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Solent Growth Forum Members

Councillor Michael Cheshire

Representative for Havant Borough Council

Councillor Michael Cheshire MBE has been serving Havant Borough Council for the last 9 years when he was elected as a Councillor for Hart Plain ward in Havant.

Since elected, he has been the Chairman of Planning, in the Cabinet with the Marketing and Development Portfolio, and was elected as Leader of the Conservative Group and Council in 2014.

Councillor Cheshire was in the Royal Navy for over 36 years, and his last appointment was as the Commanding Officer, HMS VICTORY before retiring from active service in 1998.

After leaving the Service, he was employed as a Management Consultant in a Blue Chip International IT Company, and was also employed as an Open University Lecturer in Business and Management.

Councillor Cheshire has a Masters Degree in Business (MBA), is happily married with two daughters and 4 grand children.

Councillor Nick Adams-King

Representative for Test Valley Borough Council

Nick is a chartered surveyor by profession and had a successful career building his own businesses in Hampshire and Dorset. Having sold these Nick worked in local government and political communications before holding a number of posts in the public sector.  Nick's currently Deputy Leader of Test Valley Council and also chairs Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset Adoption and Permanence Panel.  Married to a consultant geriatrician at Southampton hospital he lives in the Test Valley with his young family.

Councillor Edward Heron

Representative for New Forest District Council

Councillor Mark Hook

Representative for Gosport Borough Council

First elected in 1983 to 1991 and from 1998 to present day Mark has served over 25 years on Gosport Borough Council. He has been leader of the Council from May 2004 to Jan 2007 and from May 2009 onwards. Mark has served on the National executive for the Round Table, was president of Gosport St. John ambulance for 8 years and currently is chairman of Gosport Borough FC, a conference South team who played at wembley last year in the final of the FA trophy.

Councillor Caroline Horill

Representative for Winchester City Council

Cllr Caroline Horrill was elected to Winchester City Council in May 2014 and appointed Leader in January 2017. Previously she was the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing Services, a role which she continues to hold. 

Caroline’s background is in consumer marketing. Over 20 years she managed brands for some of the world’s biggest advertisers including Pfizer, Unilever and Cadbury Schweppes. Her most recent role was as a marketing Consultant. Previously she was the Marketing Director responsible for Cadbury’s entire non-chocolate business portfolio in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Outside of the Council Caroline is also a Trustee of Youth Options a charity focused on helping to improve the life opportunities of children and young people.

Councillor Keith House

Representative for Eastleigh Borough Council

Keith House has been Liberal Democrat Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council in Hampshire since 1994. On the regional stage, Keith was the Chair of the South East England Regional Assembly and a Board Member at SEEDA and is now a Board member of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) nationally.

He has chaired various Local Government Association bodies and is now a Deputy Chair of the Economy, Environment, Housing & Transport Board, leading on housing for the LGA, and is a passionate advocate of localism and devolution. In 2014, Keith co-led a national review on local authorities’ role in increasing housing supply announced in the 2013 Autumn Statement for Treasury and CLG. This was published in January 2015. Keith is also a County and Town Councillor, and an honorary member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Councillor Donna Jones

Representative for Portsmouth City Council

Cllr Donna Jones is the first female Leader of Portsmouth City Council.

Donna was born and raised in Portsmouth and currently lives in the Drayton area of the city. She attended local schools and a local college, before being offered a place at Cardiff University. As a fully qualified investment manager, Donna's career has predominantly been spent in the banking sector. She is also a practicing Magistrate.

Since being elected as Leader of Portsmouth City Council in June 2014, Donna and her Cabinet team have focused their efforts on ensuring Portsmouth is the number one waterfront city in Europe, which can only be realised through strategic economic development. Plans are in place to increase business growth; attract more investment; and increase job opportunities and prosperity, and to deliver the cities first five star hotel.

She has placed prudent public spending and raising standards of educational attainment high on the administration's list of priorities, along with ensuring local people are equipped with the skills needed to fill jobs, particularly within the rapidly expanding science and engineering sector.

Councillor Simon Letts

Representative for Southampton City Council

Cllr Simon Letts was appointed Leader of Southampton City Council on 15 May 2013.  Councillor Letts has lived in Southampton since 1981 having come to the city to study Chemistry at the University. Upon Graduation he set up a small business developing real time game simulations. In first joined the Council in 1991 as a member for the Millbrook ward soon after he trained as a Science teacher and has taught in local schools for twenty years. He met his partner Carolyn in 1993 and they live in Freemantle with their two children Owen 20 and Emma 14. Since 2006 Cllr Letts has represented the Bitterne Ward.

Outside of politics he volunteers for a local children’s charity and enjoys sport, reading and occasional visits to the cinema, theatre and pub where he enjoys a good pint of real ale.

