Our Board

Planning Democracy is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) founded in 2009. You can view our OSCR charity page here.

Our work is currently supported by a part-time paid community organiser (Daya Feldwick) and the Chair of our Board (Clare Symonds).

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.

Daya Feldwick
Community Network Coordinator

Daya coordinates our community peer support network. With a background in community education, youth work and other community projects, Passionate about local democracy Daya is an experienced community activist. She believes that local communities must become more organised and more strategic when engaging with the planning system, both locally and nationally.

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 has studied planning and environmental law and is currently a trainee solicitor working on housing and homelessness law. He is also 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 lives in Edinburgh. She has over a decade’s experience designing and facilitating participatory and deliberative events and processes on a range of topics. Kelly currently leads the office of The Democratic Society in Scotland and is a member of Scotland’s open government civil society steering committee. She 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.

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