doyle is chief executive of Newport City Homes. She was previously director of strategy, performance and learning at the Big Lottery Fund and latterly its interim chief executive. She holds, or has held, a number of non-executive director roles including currently trustee of Victim Support Cymru and member of the National Museum Wales Development Board.
Richard Feasey has 25 years experience as a senior executive in the telecommunications sector with global responsibilities. He was director of public policy at Vodafone plc for more than a decade. Feasey is now pursuing various part-time interests, including as a panel member at the Competition and Markets Authority, a research fellow at the Centre on Regulation in Europe, lecturer at University and Kings College, London and Judge Business School, Cambridge and independent consultant. Feasey has been a resident of Aberystwyth for more than 20 years.
Stephen Gifford is head of economic regulation at the Civil Aviation Authority. He has 25 years of economics experience including as the chief economist at Grant Thornton, the director of economics at the CBI and as a senior economist at KPMG, Oxford Economics and the prime minister’s strategy unit. Gifford has expertise in economic policy, economic regulation, transport economics, government and infrastructure. He has worked on infrastructure projects such as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, the London Olympics, Crossrail, Heathrow’s new runway and a masterplan for West Cumbria. He lives in Oxford.
Helen Howells comes from a family farm in Ceredigion and plays an active role in her rural community. She is the founder of Hwylus Cyf, a bilingual consultancy providing professional research, facilitation and business development services to the rural sector. Her work as a consultant builds on ten years’ experience in the sustainable development sector, working at a strategic level with public, private and third sector partners. Helen is a non-executive director of Hybu Cig Cymru, the body responsible for promoting the iconic Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef brands.
Rob Irvine is an expert in multimedia communications and driving structural transformation, understanding the long-term needs of organisations and developing structures to fulfil them. He is a former editor-in-chief of the Manchester Evening News and editor of the Daily Post. Irvine was a trustee of the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, administering £21m funds raised to support those affected by the terrorist attack in Manchester on May 22, 2017. He lives in Conwy.
Eluned Parrott has built a successful executive and political career across a wide range of sectors, including transport, education and skills, the third sector and public services. She is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a trustee and non-executive director of the National Botanic Garden of Wales. She lives in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Professor Roderick Smith
Professor Roderick Smith is a professor emeritus at Imperial College London, having previously been the Royal Academy of Engineering Network Rail Research Professor of Railway Engineering and chair of the Future Railway Research Centre. He is a visiting professor at Oxford University and an academician of CRRC China. He was previously chief scientific advisor at the Department for Transport and is a past president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Chris Sutton is a chartered surveyor and regional director for Cardiff and Wales for JLL. Sutton is passionate about economic development in Wales and has a strong track record in this area. He is a former chair of the CBI Wales and has advised the Welsh government on matters including utilisation of public sector assets, devolution of business rates and planning reform.
Emma Thomas has deep expertise and demonstrable achievements in the fields of sustainable development and waste. She is a director of both Green Compass 2015 ltd and Construction Excellence Wales, a council member for the Chartered Institute of Waste Management Cymru and an advisor to the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales. She lives in Torfaen.
Tom Wharf is a chartered civil engineer with a passion for sustainable infrastructure. His expertise in river, coastal and maritime infrastructure has been gained during over a decade of professional practice in civil engineering consultancy. Wharf sits on the Institution of Civil Engineers’ maritime expert panel. He lives in Cardiff.