Centre for Local Economic Strategies announces new Chair of Trustees

CLES, the UK’s leading, independent think and do tank realising progressive economics for people and place, has announced the appointment of Gill Steward as its new Chair of Trustees.

The appointment represents a new chapter in the history of the 30 year old organisation as Gill takes over from outgoing Chair, Michael Ward, who was one of the founders of CLES in 1986.

The history of CLES is one of learning from practice to inform policy, and Gill brings over 30 years of experience in public service to the organisation. Gill recently joined the London Borough of Bexley as Chief Executive, having previously held senior leadership roles in Bracknell Forest, Hackney, Cornwall and West Sussex.

Gill’s experience straddles both rural and urban areas, with her current role in Bexley at the cutting edge of creating excellent services and balancing development opportunities, whilst enabling opportunities for all.

Commenting on her appointment, Gill Steward, said:

‘I have been a huge admirer of CLES since it was established in the 80s. Now more than ever, we need to understand both the determinants and the delivery mechanisms of strong inclusive growth. The work CLES undertakes across all parts of the UK and internationally can really help us to understand both the “what” and the “how”. I am delighted to be joining a board and an organisation with such an important purpose and role.’

Neil McInroy, Chief Executive of CLES commented:

‘Myself and the board are absolutely thrilled that Gill has agreed to become our new chair. A successful organisation is made up of many things, but the right Chair can beat the rhythm and set the tone of the organisation. In this, Gill is already buzzing with ideas and energy, and has a genuine passion for the organisation.

I’d also like to sincerely thank Michael, who has been an excellent Chair and colleague. I have the deepest respect for him and all the hard work he has put in to helping to make CLES the successful organisation it is today.’

Michael Ward, outgoing Chair of CLES said:

“I have enjoyed the past eight years chairing the Board of CLES. I wish CLES, Neil and Gill every success.”


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