I went to a Comprehensive school and was the first in my family ever to go onto Higher Education. I gained a degree in Computing and have subsequently become a Chartered Engineer. I also spent seven years as a board member of the Chartered Body the British Computer Society.

I have been a school governor at two different schools. I began my career working in manufacturing on the IT systems building Caterpillar trucks. I subsequently became one of the leading programmers at the Sage Group developing their payroll, accounting and contact management software. Later I worked elsewhere on pensions software. During the dot-com boom I went freelance and contracted at many of the major investment banks in London. I later went to work for a Labour MP for 12 months. While freelance I help found the Professional Contractors Group a trade association - ‘union’ - for freelancers it now has 20,000 members. I was their external affairs director in a high profile campaign and have written a book about the experience - ‘Freedom to Freelance’. As a part of this role I sat on Government committees and was assertive in pushing the agenda for freelancers with Ministers and civil servants. I have worked in the City of London for a firm of aviation insurance underwriters. There I represented staff in disputes with management. I currently work for a business consultancy in London.
In the middle of this I did spend some time unemployed and
experienced for myself what it is like to go to the Job Centre and to have to claim from the state. It is not an easy for a happy thing to do. I can look people in the eye and truly empathise.

At a local level I became involved with non-party political town council and was elected and became Mayor and implemented a strong social programme targeting poverty and helping marginalised groups in the town. I stood up for people being bullied against the local landlord and defended and won in the High Court.

Subsequent to being Mayor I have written a book on the social aspects of the Garden City (The Garden City Manifesto) and was invited to Beijing and Chengdu in China and also by the UN to Naples to present the work. I do some visiting lecturing at UCL on the topic.
I have been married for 22 years and have three children aged 16, 12 and 6.

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