University of Cambridge

CSaP

The Centre for Science and Policy

Ben Plowden - “When a man is tired of London...”: The politics, pressures and practicalities of working for the Mayors of London


Speaker: Ben Plowden, Director of Integrated Programme Delivery, Transport for London

The London mayoralty has come of age. As Boris Johnson begins his second term, the office of London Mayor has become firmly established in the British political and governmental landscape. “Boris”, like “Ken” before him, is a national political figure with one of the largest personal mandates in Western Europe.

Transport for London (TfL) is the largest of the Mayor’s “functional bodies”. Its’ services touch the lives of millions of people every day. But what is it like inside TfL, whose activities are subject to intense political and media scrutiny? How does TfL relate to national and local government and the key stakeholders with an interest in London’s transport system? How do you combine running daily operations on road and rail while undertaking one of the largest investment programmes in the world? And how do the policies and priorities of an elected Mayor get translated into what people experience when they travel around the capital?

Ben Plowden has been a senior manager in TfL for the past ten years. He has held a number of roles, ranging from managing multi-million pound investment programmes to running TfL’s Communications directorate. Prior to working at TfL, Ben was one of the country’s leading environmental campaigners. This seminar will give a “poacher turned gamekeeper” perspective on the realities of working for the Mayor of London.

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These seminars aim to bring together a diverse range of individuals from the humanities, social and natural sciences to discuss the public policy implications of their work and research. Each talk will last 25-30 minutes and will be followed by open discussion and run on Friday's in termtime 1-2pm.

This seminar will take place in LR4 in the Department of Engineering, Trumpington Street, Cambridge.

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Speakers