Our Commissioners

Chair: Nicky Gavron AM
Nicky Gavron is a London-wide Assembly Member. She has been Labour Group spokesperson on planning and housing supply, and chair of the cross-party Planning Committee for the past five years.

In 2000 she became the first statutory Deputy Mayor of London with responsibility for the London Plan, strategic planning, and London’s response to climate change, a post she held for seven years.

An elected politician since 1986, Nicky has been at the forefront of developing land-use, transport and environmental policies to make London a sustainable city.

In particular she has a long track record developing housing policies at all levels of government.  Nicky has a deep interest in affordable housing and links this to other progressive agendas: jobs and the economy; health; education; social mobility; equality; and transport.

From 1986 to 2000 she was a local councillor in the London Borough of Haringey.

Throughout the 90s, she led the London Planning Advisory Committee (LPAC), where she commissioned research and formulated many of the policies which underpinned the London Plan today.

Under the last Labour government she became the first Chair of the Local Government Association’s Planning Committee. She was also a member of the National Integrated Transport Commission and the Sustainable Development Commission.


Vice Chair: Cllr Alison Moore

Alison Moore was first elected as councillor for East Finchley ward in 1998 and has been Leader of the Labour Group and Leader of the Opposition in Barnet for the past nine years.

Alison was Cabinet member for Education and Children from 1999 to 2002 and subsequently held a range of Shadow Cabinet portfolios, including education, corporate performance and finance, and served on the planning committee for eight years.

Her professional background was as a scientific researcher and university lecturer at University College London, the University of Minnesota, USA and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.

Alison is a Trustee of the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley, is a Chair of Governors at a local primary school, Chair of the Advisory Committee at Children's centre and has previously Chaired both a Charity providing support to older people in the community and a Local Agenda 21 Partnership focussing on local social and economic sustainability. She has a particular interest in affordable housing and its role in place shaping and community development and cohesion.

Vice Chair: Cllr Ross Houston MBA, ACIH, FRSA

Councillor for Barnet’s West Finchley ward since 2006, and Labour Spokesperson on Housing (previously shadow cabinet member 2006 – 2012 for Housing and Regeneration, 2012 – 2013 for Education and 2013-14 for Resources). Led on writing the minority report opposing the change to Barnet’s housing allocations policy. Also led on the Labour critique and submission on the council’s new Tenancy Strategy (implementing fixed term tenancies). Chair of Chipping Barnet Constituency Labour Party 2000 – 2005 and agent in 2001 General election. Chair of Woodhouse Labour Party branch 2001- 2006.

Executive member and treasurer of Labour Housing Group and also Executive member of LHG London branch.

Board member of Barnet’s ALMO Barnet Homes 2007-2012 and of The Barnet Group since 2012. Authority member and chair of Scrutiny at Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. Senior housing professional and Head of Housing at Peabody (Regency Estates, former Crown Estate Housing) 2011-2014.

Previously board member at PCHA Housing Assoc 2007-11 (now Genesis HA) and Sutherland HA 2001-2006. Speaker and International Delegate to South African Housing Foundation 2012 Conference, Cape Town ‘Building Capacity for Sustainable Delivery’.

Vice-chair successful regeneration partnership (West Euston Partnership); chairs of West Euston Wellfair Project; board member Camden’s Third Age Project. Chair of governors at Northside School.



Tony Clements
Tony Clements is a public servant turned consultant.  He has worked as a policy advisor for Labour’s last Housing Minister, John Healey, and before that in local government as Principal Policy Advisor to Mayor Sir Robin Wales at Newham Council in East London.

He studied Social and Political Science and Anthropology at Cambridge University and is currently Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives at the East Thames Group.

He is also an editor of the Red Brick housing blog which The Guardian described as a 'superb blog analysing social housing policy’. He is a member of the Labour Party and of the Labour Housing Group.


Rabbi Danny Rich 

Danny Rich lives in Barnet and is an independent member of the Commission.  He has been the Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism since the middle of 2005 and was rabbi to Kingston Liberal Synagogue for nearly two decades. Rabbi Rich is a Justice of the Peace, and a hospital and prison chaplain. 

