Who's Who

Here are the people who run ADEPT.

Updated August 2018

Leadership Team

Neil Gibson

President of ADEPT / Executive Director, Transport Economy Environment, Buckinghamshire County Council

Neil is Managing Director for the Council’s Transport, Economy & Environment Business Unit. He championed major infrastructure projects, chaired the Project Executive for East West Rail, and developed ‘England’s Economic Heartland’, a strategic alliance across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire to drive economic growth and investment.

Neil is a Non-Executive Director of Bucks Advantage, a development company co-owned by the Buckinghamshire Authorities and the private sector. In a voluntary capacity, he is a Non-Executive Director and Chairman of Ngage Solutions Ltd, a not-for-profit company that delivers business solutions for primarily SMEs in the Thames Valley. He was also the Honorary Treasurer & Secretary of ADEPT for 3 years and is now one of the Association’s 2nd Vice Presidents.

Neil started life in local government in 1982 as a Town Planner with King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council, after which his career took him to Peterborough City Council, Wrekin Council, Chester City Council and Oxford City Council. He joined Buckinghamshire County Council in 2004 as Strategic Director (Transportation & Planning), becoming Strategic Director (Transportation, Economy & Environment) in 2007, and then Strategic Director (Communities & Built Environment) from 2009 to early 2015.

Nigel Riglar

1st Vice President of ADEPT / Director for Environment and Community Services, South Gloucestershire Council

I have recently joined South Gloucestershire Council and lead the delivery of Council’s placed based services. In the preceding 20 years I was variously the Commissioning Director for Communities and Infrastructure at Gloucestershire County Council, including being a LNP Board member, Stroud District Council’s Deputy Chief Executive and set up the Beacon Council Scheme for the Improvement & Development Agency. In the dim and distant past I was a Local Agenda 21 / Environmental Management Adviser for the Local Government Management Board and before that had stints in Overseas Development, the nuclear industry and estate agency (but please don’t hold that against me). I have three daughters (12, 17 & 18), the oldest one is at medical school and the other two are accomplished footballers. So when not stood on the touchline you will find me inspecting local roads on my trusty bicycle.

Darryl Eyers

Darryl Eyers

2nd Vice President and Chair of ADEPT Midlands Board / Director for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills, Staffordshire County Council

Darryl is the Director for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills at Staffordshire County Council. The directorate includes: Economic Development, Highways and Infrastructure, Transport, Waste Management, Skills for Employment, and Adult and Community Learning.

Prior to this Darryl was the Deputy Director for Place and Head of Economic Planning. His role included responsibilities for economic planning, securing external funding for economic growth programmes and developing economic partnerships. Darryl played a lead role on behalf of the Local Enterprise Partnership in negotiating City and Growth Deals, unlocking over £100m of investment from Central Government.

Darryl joined Staffordshire County Council in 2002 as a Research Officer. Prior to this he worked for the West Midlands Low Pay Unit after graduating from University.

Since joining the County Council Darryl has progressed within the organisation covering a number of senior roles including: the Head of Policy and Performance for the whole organisation, and a seconded Business Partner role supporting the Director for People to develop and transform the directorate.

Paula Hewitt

2nd Vice President and Chair of ADEPT Environment Board / Director of Commissioning & Lead Commissioner and Economic and Community Infrastructure, Somerset County Council

Paula Hewitt is the Director of Commissioning and Lead Commissioner for Economic and Community Infrastructure at Somerset County Council. She has responsibility for a diverse mix of services ranging from highways and waste to economic development and libraries.

Paula was heavily involved in co-ordinating the Local Authority response to the devastating Somerset winter 2014/15 floods and was also responsible for working with partners to prepare a 20 year plan to reduce flooding. This plan has already secured over £30million of new funding and the establishment of the Somerset Rovers Authority.

Paula has led on a number of high profile projects and service transformations including establishing a heritage trust, combining Somerset and Devon’s trading standards services and a joint procurement in relation to 3 authorities’ highways term maintenance contracts.

Paula is a Chartered Town Planner and worked in the Coal Industry before joining Local Government.

