Speaker Biographies

Added in order of confirmation


Nigel Riglar Parvis Khansari Steve Berry

Nigel Riglar

Commissioning Director: Communities & Infrastructure

Gloucestershire County Council

In his current role Nigel is the Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure for Gloucestershire County Council's place-based services, including Highways, Fire & Rescue, Transport, Economic Development, Minerals and Waste Planning, Waste Disposal and Customer Services. He chairs the ADEPT South West Board and is the Chair of the Local Adaptation Advisory Panel (LAAP) on climate change.

He was previously the Deputy Chief Executive for Stroud District Council and before that set up the Beacon Council Scheme for the Improvement and Development Agency. In the dim and distant past he was a Local Agenda 21 / Environmental Management Advisor for the Local Government Management Board and before that had stints in Overseas Development, the nuclear industry and estate agency (but don't hold that against him).


Parvis Khansari

Director of Highways and Transport

Wiltshire Council

Parvis Khansari CEng FICE FCIHT is Director of Highways and Transport for Wiltshire Council and Chairman of ADEPT’s Engineering Board.  He is a Fellow of Institute of Civil Engineers and Chartered Institute of Highways and Transport.

He has a wide ranging background in the public sector and the construction industry covering management of highways service, major highways and building projects, harbours and coastal engineering schemes, regeneration projects and property services.

Steve Berry OBE

Head, Highways Maintenance

Department for Transport

Steve is currently Head of Highways Maintenance, Innovation, Resilience, Light Rail and Cableways Branch within the Department for Transport’s Local Transport Directorate. Steve has been Head of the Branch since 2010. Steve has spent his career in the Civil Service and was awarded the OBE in the 2014 New Year Honours for his services to local highways, innovation and resilience.


Paula Hewitt Jon Munslow Howard Robinson

Paula Hewitt

Lead Director for Economic and Community Infrastructure & Director of Commissioning

Somerset County Council

Paula Hewitt is the Lead Director for Economic and Community Infrastructure and also the Director of Commissioning at Somerset County Council.  She has responsibility for a diverse mix of services ranging from highways and waste to economic development and libraries.

She has lead a number of high profile service transformation programmes, delivering innovative ways of delivering services, customer benefits and financial savings.

Paula’s achievements include the delivery of major highways and growth schemes, securing significant Government investment in the A303/A358/A30 transport corridor, establishing a joint procurement in relation to 3 authorities’ highways term maintenance contracts, setting up a Heritage Trust and being SRO for the Connecting Devon and Somerset Broadband programme.

Paula was heavily involved in co-ordinating the Local Authority response to the devastating Somerset winter 2014/15 floods and led on the establishment of the Somerset Rivers Authority.

Paula also leads the development of commissioning practice in Somerset County Council and chairs the Council’s commissioning board. She is also chair of the ADEPT (Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport) Environment Board.

Jon Munslow

Asset and Infrastructure Group Manager and Traffic Manager

South Gloucestershire Council

Jon is responsible for leadership and strategic direction for the Highways, Traffic Management, Community Open Spaces and Flood and Water Management services. Responsible for leading commercial focused change in service delivery to drive efficiency and improve outcomes for communities and businesses. Responsible for strategic project delivery and performance management.

Dr. Howard Robinson

Chief Executive and Company Secretary


Howard has been involved with the road maintenance industry for over 30 years having previously held senior positions with Tarmac Group, Wimpey Minerals and Nynas Bitumen. Howard sits on various CEN and BSI committees dealing with road materials and is Chairman of BSI Committee B/510/02 which deals with Road Surface Treatments. He chairs the National Highway Sector Scheme 13 committee for Surface Treatments and is Secretary to Sector Scheme 23 for Small Scale Pavement Repairs. He is a member of the UK Pavement Liaison Group (UKPLG) chaired by Highways England dealing with updates to the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges and Specification for Highway Works.

Howard has been a Visiting Professor at Liverpool John Moores University since 2001 and has chaired the annual LJMU Asphalt Pavement Engineering Conference since 2002. He has also presented at numerous UK and European industry conferences and is a regular speaker on the industry conference circuit. He was made a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation in July 2013.

Mike Batheram

Client Director

SNC Lavalin/Atkins

Mike is the Client Director for local authorities in SNC Lavalin’s Atkins business.  Prior to working in consultancy Mike worked for a number of local authorities, including in the South West for Gloucester City Council (who at the time had an agency agreement with Gloucestershire County Council). Mike has planned and overseen the design, management and delivery of large programmes of transport and infrastructure improvements, particularly associated with regeneration and development. He has provided advice to developers and private sector investors on sustainable transport strategies to maximise development opportunities on large mixed used developments across the UK. More recently Mike has led projects developing national guidance in relation to sustainable transport delivery. He has also provided advice in relation to funding and finance of infrastructure to the Heart of the South West LEP.



