Local father, husband and entrepreneur Rod is running to be the first Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough because he believes he has the knowledge, experience and determination needed to improve the lives of people living in every corner of our region.
Rod feels that this devolution deal is far from perfect, but he believes that it still provides our area with a huge opportunity to create more local jobs and tackle many of the problems faced by local residents, many of whom struggle to make ends meet.
As a Cambridge City councillor he has seen firsthand what a disaster devolution projects - like the Greater Cambridge City Deal - can be when not carried out in the best interests of local people. That is why, both as a candidate and the Mayor, he has pledged to make listening to and engaging with residents in every corner of the county his absolute priority.
Rod grew up in Annesley Woodhouse, a small Nottinghamshire mining village where his dad was a miner and his mum was a housewife. Rod firmly believes that growing up in a tight-knit community where people looked out for one another, where the sense of community ran deep, helped shape the person he is today.
He saw, up close and personal, how successive governments failed to stop the economic decline of communities like his after the closure of many mining pits. The effects were truly devastating and helped build Rod’s sense of the need to spread prosperity across wider areas.
He thinks it is wrong that so many politicians have been prepared to sit back and allow communities to get left behind by the significant changes our society has seen over the last few decades. That’s why as our Mayor he will work to ensure that everyone benefits from our region's economic success and growth.
The principle of public service is something very close to Rod’s heart. Growing up his family taught him the importance of working to improve the lives of those living around him. It is the idea that you should stand up and work hard to make your area a better place to live that first led Rod to join the Liberal Democrats and stand for election.
Over the years Rod has gained a wide range of local government experience which will help him to deliver what’s needed as our Mayor.
Since 2004, he has gained widespread praise for his tireless work representing the residents of Newnham ward in Cambridge. He has worked with the community to deliver improvements to the area ranging from large projects, such as a new play area for local families and ensuring the continued subsidised bus service for elderly residents, to small but just as important projects, such as new tree planting or installing a street bench.
As a leading councillor in Cambridge, Rod was instrumental in setting the foundations of the council’s project to develop its land with 50% highly sustainable social housing as an example to other developers that it is possible to profitably develop land with a high proportion of affordable homes. The result of that work is now being seen in the Southern part of Cambridge.
In 2015, Rod stood as a parliamentary candidate in Huntingdon. During his time as a candidate there he spoke to many local residents, listening to their concerns about issues such as the continued success of the local NHS hospital, the need for fairer funding for education, the need for better public transport and the future of our economy.
Since graduating from the University of Cambridge, Rod has spent a career working in the financial services sector, working with companies across the globe.
In 2003, Rod took the decision to start his own financial consulting company. As a small business entrepreneur Rod understands more than most the challenges faced by companies in today’s tough economic climate.
As Mayor he wants to do all he can to create an environment which encourages new businesses to grow across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and support existing local businesses to develop and prosper.
Rod is proud to be a trustee of Wintercomfort, a local charity which supports people who are homeless or vulnerably housed by offering them vital welfare services and opportunities for learning and training.
In his spare time Rod is a long distance runner. For the last few years he has run the London Marathon for Shelter.