Our Commissioners

Lord Roy Kennedy of Southwark – Chair of the Commission

Lord Kennedy is a Labour and Co-operative peer. Roy served as deputy leader of Southwark Council and was Director of Finance of the Labour Party. Lord Kennedy is Labour shadow minister for housing and local government for the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and opposition spokesperson in the House of Lords on DCLG and other matters. Lord Kennedy is an Honorary Alderman of the London Borough of Southwark, on the executive committee of the Fabian Society, Vice President of the Local Government Association, Director of London Mutual Credit Union, and is a member of Surrey County Cricket Club and a season ticket holder at Millwall FC.

Abdurzak Hadi, Barnet Citizens / Somali Bravanese Welfare Association

Abdurzak Hadi lives with his family in Hendon and has been a resident in Barnet for 28 years. He is a senior committee member of the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association and a member of Barnet Citizens. He is very passionate about workers’ rights and healthcare. Outside of work he enjoys cycling around with his children, taking long walks and also gets involved in community activities.

Rabbi Rebecca Birk, Finchley Progressive Synagogue

Rabbi Rebecca Birk joined FPS in January 2011, succeeding Rabbi Neil Janes. She has a BA in Theology and Religious Studies from Bristol University and an MA in Jewish and Christian Theology from Harvard Divinity School.  She received ordination in 2001 from Leo Baeck Collegewhich trains Liberal and Reform rabbis in the UK.  Before coming to FPS she was rabbi for five years at Woodford Progressive Synagogue and for another six years at Westminster (Independent) Synagogue.  She continues her involvement with HMP Holloway as Jewish Chaplain and contributes regularly to the Jewish and non-Jewish press. Rabbi Birk believes passionately in the care and nurture of all in the community and she and her children, Ruben, Dora and Rafael are involved in many areas of synagogue life. 

Cllr Ross Houston, Deputy Leader of the Barnet Labour Group

Ross has been a West Finchley councillor since 2006 and is deputy leader of Barnet Labour Group and now opposition spokesperson on Assets, Regeneration and Growth. Ross has been a governor of two local schools and since 2008 chair of governors at Northside School. Ross represents Barnet Council on the board of the council owned Barnet Group (which manages council housing and specialist social care) and on the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.

Ross is an Executive member and treasurer of Labour Housing Group (LHG) and also Executive member of LHG London branch. He is a senior housing professional and currently Operations Manager at Ducane Housing Association, Octavia Housing.

He was previously board member at PCHA Housing Assoc 2007-11 (now Genesis HA) and Sutherland HA 2001-2006, and was vice chair of a successful regeneration partnership (West Euston Partnership); chairs of West Euston Wellfair Project; board member Camden’s Third Age Project.

Ross loves living in Finchley with its diverse and vibrant communities, active resident groups and its town centres, parks and green spaces. Ross is passionate about ensuring the council’s growth and regeneration plans listen to residents and businesses and deliver housing that local people can genuinely afford to rent or buy.

Anna Kyprianou, Pro Vice-Chancellor & Executive Dean Middlesex University

Anna is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Professional and Social Sciences at Middlesex University which comprises the Business School, the School of Health and Education and the School of Law.  She has worked with the strategic development of organisations and their management teams for over thirty-five years. 

Anna is Pro Vice-Chancellor for Diversity alongside her responsibilities as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Professional and Social Sciences. This is a new cross-cutting coordination and development role that includes membership of the University’s Equality and Diversity Committee and chairing the University’s Diversity Advisory Board.

Anna is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a Companion of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

She has served as the elected Vice President for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) Membership and Professional Development Committee and sat on the CIPD Board til December 2018.

When asked about her seven years as VP for Membership and Professional Development, Anna said, “… I began the role at a time when the CIPD was going through major change with a new CEO joining, a new strategic direction evolving and refocusing on our central mission of championing better work and working lives. Being involved in these essential conversations has been a privilege supporting the CIPD in realising its strategic direction for membership and professional development.”

Richard Logue, resident and Lib Dem local election candidate in 2018

Richard Logue is a Liberal Democrat campaigner from Mill Hill. Richard stood for election in the London local government elections in 2018 in his home ward of Mill Hill.

Richard helped found the charity NW7 Hub in 2016 as a direct response to a threat from Barnet Council to close Mill Hill’s local library. As a charity, they took on the running of Mill Hill Library and are currently aiming to establish a new library and community centre for Mill Hill on the site of a derelict building adjacent to Mill Hill Park.

Richard served as a governor at Frith Manor Primary School, a three-form entry school in Woodside Park, N12, near to Mill Hill for four years from 2014 until 2018.