Richard Stokes

Regional Director

SNC Lavalin/Atkins

Richard is a Regional Director for SNC Lavalin’s Atkins business, covering the Local Authority arena across the South of England and South Wales. He started his career at Wiltshire County Council, spending 11 years in the public sector before moving into the private sector where Richard continued working with the Council and other Local Authorities to help deliver their highways and transportation services efficiently, right first time. Richard has successfully managed a number of long term Local Authority Professional Services Contracts and also has extensive experience as Project Manager and Project Director for multi-million pound major projects in the public and private sectors. Richard is currently Contract Director for a number of contracts in the South West and a current focus is also working with Contractors to help Councils deliver their significant infrastructure projects. Richard is a strong advocate and practitioner of collaborative working at a strategic level and in delivery. 

Mike O'Dowd-Jones

Strategic Commissioner for Highways & Transport Services

Somerset County Council

Mike is Commissioner for Somerset’s highways and transport services; ensuring £27m of services and £93m capital projects are delivered effectively; and is the South West Region’s representative on CIHT Council.

Mike undertook a lead role on transport matters for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station applications on behalf of the local authorities.  Mike had an instrumental role in resurrecting proposals to improve the A303 as a second strategic route between London and the South West, helping secure £2.1bn investment from Government which has now generated a huge amount of activity for the transport profession as the schemes are taken forward.

Mike leads much of the collaborative working that Somerset is involved in; currently developing sub-national transport bodies for the South West, and an ambitious Housing Infrastructure Fund bid covering two Districts; and took a lead role in procuring the Council’s collaborative highway maintenance contract with Devon and Plymouth Councils.

Andy Stevenson

Head of Highways & Infrastructure

Cornwall Council

Andy has worked in Cornwall for 28 years and has wide ranging experience of materials, highway maintenance and asset management. In addition to his role as Head of Highways and Infrastructure for Cornwall, he has represented the SW on the UKRLG Asset Management Board for the last 10 years and has chaired the SW Asset Management Group for the same period. He is a member of the ADEPT Soils and Materials Design and Specification Panel and represents the ICE on two British Standard Committees.

Paul Aldridge

Group Sustainability Director 

WJ Group

Paul is responsible for all aspects of the WJ Group sustainability polices and activity, Paul first entered the industry in 1982 as a studding operative for a Road Marking and Traffic Management company. He quickly advanced to supervisor before leaving in 1988 to cycle around the world and study for a degree. Paul joined Linkline in 1994 and progressed to attain a position of Operations Director and was appointed Managing Director following the acquisition of Linkline by WJ and the retirement of the previous owner. In 2018 Paul was appointed WJ Group Sustainability Director.

Paul is the current Chairman of the RSMA, he also chairs the National Highways Sector Scheme 7 Advisory Committee. A Fellow of the Institute of Highway Engineers, an IEMA Practitioner, GACSO member and HTMA Advocate he has responsibility for group sustainability. Including working on the LoCITY Waste and Construction Working Group with a focus on reducing emissions in commercial vehicles, he introduced FORS to WJ Group and is also a CLOCS Champion. Paul recently sat on a National Occupational Standards Committee and established WJ as a member of the 5% Club. 

Neil O'Connell

Strategic Frameworks Manager

Hampshire County Coucil

Neil is a chartered Civil Engineer with over 30 years experience in the industry. Neil is currently the Strategic Frameworks Manager for Hampshire County Council’s Engineering Consultancy team and has responsibility for multiple highways works and services frameworks with an annual spend of approximately £60m.

Neil has worked as a consultant for most of his career and is now a senior manager within Hampshire County Council. As a specialist in contracts, Neil’s expertise is utilised by many local authorities across the south as they deliver their major highways schemes.

In his current role, Neil has responsibility for managing the Generation 3 (Gen3) suite of framework contracts which are accessible for use by 44 local authorities across southern England.  Neil also chairs the Gen 3 forums, bi-annual gatherings of regional and national contractors and local authorities in which both share scheme pipelines, market trends and best practice.



Nick Goddard CEng MICE FCIHT

Regional Director 

Ringway Infrastructure Services Ltd

Nick is a Chartered Engineer with 30 years’ experience of highways network management and maintenance working for Local and Central Government clients throughout the UK and the strategic highway authority in Australia. He has a broad range of experience having worked previously for the public sector and Consulting Engineers, with particular expertise of operating in a Joint Venture environment.

In his current role as Regional Director of Ringway, Nick is responsible for the successful delivery of infrastructure services across a portfolio of Term Service contracts employing various operating models and contract conditions. He also recently lead on the successful Ringway submission for the Highways England South West Region Maintenance and Response contract, which commenced on the 1st July this year.

