Simon Lydiard is a former senior civil servant, with a 38 year career spanning several government departments and specialisms. He joined the civil service at the most junior grade and worked his way up, attaining senior civil service rank eight years before he left. Having started as a general administrator, Simon worked in HR, finance and property, before specialising in procurement mid-way though his career. He developed and led the introduction of new approaches to procurement in the civil service, working on the introduction of category management and the application of electronic business and supply chain collaboration in the MoD and, as Director of Contract Management Excellence, over-hauling the Department for Transport’s (DfT) approach to managing commercial contracts through the introduction of new models, standards and training. A particular passion for Simon has been the support of small business – DfT’s spend with small businesses increased ten-fold whilst he was their Small Business Champion. He advised on procurement aspects of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. After he left the civil service, he led a review of small business procurement for the Crown Commercial Service.
Rehana Ameer is the first Indian-born woman elected as a Councillor in the City of London Corporation’s 950 year history. She is a Councillor for Vintry Ward. She is also the first woman politician in the UK of Tamil Nadu origin. Rehana is the founder and Director of Prosap Corporation Limited in London. She possesses over 20 years in IT and Management Consulting where she has led, managed and successfully delivered large multi-million pound IT and business transformation projects for multinational companies worldwide.