Meet the council

Jean Grant – Chair 

Jean Grant is an Artist with an interest in developing sustainable relationships between people and their environment; how we creatively make home.

She has developed projects in UK, Europe and USA.

She is funded by the Arts Council and Heritage Lottery. Local councils and businesses and directly with residents. She acts as Consultant, Creator and project manager for public realm work and creative consultation projects

Recently her own projects are based at home in Liverpool, she encourages residents to talk about their spaces and making them into positive creative places. . As part of her interest in improving the ability of residents to be heard she founded Growing Granby a Liverpool urban agriculture project and Friends of Princes Park, Paxton’s first park outside Chatsworth, also an annual event for residents to discuss the State of their City of Liverpool, she is involved as Creative Consultant to Liverpool 8 Living Sustainably a 5 year Lottery Award project 




Gavin Davenport – Vice Chair

Gavin was born and raised in South Yorkshire but considers he really “grew up” as a student in Liverpool in the early 1990s. After graduation he moved away, working as a designer and producer in the creative industries before working on the delivery of a number of high profile heritage projects for regional and national organisations from Durham to Devon and London to Liverpool. These have embraced cultural and intangible heritage, historic buildings and the built environment and the interrogation of historic archives. It had always been an ambition to return to his favourite city, and in 2016 Gavin was appointed as project lead for the 300 year anniversary of central Liverpool’s most iconic building: Bluecoat.

Returning to South Liverpool to raise a young family in a Grade II listed house, he has a heartfelt passion for the city, its institutions and its built heritage, from the grandiose to the most mundane. In the past few years he has worked with partners from the British Library, National Maritime Museum Greenwich, to NML and University of Liverpool and advised on a number of funding applications for organisations large and small. He is always keen to share knowledge and strives to build bridges between organisations, firm in the belief that by working together we can do things better.



Michael Biggs – Secretary

Born and educated in Liverpool and have lived in the south of the city my entire life. Now bringing up my young family here, encouraging them to appreciate the wonderful resources our region has to offer. As a result, my interest in improving the quality of life in the Liverpool City Region has grown even stronger than before.  

I take great pride in the city and want the next generation of Liverpool citizens to have a strong sense of identity, a connection to their communities and an active interest in working together to make their voices heard. I believe the best way that we can do this is to demonstrate that through collective effort, you can make a difference. 

In terms of my own skills set, I have over 11 years' experience of coordinating teams, implementing procedures and overseeing project work within a busy and highly regulated finance environment. I'm hoping to use this experience to support the MCS council and membership to work efficiently, communicate effectively, and monitor the impact of their work. I am also technically competent, and as an active user of digital platforms including websites and social media, I feel that I can help MCS to grow their reach, spread  campaign messages further and grow interest and membership. 

I appreciate and admire MCS's past achievements, and I'm excited to be part of MCS as we work together to help shape a positive future for Liverpool City Region.




Lucy Antal

Lucy Antal is a sustainable food consultant for The Food Domain, a network partnership who work together to improve access to sustainable food.

Lucy covers a wide remit of food issues including food growing, food waste and surplus, food skills and education, food enterprise, food access and food for health. She curates the network and enables new relationships to develop, working with academics, NGOs, communities, businesses and the public sector. She holds the post of honorary research associate at the University of Liverpool, and is a member of the International Commission on the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition ( Lucy is an external examiner for food and nutrition students at Liverpool John Moores University, and is engaged upon several research projects with the N8 AgriFood group ( and supported the creation of the AgroEcoCities European Network ( Lucy is an active participant in the Sustainable Food Cities Network in the UK. ( and co-founder of the Knowledge Quarter Sustainability Network.

Previously, Lucy held the post of Sustainable Food City Liverpool Coordinator for the Liverpool Food People project. Lucy studied English Literature & History of Art at the University of Leeds, followed by 10 years working in the food industry within London, before relocating home to Liverpool to spend 13 years as Operations Manager & Project Developer for environmental charity the National Wildflower Centre. She joined Liverpool Food People in 2014 and co founded The Food Domain in 2017.

 In her spare time, Lucy enjoys writing about food, bakes bread and makes preserves as Grab Your Spoon. Lucy is based in Liverpool, UK.




Prof. Erik Bichard

Professor Erik Bichard is Director and co-founder of RealWorth, a pioneering consultancy which advises on the value of social and environmental change in the built environment.

He has spent his entire career in the field of sustainable change. He first served as an Environmental Planner and then held positions with two sustainability consultancies; Entec and ERM. He was then Executive Director of the Co-operative Bank inspired National Centre for Business & Sustainability and later also became Chief Executive of Sustainability Northwest. Erik subsequently became Professor of Regeneration and Sustainable Development at the University of Salford where he still teaches on a part-time basis. During his time as a full-time academic his research focused on the development and implementation of an approach called Sustainable Return on Investment or SuROI. The approach uses a range of valuation techniques and interviewing methods to generate a better understanding of the real value of development, and in particular, impacts that benefits a wider range of people who experience its influences.

Erik is a is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, and a Fellow of the RSA. He is a regular contributor to printed media, radio and television and has published academic papers, book chapters and two books including ‘Positively Responsible’ and ‘The Coming of Age of the Green Community’. Erik serves on the Councils of both Social Value UK and Merseyside Civic Society and has been a sustainability advisor to Co-operatives UK and Liverpool City Council. He is a trustee and Board member of the social enterprise, the FRC Group and is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Derby, and a Visiting Fellow of the University of Liverpool’s Heseltine Institute. 