Nick is a member of the Ringway Board bringing the strategic link between Operating Group process and procedure and service delivery at a local level, where managers are encouraged to evolve services to meet client need. Having successfully operated in client facing roles at a senior level for many years, Nick’s strengths are in his ability to collaborate with clients and build high performing teams, to ensure excellence in service delivery and customer satisfaction. He is a member of the HTMA team, working in collaboration with ADEPT, to develop an industry approach to Demand Management and Reducing Dependency on Place Based Services.

mobile: 07875108757   email: nick.goddard@ringway.co.uk


Mhairi Threlfall

Cabinet Member for Transport and Connectivity

Bristol City Council

Mhairi has represented the ward of Eastville as a Bristol City Councillor since May 2013. She was Cabinet Advisor for Place from 2014-2015, and was appointed by Mayor Marvin Rees to his Cabinet in July 2017 as Cabinet Member for Transport and Connectivity. In this role she oversees the development of Bristol’s transport system, plays a key role in both local and regional transport planning and represents Bristol on the West of England Combined Authority infrastructure advisory board.

Mhairi also works as the Senior Enterprise Consultant at the University of the West of England. She currently sits as a board member on the Bristol Community Land Trust and is a non-executive director of Bristol is Open.


Chris Dyer

Head of Consultancy - Infrastructure Asset Management

Yotta Ltd

Chris has over twenty years’ experience in the highways and transportation sector working in Local Authorities and Private Consultancies.  He has undertaken roles in design, maintenance, project, contracts and asset management.  He is a member of the CIHT and has recently completed an MSc in Highway Engineering Management at the University of Brighton.

With proven strategic asset management experience in local government, Chris carried significant responsibility for staff and a £40m budget; successfully leading teams overseeing policy, strategy and governance to the highway service.

Mark King

Head of StreetCare

South Gloucestershire Council

With over 25 years working in local government Mark King has worked through the trials and tribulations of abundant budgets to the more stringent times of cuts and efficiencies.  In that time he has become an experienced manager, specialising in a range of professional and technically based municipal disciplines.  Mark has a proven ability to work effectively with politicians, communities, third sector groups, consultants and contractors.

Mark has successfully delivered both staffing change programmes and multi million pound infrastructure projects.  As a senior manager he has worked in partnership with staff groups, trades unions and government agencies to build and implement the collaborations required to deliver a full range of environmental services.  In doing so he has demonstrated his ability to create and nurture these partnerships which have delivered regional programmes of work.

His positive attributes have been put to use in his dealings with the South West Highways Alliance.  For the past two years he has successfully chaired the group in its continuing its development as an effective body and delivery of communal saving initiatives.  In addition he has overseen the development of an innovative analysis system, designed to aid the maintenance engineer in identifying at risk sites and biding for funds to resolve the problem.


Andy Warrington

Associate Director Transportation

SNC Lavalin/Atkins

Andy is Associate Director Transportation at Atkins in the UK, a member of the ICE Transport Expert panel and State of the Nation steering group. Andy has over 20 years experience leading Local Highway Authority highway and transportation departments and divisions including procurement and contract management (including HMEP term maintenance contract), supporting collaboration through the Midland Highway Alliance and in his role as HMEP advocate, driving efficiency through business process optimisation/LEAN and shared services (HMEP case studies) and of course leading the delivery of a £70M/annum customer focused local highway service

Matthew Riches

Business Director


Matthew is an experienced Senior Manager with a proven track record of change management, people management skills and commercial acumen in both the public and private sector.

My key skills include excellent communication in all forms, creative thinking and a demonstrable problem solving ability. I have a reputation for integrity, discretion and diplomacy in all situations.

I have operated in the highways sector for 25 years, in senior roles for the last 10, working in the local authority and Highway Agency market.

Marc Tite

Asset Management Consultant


Award-winning Gaist has more than a decade of experience providing the highest quality data, bespoke professional services and technology solutions to transportation professionals and others.

Gaist work with public sector and private sector clients across highway survey & asset collection, asset management support & deterioration modelling, resilience planning, innovation projects, operational & academic research and data analytics.

Paul Santer

Regional Director


Paul is a West Country man, married with two grown-up sons, now living back in his home town of Sidmouth in East Devon. During his forty years as a civil engineer, he has worked on various construction projects for contractors in the UK and the Middle East.

In recent years, as Business Development Manager for a major UK contractor (BAM Nuttall), his skills in customer relationship management and work winning enabled BAM to secure key contracts across all market sectors in the UK and also in Uganda and Tanzania in Eastern Africa.

Paul joined CECA (the trade association for the civil engineering industry) at the beginning of 2017 as its first South West director. Since that time, he has represented and supported CECA member contractors in the region through training provision, client and government engagement, promoting civil engineering as a career in schools and universities and backing the apprenticeship programme.

CECA is the representative body for companies who work day to day to deliver, upgrade and maintain the country’s infrastructure. With more than 300 members nationwide (and over 30 in the South West), CECA represents firms who collectively carry out an estimated 70-80% of all civil engineering activity in the UK, in the key sectors of transport, energy, communications, waste and water.


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