Mike has worked as a professional Town and Country planner in the public and private consultancy sector for over 40 years, with a particular interest in developing and implementing effective policy and practice on environmental issues and the concerns of those living and working within, and enjoying the countryside. His career has entailed advising government departments and related agencies and working with local authorities, voluntary organisations and the private sector across a wide spectrum of rural planning issues.
Mike has worked in the Yorkshire and Humberside region since 1984 and lives in Otley, West Yorkshire. Whilst with the Countryside Commission he was responsible for the designation of both the Howardian Hills and Nidderdale AONBs, for piloting Village Design Statements and managing the Local Heritage Initiative programme in the Yorkshire and Humberside region. He subsequently worked for the Countryside Agency on promoting sustainable development, with lead responsibility for affordable rural housing, and thence transferred to Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) within the regional Government Office where he was responsible for implementing Defra’s Rural Social and Communities Programme across the region with the rural community councils, developing the regional Rural Affairs Forum and sub-regional partnerships, and promoting community-led planning initiatives. Mike retired in late 2010 but remains keenly interested in community issues. He is currently involved in developing a Neighbourhood Plan for Otley and in assisting Oxfam and Otley Food Bank.