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Ex-Officio Panel Members

Stuart Baker

Solent LEP

Stu was appointed to Head of Local Growth in March 2014. Prior to this, Stu had worked for the Solent LEP since July 2013, seconded from Solent Transport for two days per week, providing the LEP Board with strategic transport advice and support. During that time, Stu also managed Solent Transport (formerly TfSHIoW), which is the strategic transport planning partnership of the four Local Transport Authorities of the Solent area. Before taking up the TfSHIoW role, Stu held transport planning posts at Hampshire County Council and at District Councils, so has worked across the local authority spectrum.

Prior to his career in transport, Stu worked as a secondary and sixth-form teacher of Geography at three schools in England and Wales, as a commercial insurance underwriter at Axa, and as a commercial insurance team leader at Aon. Stu has two degrees, a BA in Geography from the University of Portsmouth and an MSc in Transport Planning and Management from the University of Westminster. He was also one of the first in the country to be awarded Transport Planning Professional (TPP) status, the professional qualification for transport planners.

Stu was born in Southampton and has lived in the area for most of his life.

Siobhan Flynn

Solent LEP

Siobhan joined the Solent LEP in April 2014, as the Local Growth Programme Manager: Employment and Skills. Siobhan's key role is to deliver the Skills Plan, in conjunction with the Strategic Economic Plan and European Investment Strategy. Prior to this role Siobhan has held a number of economic regeneration posts across district, unitary and county councils in the sub-region. Siobhan has significant experience both strategic and operational, of projects and programmes ranging from labour market interventions for unemployed residents to SME support and workforce development. Siobhan also has a background in European funding.

Siobhan has a degree in Geography from Portsmouth and a post-graduate diploma in local and regional economic development from Coventry, Sheffield Hallam and Dundee Universities. Siobhan is also a member of the Institute of Economic Development.

Chris Ward

Portsmouth City Council

Chris Ward's register of interest can be found here

Chris Ward is Portsmouth City Council’s statutory Chief Financial Officer. He has a duty to secure the proper administration of the Council’s financial affairs in all of its dealings as well as holding a fiduciary responsibility to local taxpayers and a duty to act in the public interest at all times. Chris is responsible for the Council’s overall financial strategy and for overseeing the Council’s £700m budget.

He has worked for the Council for 15 years, rising to his current position in September 2011. Before this, Chris spent 10 years with responsibility for Corporate Finance, Accountancy, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable and throughout that period has been involved in, or been the financial lead, in almost every major project of the City Council. He is also a Director of MMD Limited, a fruit importing business which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the City Council.

Cath Longhurst


Cpt Andy Cree


Denise Edghill

Southampton City Council

Andy Tickner

Hampshire County Council

Kathryn Rankin

Southampton City Council