Councillor Keith Mans

Representative for Hampshire County Council

Cllr Keith Mans is a former RAF pilot who spent 10 years working for the John Lewis Partnership after leaving the RAF and before he entered parliament as the MP for Wyre in Lancashire in 1987 Whilst in Parliament Keith was PPS to the Sec of State for Health as well as being a member of both the Defence and the Environment Select Committees. After leaving Parliament in 1997 Keith was CEO of the Royal Aeronautical Society until his retirement in 2009.

Cllr Mans was elected to the County Council in 2009 and was previously Executive Member for Communities and External Relations. In addition to his Lead role in Children's Services he is also responsible for the Troubled Families Programme and liaison with the Armed Forces in the County. Outside the Council Keith is Chairman of the Oakhaven Hospice Trust and a Trustee of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Trust

Councillor Roy Perry

Representative for Hampshire County Council

Roy Perry is Leader of Hampshire County Council,  representing the Division of Romsey Extra where he lives. 

Roy was first elected to Hampshire County Council in 2005 and has been Leader of the County Council since May 2013. In 2010-2013 he was Executive Lead Member for Childrens Services. 

From 1979-95 he was a member of Test Valley Borough Council and Leader between 1985-94. 

From 1994 to 2004, he was a Member of the European Parliament initially for Wight and Hampshire South and then as one of the 11 MEPs for South East England. 

Roy is a Graduate in Politics and Public Administration of  the University of Exeter and by career he was a Lecturer in Government and Politics.



Councillor Guy Shepherd

Representative for East Hants District Council

Guy Shepherd is a Construction Professional living in Horndean with 22 years' experience in business, construction and local issues. As a Winner of the Construction News Project of the year awards and a with a track record of delivering complex projects, for example the tunnel under the railway line into Gunwharf Quays that was built in just 48 hours, Guy is very keen to support challenging and innovative schemes that will improve the region.


Guy's role at East Hants District Council as a Cabinet member gives him lead responsibility for all EHDC issues with PUSH, Solent LEP and the Solent Growth Forum. Guy also chairs the Highbury College Expert Advisory Board where external professionals meet to discuss emerging industry needs and form strong links with the college and industry. "Supporting business growth through investment with our young people and funding is key to growing our local economy and I am pleased to represent East Hants and support the wider region in this.

Councillor David Stewart

Representative for Isle of Wight Council

Dave Stewart is the current leader of the Isle of Wight Council.

His background is one of being an independent consultant and former police officer with over 30 years service. His broad range of knowledge and skills include operational experience as a senior detective (SIO) and as an internal complaint investigator within the Professional Standards Department (PSD). He is also a specialist in Leadership Development having been at the forefront of leadership training delivery at the National Police College, Bramshill, for over two years.

He is experienced at operating in both a policing & multi-agency environment having undertaking work for Leicestershire Police, Derbyshire Police, Bedfordshire Police, East Midlands Ambulance Service, Northamptonshire Police, Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health, Norfolk Police & Crime Commissioner, Hampshire Police and currently British Transport Police – work that has involved Coaching & Mentoring, Team Development and ,  facilitating bespoke leadership & change management workshops. These workshops have been tailored to need and post – event evaluation feedback consistently reflects a high level of satisfaction with his work and he is keen to continue to make a difference at all levels in the public and private sector.

Dave originates from the Isle of Wight (born in Brading and attended Sandown High School) and was for a period the Detective Inspector heading the Island CID. He has many local connections and recently worked with members of the Island Strategic Partnership. He is also aiming to develop opportunities to work with the members of the Island Community in the future, including service provision within the private sector.

Dave has been an Isle of Wight Councillor since 2011 and leader of the Conservative Group on the Isle of Wight Council since 2013. He was elected interim Council leader in January 2017 and re-elected Council leader for four years in May 2017. His interests include politics, adult education and family. He and his wife Maureen have four children and six grand children.


Councillor Seán Woodward

Representative for Fareham Borough Council

Councillor Seán Woodward has been the Chairman of the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire since its inception in 2003 and Leader of Fareham Borough Council since 1999.  He is in his 25th year as a Councillor and also serves on Hampshire County Council and Hampshire Police Authority

Seán was educated at the University of Portsmouth where he gained a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Biology as well as attaining Chartered Biologist status.  He spent 25 years working in the pharmaceutical industry and is currently the Managing Director of Ferneham Health Limited, a healthcare company which he formed in 2007 and which is currently trading as LBhealthcare based in Whiteley.  The company specialises in Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation

He has led PUSH to its current status as a growth area and was delighted to be invited by government to form the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership following a successful private/public partnership bid involving the support of 70 businesses, 11 local authorities and 4 universities. He believes strongly that the economic recovery will be private sector led and that the concept of a local private/public partnership will be able to help create the improvements in skills, jobs, infrastructure and affordable housing that is so necessary to secure the prosperity of the Solent area and to build on the successful work that is being carried out by PUSH.