- Where did you study?
I gained an external London degree in geography at Portsmouth Polytechnic and a planning diploma at the Polytechnic of Central London.
- What skills did you have when you graduated?
The ability to think about places in relation to both history and people, plus research and evaluation skills.
- What attracted you to planning?
My first job was doing research for the Royal Commission on Local Government. The civil service paid for me to undertake a planning course. From there I became a planning assistant in Camden and decided I had made the right decision.
- What did you learn in your first job?
How to use census and other data. I also realised the complexity of local government functions and of defining a structure that meets the needs of a wide variety of places.
- What skills have you had to learn over your career?
How to manage complex projects and large organisations, deal with professions, politicians and local people and how to solve problems.
- What or who have been the biggest influences on your career?
I have been lucky to work with people who taught me what to do and what not to do over a range of projects.
- What is your career highlight?
Being one of the first women to be a director of planning, gaining an OBE, having a key role in South Bank Walk, Butlers Wharf regeneration, Harrow's heritage initiative and the Hounslow High Street pedestrianisation.
- What have you learned outside work that has influenced you?
Patience, flexibility and the need to think positively.
- What further skills do you aim to obtain or develop?
To enhance my ability to support and influence the way that planners can respond to climate change.
- How important is it to keep abreast of developments in allied professions?
Essential. I think we all need to work together to achieve the changes required in the foreseeable future.