Our Board


Planning Democracy is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) founded in 200. View our OSCR charity page.

Our work is currently supported by volunteers.

Clare Symonds
Founder & Chair

Clare has been recognised in the Scottish Sustainable Development Forum’s Green List for her work to improve community engagement in Scottish planning. Clare has worked on community empowerment issues in both local government and the voluntary sector strengthening her belief that a robust, democratic planning system is crucial for shaping fairer and more sustainable places.

Picture of Helen Todd
Helen Todd
Vice Chair

Helen is campaigns & policy manager with Ramblers Scotland, where she has worked since 2004. Previously Helen worked for Friends of the Earth Scotland and before that for 13 years was a teacher, trainer and manager in language schools, mainly overseas. Helen was Chair of Scottish Environment LINK until December 2017 after 7 years on the board. She was also a board member of Transform Scotland for 8 years and currently sits on their policy forum.

Tim Ambrose

Tim is a is a retired chartered accountant and tax advisor who worked for a large firm for over 30 years. Tim is also treasurer for the Scottish Wild Land Group and Scottish Environment LINK. He is also clerk to the Guildry of Brechin. His interests include geology and book-collecting and walking the dog, a very smart, curly-coated, border collie.

Sue Hamilton

Sue lives in Limekilns in Fife. She cares deeply about issues of justice and has worked as a volunteer in the Fair Trade movement for thirty years. She was secretary of her community council for over 30 years and is a stalwart of her local community. She was involved in a public inquiry into the proposed development of a container terminal at Rosyth.

Ben Christman

Ben studied planning and environmental law and is a trainee solicitor working on housing and homelessness law. He is a Member of the Law Society Scotland’s Access to Justice Committee, a Member of Scottish Environment LINK’s legal strategy subgroup and a volunteer editor for the UK Environmental Law Association. He is a keen runner, cyclist and environmental activist.

Kelly McBride

Kelly has extensive experience in designing and facilitating processes for people to have a say in the decisions that affect their lives. Kelly is Deliberative Democracy Lead at FutureGov and was previously Director of Democratic Society in Scotland. Kelly lives in Edinburgh and brings a background in education, social justice and community action.

Sam Buckley

Sam Buckley provides advice and support on our digital media strategies. He works in finance and specialises in digital services. He is currently studying an MSc Strategic Comms & PR at Queen Margaret’s University. During the Covid 19 Pandemic he is managing communications for the Edinburgh wide community resilience group and helping co-ordinate their 2000+ volunteers in supporting local charities.

Ann Coleman
Honorary Trustee

Anne lives in the village of Greengairs, North Lanarkshire. She is an active member of her local community council and had the great privilege of being awarded an MBE for services to Environmental Justice and her local community in 2004. For the past 14 years, she has been committed to the principle that there should be equality for the public voice in the development of their neighbourhood.

You are donating to : Planning Democracy

How much would you like to donate?
£10 £20 £50
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note