Richard chaired the Mill Hill Residents Association from 2013 until 2017. The association had been inactive for some years. Richard re-established the Residents Association as the main campaigning body for residents in Mill Hill.

Julie Pal, Chief Executive of Community Barnet

Julie Pal is CommUNITY Barnet’s CEO. She has been working for the organisation since 2013 and overseen its radical transformation from a small, local infrastructure organisation to a multi-borough, award winning membership organisation with a national reputation.

Julie has a long and varied career working in the area of equality and fairness. She was the Strategic Equalities Lead for Barnet Council supporting it to implement the public sector equality duty as defined under the Equality Act 2010 and incorporating equalities into its strategic business planning.  She oversaw the borough’s original Prevent programme garnering a national reputation for a local Conservative administration during a Labour government. 

She is a member of the Association of Chief Executive Officers and sits on their women’s Special Interest Group.

Following her appointment to CommUNITY Barnet Julie was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Cllr Reema Patel, Barnet Labour Group Lead on Adults & Social Care

Reema has been a local councillor for Coppetts ward for just over 4 years. She has a longstanding track record of social activism in Barnet, having campaigned on issues such as library closures, domestic violence, gender equality and disability rights. She is programme manager for the establishment and start-up of the Ada Lovelace Institute on the ethics of artificial intelligence, and has spent most of her career working in public policy roles for thinktanks, including the New Local Government Network, Involve and the RSA.

She is an experienced policy professional who has led various citizen engagement and participation initiatives on complex and controversial policy areas in the UK, including the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Citizens’ Economic Council, which successfully worked with and influenced the Bank of England’s public engagement strategy. Reema has consulted for a variety of international organisations, including the Danish Board of Technology Foundation and Nextdoor.com, San Francisco based technology social media start-up. She is a fellow of the RSA, and a founding trustee of Friern Barnet Community Library.

Imam Hamid Qureshi, Islamic Association of North London

Imam Hamid was born and raised a Finchlean having attended the Madrasa at 36 Long Lane (where the Masjid used to be) and secondary school at Christ’s College Finchley.

Having finished his secular education, Imam Hamid began to pursue an understanding of the Islamic disciplines by travelling to Cairo, Egypt, and joining Al Azhar University. He received a diploma from the Islamic Missions College, Al Azhar, in Islamic Studies. He then went on to complete a degree in Islamic Law at Al Azhar University and, thereafter, undertake a Masters in Islamic Political Science.

Imam Hamid has since returned to Finchley, delivering intensive courses, detailed seminars and inspirational talks. He has recently taken up the position as Director of IANL.

Outside of work, Imam Hamid enjoys reading, playing football, and cycling in the afternoons.

Kate Salinger, resident and former Barnet Conservative councillor

Kate was born in Muswell Hill and grew up in Crouch End. She was educated at Hornsey High School and gained B.Ed at Nottingham University.

She was a teacher at Tottenham School and Bruce Grove Juniors for 7 years, and also taught at Coppetts Wood Primary School. She retired in 2005 and was a local councillor for Coppetts ward in Barnet between 2006 and 2014.

Kate is married and has three fantastic children and three amazing and adorable grandchildren. She loves acting, singing, reading, theatre going, concert attendance, eating (mainly chocolate and cherries). She is a Christian and regularly attends Church, and is an active member of the following organisations:

Trustee and Vice Chair of Friern Barnet Community Library

Member of Barnet SACRE

Executive committee member of Barnet’s Women’s Interfaith Network

Chairman of Friends of Montclair (Barnet Town Twinning Group with Montclair, New Jersey)

Member of Coppetts Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team Panel

Church Secretary and Deacon of Union Church, Crouch End

Acting Member of Incognito Theatre Group

Acting Member of Theatre In The Square Theatre Group

Vice President and Treasurer of Coppetts Ward Conservatives

Christina Spybey, Christians Against Poverty

Christina lives and works in Barnet. She manages the Christians Against Poverty debt advice centre and is an active member of her Church – Trinity Church, Colindale.

Olivia Vincenti, Women’s Equality Party

Olivia is a Barnet resident of 37 years and has lived on the same street bringing up her family. She is a member of the Women’s Equality Party (WEP), Deputy chair of the Barnet Branch and former WEP European Union candidate for London 2019.

Olivia has 30 years’ experience of working with children and families in different London boroughs, including Barnet, as well as in the voluntary sector, leading and managing children’s services and multi-agency programmes.

She has a deep understanding of the importance of building partnerships in order to achieve the best outcomes, and is totally committed to equality and eliminating oppression of any kind, and in particular, equality for women and girls. When women and girls fulfil their potential, everyone benefits.