He is a President of the Council of Christians & Jews and a member of the Council of Imams and Rabbis.

His publications include Liberal Judaism and Mixed Marriage (2004), Zionism: The Case for Fair-Mindedness On All Sides (2010),  Muslim Perceptions Of The Other (2011) and most recently Israel Mattuck: The inspirational voice of Liberal Judaism (2014).

He has recently campaigned on the living wage and caring for carers, and gave live and written evidence to the Falconer Commission on Assisted Dying and the parliamentary Public Bill Committee on the Marriage (Same sex Couples) Bill.

Danny is a former Trustee of Mental Aid Projects and a past Governor of Hinchley Wood Junior School.

Reverend Colin Smith

Colin Smith has been the senior Methodist minister in Barnet for 14 years and is minister of the Methodist churches in East Barnet and Manor Drive.  He originally came to London to train as a barrister and settled in north London, including Barnet, in the 1980s.  Before entering the ministry he managed the Citizens' Advice Bureau in Thamesmead is south-east London.  He has been a governor of several schools in Barnet, chairing the governors of a faith school and presenting serving as a governor of a special school.  He is very active nationally and locally in Jewish-Christian relationships.  He is an independent member of the Commission.


Janet Solomons

Janet is a Barnet resident living in Golders Green. Professionally she worked as a Probation Officer before a career in social work, working for Barnet Social Services until 2001. She was commissioner for the Learning Disability Service and was partnership manager for Barnet’s Social Services work with the Local Heath Authority. She has worked as a consultant and as such advised the London Borough of Richmond on day care services.

Janet has previously served as a trustee of several charities including Voice UK (a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities and other vulnerable people who have experienced crime or abuse) and the Winant Clayton Volunteers, running the US/UK work exchange programme, and working with organisations who help many different groups of vulnerable people, from the homeless, to those with mental health problems and also young people.

Janet has a Diploma in Social Administration from the LSE and an MA in Social Policy from Middlesex University. She and her husband are carers for their son who has learning disabilities. She is retired, is a guide at the British Museum doing tours of the Enlightenment Gallery, Mexico and special Highlight Tours, and is a Labour Party member.


Glyn Thomas

Glyn's work with the Third Sector includes participating in a wide range of voluntary organisations eg co-ops, friendly societies and social enterprises. As the Board member of CDS Co-operatives, he is very involved with the co-operative housing sector.  CDS is the largest secondary housing co-op in London and the South East.   He is also involved with the co-op retail sector as an elected member of the Co-op Group's North London Area Committee.

He was a senior manager of Millbank Studios which is the largest TV news facility in Westminster until he retired.  Millbank Studios specializes in parliamentary news coverage.  He also managed  the company's contract to provide the technical facilities for the BBC Parliament channel. Previously he has worked for the Reuters news agency and the news departments of several ITV companies. 


Bob Young

Bob Young is a public health and housing practitioner with 50 years experience of working extensively with community organisations, municipalities, government agencies and the development industry in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.

Bob is a Trustee and professional member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, a Director of the Academy of Urbanism and a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing. Recently retired as CEO of Local Space, an innovative London-based housing association set up by the London Borough of Newham ,he formerly held positions as Director of Housing for the City of Manchester, Deputy Director of Housing for the London Borough of Hackney, Urban Renewal Coordinator for the City of Birmingham, and independent Housing and Regeneration Inspector for the Audit Commission.

Alongside his leading roles in municipal and social housing management and development Bob has maintained a particular interest in homelessness and the private rented sector having been an HMO enforcement officer in Manchester, Housing Aid and Homelessness Manager with Trafford MBC, Founder Member of Manchester and Salford Housing Action, Vice Chairman of the Shelter Housing Aid Trust, Director of the Public Health Advisory Service, the Campaign for Bedsit Rights and Homeless International. He is an independent member of the Commission.

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