Simon Neilson

Simon Neilson

Immediate Past President of ADEPT / Executive Director - Economy & Environment, Walsall Council

Simon's role encompasses leadership of a broad range of metropolitan Place services together with Public Health. He works closely with colleagues across the Black Country to support economic outcomes through its Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and he is currently actively involved in establishing the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Simon was previously Assistant Director: Place at Essex County Council, with lead responsibility for the South East LEP and the Whole Essex Community Budget pilot (Economic Opportunity).  Prior to this role, between 2009 and 2011 Simon was Head of Regeneration at ECC, following two years as Senior Regeneration Manager for Thames Gateway South Essex and a secondment to the East of England Development Agency.  During his career he has been responsible for the delivery of major regeneration projects across Basildon, South Essex and coastal areas of Essex.  Before joining ECC as a Fast Track Manager, Simon was a Business Development Manager in the retail Foreign Exchange sector.

Mike Ashworth

Mike Ashworth

Chair of ADEPT Transport Board / Strategic Director, Economy, Transport and Environment, Derbyshire County Council

I have more than 30 years’ experience working for several local authorities in Derbyshire including 11 years in Chesterfield. I have been in my current role since June 2013. I oversee a portfolio that includes regeneration, transport, countryside, waste, highways and planning. I am currently chairman of the ADEPT Transport Board and Strategic Director, Economy, Transport and Environment for the County Council.

Laura Church

Chair of East of England ADEPT Board / Corporate Director, Place & Infrastructure, Luton Borough Council

Laura has worked for the Luton Council for more than 28 years. She began her career as a Trainee Planner and has held roles including Principal Planner, Head of Regeneration, Head of Business & Consumer Services and currently holds the role of Corporate Director for Place & Infrastructure. Laura has led the inward investment and marketing of Luton for a number of years. Laura is also Director of Luton Traded Services Limited, and was the officer who led the formation of the commercial trading arm for the authority, with an annual turnover of more than £20 million pounds. 

Laura has a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Music and a Postgraduate Diploma in Urban and Planning and Management. She is also a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and Institute of Economic Development.

peter geraghty

Peter Geraghty

Chair of ADEPT Planning, Housing & Regeneration Board / Director of Planning & Transport, Southend on Sea Borough Council

Peter Geraghty is Director of Planning and Transport at Southend on Sea Borough Council where he is responsible for a range of services including planning and building control, the safety advisory group, transport policy, highways and street works, car park management and parking enforcement, highway licensing, road safety initiatives, coastal defences and flood risk management.

Peter has experience of working across all sectors – public, private and voluntary. His previous roles have included Chief Planning Officer for Brentwood Borough Council and Head of Planning and Conservation at Broadland District Council. Peter is Chair of the Royal Town Planning Institute’s International Committee and was President of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 2013-2014. He is also a member of the Department for International Trade (DIT) Capital Investment Advisory Board.

Stuart Jarvis

Stuart Jarvis

Chair of ADEPT South East Board (SEDEEPT) / Director of Economy, Transport & Environment Department at Hampshire County Council.

Stuart Jarvis was appointed as Director in November 2010.  Economic Development moved into the Environment Department, creating the Economy, Transport and Environment Department in 2011, following the retirement of the Director for Economic Development.

Prior to his appointment as Director, Stuart served for 15 months as Managing Director of PUSH (Partnership for Urban South Hampshire) on a secondment from the County Council, where he had been appointed as the Deputy Director of Environment in May 2004.  Before joining Hampshire Stuart was the CountyPlanning and Transport Officer for Somerset County Council, and previously worked in various posts in Pembrokeshire County Council, Preseli Pembrokeshire District Council, Southampton City Council and Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.

Gordon MacKay

Chair of the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS) / Head of Roads and Transportation Services, South Lanarkshire Council


Gordon has dedicated virtually all of his career to Scottish local government. After a short period with a private contractor following graduation, he joined Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council in 1984 before moving on to Strathclyde Regional Council in 1988. At the re-organisation of local government across Scotland in 1996, he joined South Lanarkshire Council and took up his current post as Head of Roads and Transportation Services in 2010. He took over the Chair of SCOTS in May 2017 having served as Vice Chair previously.

Anthony Payne

Chair of ADEPT South West Board / Strategic Director for Place, Plymouth City Council

Anthony Payne took up the post of Director for Development and Regeneration at Plymouth City Council in October 2009, following the creation of a new department responsible for Economic Development, Strategic Planning and Infrastructure, and Street Services. In January 2012 his role was widened to include Capital Programme, visitor economy, events, heritage and sustainability.

Anthony previously worked for the East Midlands Development Agency in a number of Director posts, which included sustainable development, land and development and finally Executive Director for Strategy & Communications.

