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Locality ’16: Keynote speakers

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John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor

John McDonnell has been MP for Hayes & Harlington in West London since 1997. In September 2015 he was appointed Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

In 1981 John was elected to the Greater London Council (GLC) as the member of Hayes and Harlington. He became Chair of Finance, responsible for the GLC’s £3million budget and was Ken Livingstone’s Deputy Leader.

As Labour’s Shadow Chancellor he’s been heading up the development of Labour’s New Economics and as part of that work he has been touring the UK holding lectures and seminars to involve people in the conversation.


lordheseltinephotograph1The RT Hon Lord Heseltine, Former Deputy Prime Minister

Lord Heseltine was a Member of Parliament in Britain from 1966 to 2001.  He was a Cabinet Minister in various departments between 1979 and 1986 and between 1990 and 1997.  He was Deputy Prime Minister from 1995 to 1997.  He is founder and Chairman of the Haymarket Group, one of the largest privately owned media companies in the UK.

In 2015 Lord Heseltine was appointed by the government as an advisor to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.  Within this remit he is Chair of the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission, co-Chair of the Estate Regeneration Advisory Panel and has just published an independent report making recommendations to further develop the Tees Valley area.  He is also a Commissioner for The National Infrastructure Commission.  In October 2012 he published No Stone Unturned in Pursuit of Growth, an independent review into how the public and private sectors in the UK work together to create wealth.

He has written books on Europe and his political autobiography, Life in the Jungle.  His latest book co written with Lady Heseltine, Thenford: The Creation of an English Garden, will be published in October.  Lord Heseltine is an enthusiastic gardener and is a Vice President of the Royal Horticultural Society.


hazel-blearsHazel Blears, Chair of Social Investment Business and former Communities Minister

Hazel worked as a lawyer in private practice and local government for 20 years. She was also councillor on Salford City Council for 8 years and was elected to Parliament in 1997.

Whilst an MP she held ministerial roles in Government in Health, Police and Counter Terrorism and was Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. She led the change to community policing and was responsible for housing, planning and community regeneration. Later she was a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee contributing to the report on the role of Women within the UK Intelligence Community.

Hazel is now a non-executive director of the Co-operative Group, Chair of the Social Investment Business, Chair of Salford University Institute for Dementia and a trustee of the Alzheimer’s Society.