Chrisie Byrne

I was born and bred in Liverpool and have gone on to bring up my children in the city i love and i am very proud of its history, people, culture and of course its fantastic parks and green spaces. My interest has always been community led work and making our communities better for us by us! I started the "friends of Walton hall park" back in August 2014 with a small group of like minded people wanting to improve our local park. As a community non-for-profit group we have worked every day for years in the park to make it a better place for us and visitors to enjoy and we now work alongside Liverpool city council and Glendale staff which includes planting, events and creating new usable spaces within the park. The improvements and its beauty are something the whole community is very proud of.

Sadly in 2015 it was announced the park was to be developed which would of left the whole 130 acres lost forever. I decided i had to start a campaign to save Walton Hall Park. I lived facing the park most of my life, it was mine and my children's playground and so wanted to play my part in saving it, the campaign we ran was successful and that was down to the support we got from the whole community and the park was saved from mass development. People power at its best! 

I have since gone on to help and advise other groups and campaigns who have or still are trying to save their parks and green spaces across the northwest that are now under threat of various size developments. I enjoy public speaking and i have done this at several events about the threats to our green infrastructure. I am passionate for them all to be saved for us and our future generations to enjoy as i did when i was growing up. I have wrote several successful grant bids that have all been spent on various park improvements. I have also gained lots of new qualifications for my work in the park including woodland management, fisheries management and working with children and the disabled outdoors. 

In 2016 i was voted as chair of Liverpool park friends forum, which is the group that works with all the park friend groups in Liverpool. That role has been a great challenge but also a fantastic opportunity to bring together, work and share information from the other groups. I am also a committee member on Northwest parks friends forum which covers thousands of parks and green spaces. I was asked to become a council member of Merseyside civic society in 2017. I felt very privileged to be asked to be part of such a prestigious society who's events and talks i had attended for a few years and i hope to make my mark and be an active member and be a voice for the parks and the communities of the northwest.



Peter Elson

Worked for the Daily Echo & Post for 17 years. Now doing PR, writing and broadcasting art history & architecture.
Worked with Jonathan Brown on the Futurist campaign. Keen interest in Historic architecture, renovation / new uses for old buildings, maritime and transport campaigns.


Steven Garnett

To be found wandering around Merseyside. Feel blessed to live in this region of the earth with World class architecture and flora.
I enjoy teaching out and about in the community reaching people returning to education.

Volunteer for wide range of arts and charities, recently helping people with Universal credit applications.


Dai Gwynne

Dai specializes in Architecture, CAD, graphics design, highways design, Enjoys Cycling & sustainable transport, urban design, healthy cities, historic architecture, rail & industrial heritage.


David Massey 

Links with other civic socs. and with other related bodies such as Civic Voice


Liza Parry

Chief Executive of Housing People Building Communities, which has just completed a housing scheme in L8. Liza specialises in Community engagement, building partnerships, networking, community self-build housing. Her interests include demystifying planning processes for individuals, passionate about preserving & enhancing landscape, affordable housing – new build & refurb.


Trevor Skempton

Architect & occasional teacher. Particular interest in terraced housing and urban planning. Interested in Green & White Papers, policy formulation, State of the City Events.


Adrian Swift

Chartered town planner with 42 yrs experience, skills including reviewing planning & regeneration reports, and writing bids. Adrian’s interests include Strategic & local planning, heritage & historic buildings, arts & culture, local history, urban design & masterplanning, public transport, Sefton & LCR Crosby.


Eileen Willshaw

30 years as a Heritage Manager with experience of writing successful funding bids. Eileen aims to include the Wirral in the MCS, and believes we can use our collective experience with many other Civic Societies to inform.




Pam Wilsher 

Former Head of Visitor Economy Development at Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, I am now semi-retired and a part time Tourism and Heritage Consultant. I have spent most of my career working in tourism in Liverpool and know the Liverpool City Region’s Visitor Economy inside out. I’ve been closely associated with all the key tourism initiatives in the city over the last 30 years from the International Garden Festival in the 80’s to European Capital of Culture in 2008.

After graduating in Modern Languages, I joined the English Tourist Board in London with several marketing, research and development roles including periods working for Regional Tourist Boards in the East Midlands and the West Country and for the British Tourist Authority in Los Angeles. I came to Liverpool in the late 70’s for three months to help shape the visitor experience at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, fell in love with the city and never left!

I helped set up the new tourism unit at Merseyside County Council, continuing in both marketing and development roles over the next 10 years. From 1992 to 1998, I established and ran the Merseyside Tourism & Conference Bureau which merged in 1998 with inward investment agency, The Mersey Partnership, which became the Liverpool LEP in 2012.

I am hugely proud of Liverpool and the wider City Region and my passion is heritage and culture and finding exciting new uses for some of our historic buildings. I sat on the World Heritage Site Management Group for many years and recruited and trained several generations of Blue Badge guides.

I am a Trustee of the Sefton Park Palm House.

My interests include exploring the City Region with my grandchildren, our narrowboat Stolen Time, travelling to far flung places, countryside walking, caravanning, ballroom and sequence dancing, visiting the theatre, learning more languages and Parkrun.