Event archive

Event Organiser: ICE

Challenge ‘21: What’s next for the South West’s infrastructure? online

  • Webinar
  • Online
  • 02 December 2020
  • 13:00 - 14:15
Challenge ‘21: What’s next for the South West’s infrastructure? online

Watch this event

SWIP logo

As with almost every facet of life in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has brought fundamental change and unprecedented challenge for the South West's infrastructure sector.

But as the year of Covid-19 comes to an end, what does 2021 hold?

This online discussion event, organised by the South West Infrastructure Partnership (SWIP), will explore the short-term landscape for infrastructure in the region, exploring the economic, political and social factors that are likely to shape the year ahead.

What have we learned in 2020 that can help us do better in the future? What are the specific regional challenges that might require a different approach to the rest of the UK? And above all, how can we make the most of the opportunities to improve the South West's infrastructure for good?

Peter Kydd, SWIP Chair, will host a panel of key regional influencers from the public and private sector to discuss key questions on regional infrastructure in 2021.

Areas covered will include:

  • Infrastructure lessons in 2020
  • Immediate challenges and opportunities for 2021
  • Resilience to coronavirus waves and lock downs
  • Progress towards net zero infrastructure
  • The implications of Brexit
  • Government funding and investment

The event will take place via Webex Events with the joining link and instructions provided via email after you have booked a place.



Peter Kydd BSc (Edin) CEng FICE

South West Infrastructure Partnership (SWIP) Chair

Peter Kydd

Peter took over as SWIP Chair in 2020. He has been a member of the Partnership since its formation in 2017 and also acts as its energy sector expert.

He has over 40 years' experience in senior roles for consulting firms, primarily with Parsons Brinckerhoff (now WSP) and he continues to be retained by WSP as a consultant, advising on decarbonisation, clean growth, climate change action planning and tidal power.

In 2008, Peter led the consortium of consultants undertaking the Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study for the UK and Welsh Governments and has been advising government on tidal power ever since.


Dave Ellis MEng (Hons)

CECA SW Chairman and Managing Director, Bridge Civil Engineering Ltd

Dave Ellis

Dave has worked as a civil engineering contractor for nearly 30 years. He has previously worked for Rochelle Construction, MJ Gleeson and Edmund Nuttall before joining Bridge Civil Engineering Ltd in 2004. He took over as Managing Director in 2005.

The company is an established SME working throughout the South West as principal contractor for clients including Western Power Distribution, South West Water, Environment Agency and many local authorities.

Dave also became Chairman for CECA Southwest in March 2019 to help address issues faced by all contractors working in the area.

Paula Hewitt BSc MCD MRTPI

Lead Director for Economic and Community Infrastructure & Director of Commissioning at Somerset County Council and first vice-president of ADEPT

Paula Hewitt

Paula has responsibility for a diverse mix of services ranging from highways and waste to economic development, property, registration and libraries. She has led a number of high-profile service transformation programmes, delivering innovative ways of delivering services, customer benefits and financial savings.

She was heavily involved in co-ordinating the Local Authority response to the devastating Somerset winter 2014/15 floods and leads the work to minimise the effect of future flooding in the county through the establishment of the Somerset Rivers Authority. She is responsible for the development of commissioning practice in Somerset County Council working closely with adults, childrens and public heath colleagues.

Paula is first vice president of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) which represents Place Directors from county, unitary, metropolitan and combined authorities, along with directors of local enterprise partnerships, sub-national transport bodies and corporate partners drawn from key service sectors.

Freddie Hopkinson

Senior Policy Adviser, Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

Freddie Hopkinson

Freddie leads the CBI’s national transport policy output, working with businesses from the South West and across the UK to inform government decision making.

Over the last year he has led the CBI's transport policy response to Coronavirus and worked with senior partners at KPMG to produce two reports in the organisation’s “Future of Commuting” campaign – Commuting Beyond the Coronavirus (discussing plans to build back better on networks after the pandemic) and Connecting Communities (setting out the approaches government should take to truly level-up connectivity across the UK).

Prior to joining the CBI in 2019, Freddie worked in the parliamentary office of the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP after completing post-graduate research at the University of Oxford.

Jo Jolly

Deputy Director, Environment Agency

Jo Jolly

The Environment Agency was established in 1996 to protect and improve the environment. It has around 10,600 employees with offices and depots located across England. The Environment Agency works to create better places for people and wildlife, and support sustainable development.

Jo is the Deputy Director for National Environmental Assessment & Sustainability and Programme & Contract Management, which is part of the wider Operations Assets & Programme Management Directorate. Jo leads a nationally dispersed team comprising 500+ environmental and project management professionals. Delivery of these challenging programmes is achieved by working collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders, including the Environment Agency’s long-terms delivery partners, which make up six unique geographically based Integrated Delivery Teams.

After graduating with a MSc in Hydrogeology in 1996, Jo obtained a role as consultant geophysicist and continued with her studies to obtain a PhD in Geophysics. Jo joined the Environment Agency in 2007 as a project manager before taking on more demanding, strategic management and leadership positions. Jo is the Head of Profession for project and Programme Management for the Environment Agency and an active participant in the Women in Field Operations.

John Sellgren

Executive Director of Place, Dorset Council

John Sellgren

John has responsibility for a diverse range of customer facing services. His portfolio includes planning, highways, waste, regulatory services, assets and property as well as the council’s library, registration and bereavement services. Prior to this he was Chief Executive at Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council. He started his local government career working for Hertfordshire County Council as a policy officer and over a number of years undertook roles across the council’s service functions, finally as Operations Manager of the council’s commercial services division.

In 1997 John became Head of Policy with Norfolk County Council and in 1999 went on to spend seven years as Director of the County Council’s Network based in London.

John returned to Hertfordshire County Council in 2006 as Director of Strategy and Partnerships where his responsibilities included the council’s customer service centre, trading standards, legal and democratic services, the registration service, internal audit, economic development and communications.