As we say a fond farewell to Jodi Duffield, Cheshire West & Chester Council who formerly held this position, Chris Lewis, Oldham Council has taken the responsibility of Co-Chair for ESR2 Network Leadership Group.  Chris has supported iNetwork for over 6 years and held a seat on the NLG for 3 years he was voted in as Co-Chair at our last NLG meeting in June.


Chris lives in Wigan with his wife Nuala, 2 young children Harriet and Florence and their cat Millie.  He has previously worked in the private sector, NHS and a number of councils. His present role for the last 3 years at Oldham Council is Head of Transformation Programme Management Office.  He is currently leading the transformation PMO service through a matrix working approach across the council and with partners to deliver the co-operative strategic vision.


During our short interview I asked Chris to tell us a little bit about his role and organisation:


Oldham is making significant strides as a Co-operative Council delivering new investment, jobs, skills and homes by working closer than ever with partners, residents and business to realise shared ambitions.


The biggest physical regeneration programme in the borough’s history is underway: reviving the town centre with its new Metrolink line as the catalyst, and using entrepreneurialism and heritage buildings as its foundation.

Social regeneration and service redesign has gone hand in hand with bricks and mortar schemes. Fairness campaigns delivering better deals for residents on energy, transport and credit have raised our national profile as a campaigning council.

Proactive interventions in a range of other areas – like Get Oldham Working, the Oldham Education and Skills Commission and Warm Homes Oldham – are driving continual improvement in everyday life prospects.


Five years into its Co-operative project, Oldham’s collective confidence is growing and it is playing a lead role in Greater Manchester devolution on health and social care, wellbeing, equalities and the fair growth agenda.


To close our interview and for a little fun I asked Chris what was the first concert he ever went to?   (A) Five Star at the Manchester Apollo and in his defence he swears he was only 11 at the time!


We welcome Chris to his new role within iNetwork’s ESR2 NLG; we know he will be a great asset to provide support to and governance over the activities undertaken within ESR2 community.


We would also like to take this opportunity to wish Jodi all the very best in her new venture and thank her for her contribution to supporting the ESR2 community over the last ten years.