From 1995-2004 Anthony was based in Brussels, running a network of European Cities on Sustainable Development. 

Anthony holds a BSc in Geology and an MPhil in Planning. He was born and bred in Plymouth. 

Simon Richardson

Chair of ADEPT Northern Ireland / Divisional Roads Manager with the Department for Infrastructure, Northern Ireland.

Simon is one of four Divisional Roads Managers in the Department for Infrastructure and is responsible for managing, maintaining and improving the road network across the Southern Division of Northern Ireland.

Prior to taking up this post in 2013, Simon was Head of Engineering Services in the Department with responsibility for procurement; health and safety; policy development; and parking enforcement across the whole of Northern Ireland. Simon led the project to introduce decriminalised parking to Northern Ireland in 2006 which was, and remains, the largest parking management operation in the UK.

Simon has worked for the Northern Ireland road authority since graduating in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University Belfast in 1988 and is a chartered member of Engineers Ireland.

Mike Roberts

Chair of CCS (Wales) / Head of Streetcare, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

Mike Roberts is the Head of Streetcare for Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and has been in post as Chair of CSS Wales since July 2018. Prior to moving to Neath Port Talbot Mike has worked for a number of authorities in England and Wales including Cornwall County Council, Swansea Council, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Torfaen Council, having started out in private industry.

Mike is a Chartered Civil Engineer by profession and has been working in the Public Sector for nearly 30 years.

Mark Stevens

Chair of ADEPT Engineering Board / Assistant Director Operational Highways, Suffolk County Council

Mark has worked in local government highways and transportation services for over 35 years, working for a number of local authorities including Leicestershire County Council, Peterborough City Council and Luton Borough Council.

His wide-ranging experience includes setting up and providing strategic direction to the Midlands Highways Alliance, involvement in the Highway Maintenance Efficiency programme, securing funding and oversight of a wide range of highways, along with civil and engineering schemes supporting economic growth and regeneration.


The Secretariat

Hannah Bartram

ADEPT Chief Operating Officer

Hannah joined ADEPT as Chief Operating Officer in February 2016. She moved from the Environment Agency, where she led teams working on policy areas including planning, growth & devolution, climate change and flood risk management. During her time with the EA she also spent 6 months in DCLG leading on reforms to the major planning regime. Prior to that she worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) on a range of international and domestic nature conservation issues.   

Nicola Parkins

ADEPT Secretariat

Nicola worked for 12 years in the then Department for Trade & Industry, including a two-year secondment to the European Commission in Brussels. She then took a career break to complete a music degree and has since worked as a university lecturer and peripatetic music teacher, combined with part-time administrative roles with the passenger group Bus Users UK and the Chartered Institute of Highways & Transportation. She now works mainly as a self-employed editor/proofreader and provides secretariat services to ADEPT on a part-time basis.  

June Meadows

ADEPT Finance Adviser

June works as a Finance Advisor for ADEPT and is also currently working as a Finance Business Partner for Northamptonshire County Council. 

June is a qualified CIMA finance professional with a significant amount of experience working at a senior level in the public and private sector. She has worked successfully for Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) as Head of Finance, delivering all the financial and operational requirements of the company and reporting at Board level to members and stakeholders. She has also worked for The LEP Network Limited as a Finance Adviser carrying out all the financial, operational and reporting requirements of the company.

Prior to joining Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership June worked in the private sector for SME's in the manufacturing/engineering sector.

Coast Communications

Liz Waugh, Managing Director of Coast Communications - providing communications support and advice to ADEPT

Coast Communications provides public relations, public affairs and stakeholder engagement across a wide range of public and private sector companies, specialising in critical infrastructure, the economy, environment and education. Our main office is in Cornwall, although our team is widespread, so we work across the UK including Scotland and Wales, and into Westminster. Liz Waugh (liz@coastmarcoms.co.uk) and Julie Everett (Julie@coastmarcoms.co.uk) are your main day to day contacts, and John Moorcraft (not pictured) works in London on parliamentary affairs. However, we’re all here to help.

AlderCross Training & Events

Alison Young - Director, Aldercross Training & Events

Alison read catering & institutional management at university and then worked for a range of chain and independent organisations in operational and administrative roles.  She has an extensive practical knowledge of delivering hospitality services and is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality.

She joined AlderCross on its formation in 2003 and is the Company Secretary.

Alison has been involved with ADEPT since 2010 providing administrative support to facilitate its annual programme of events.