Annual Conference Speaker Spotlight on…Geoff Gardner, Alison Eardley and Gordon Morris

The BPA Annual Conference 2012 is taking place in two weeks’ time and each week we are introducing some of the speakers who will be presenting at the conference.

Geoff Gardner, Alison Eardley and Gordon Morris feature this week.

Geoff Gardner


Geoff Gardner
is the acting Managing Director of ACTTravelWise the professional body representing those involved in education, publicity and training in sustainable transport. Geoff has degrees in engineering, transport planning and marketing. With a background covering the public and private sector.

 Allison Eardley

Alison Eardley is the National Policy Manager for Action for Market Towns representing small towns at the national level, lobbying for support on specific themes and translating government policy to the charity’s members. Her career started in local government working in economic development, in particular tourism. Following roles at both Newham Borough Council and West Sussex County Council, Alison moved to central government as a Senior Policy Officer in the Department of Communities and Local Government. There she was a member of the Local Government Strategy Unit, focussing on the development of both the Local Government and Empowerment White Papers.

Gordon Morris


Gordon Morris, originally an engineer, trained and served with the Royal Navy until 1976, when he left to work in industry. After a spell lecturing in Further and Higher Education he joined the Rural Development Commission as a Business Adviser in 1993. In 1999, he joined the Countryside Agency, where he worked on various aspects of rural regeneration, including the Market Towns Initiative and Beacon Towns Programme, both of which he helped to design and manage. Gordon’s interests are in rural policy and community development, mainly in the UK, but also overseas. In addition to his work in England, he has visited Australia as a member of a joint Canadian, New Zealand and Australian rural development team. He has also taken part in a North America-UK Countryside Exchange programme, and has visited Gambia and Uganda as part of a team involved in linking between ‘communities of interest’ (eg health, schools) in Commonwealth countries. A Member of the Institute of Management and the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Gordon has a Certificate in Education from the University of Greenwich, a Post-graduate Diploma and MSc in Rural Development from the University of Plymouth, Seale Hayne, and a PhD in Politics from the University of Exeter. He currently works as a Visiting Lecturer, and is an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Exeter. He is a Director of Action for Market Towns, and a founder member of the related Small Towns for Tomorrow group.

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