I created this website in 2015 to support my campaign for election to Faversham Town Council. Although I wasn’t elected, the support I received has encouraged me to keep the site going as a place for me to set out my views on Faversham’s future.
I have lived in St Ann’s, Faversham since 2001, when my wife and I moved here from London with our baby son. We now have two children – one at Queen Elizabeth’s and the other at the Abbey School. We have found our home here.
I run an architecture and urban planning business in London and typically travel in to St Pancras 4 days a week, working from Faversham most Fridays.
I am a trustee of the Design Council, which champions good design to improve the performance of places, products and processes. Well designed “things” look better, work better and last longer, all of which means better value for money. I am also a director of The Academy of Urbanism and a Visiting Professor at University College London. In 2016 I became a Freeman of the City of London.
Urban planning takes me all over the world: China, New Zealand, the USA and elsewhere. I get to see places that often share similar issues to Faversham: how to attract visitors, keep businesses vibrant, commemorate historic events and celebrate the unique identity of a place. Faversham is not the first place to face the multiple challenges of housing growth and demand for better education and healthcare provision. We can learn from other places and contribute our own, particular experience.
In 2014 I led a campaign against the painting of Yellow Lines in Faversham town centre. I was delighted by the huge level of support from local people as well as from people all over the world who care deeply about our town. In the end the lines were painted, but not before some significant concessions had been won.
Sadly, Faversham Town Council is now thinking of going even further, to encircle the historic and beautiful Guildhall with double yellow lines:
I continue to campaign to remove the yellow lines in the town centre and to implement an alternative parking strategy that respects the historic beauty of the place.
In the course of my work I meet people involved in town planning, public space design, property development and investment. My clients are both public and private sector organisations, as well as community groups. I get to see issues from each of these different perspectives and my job is often to find the common ground.
Occasionally I get to meet people involved in major national decisions such as the Prime Minister’s advisor for housing.
Such meetings help put Faversham’s challenges into focus.
When I’m not in a suit you may well find me in my waders, helping to clean up the Westbrook stream that flows at the back of our house.
My wife, Anna, has led a campaign to improve these important bodies of water by creating the Friends of the Westbrook and Stonebridge Pond. It is a sign of our town’s passionate community spirit that large numbers of people turn up at the regular “stream clear” events and evening meetings.
As a family, we are involved with the Faversham Sea Scouts, where I have honed my burger-flipping and roof repair skills. I’m not an expert in either but I like to have a go…
…which is exactly how I feel about involving the people of Faversham in helping to create a plan for the future of the town: a Faversham Plan. Too many decisions are taken too remotely, with insufficient consultation. I want to help to change that way of working. An engaged citizenry is the foundation of a thriving place.