Sir Paul Carter and Liz Twist MP join voices from Parliament, academics, industry leaders and disabled experts on Smart Homes steering group

The Smart Homes and Independent Living Commission, chaired by Sir Paul Carter, is delighted to announce its eminent steering group including voices from Parliament, academics in technology and social care, industry leaders and disabled experts.

This Commission will examine and make recommendations on how the latest technologies for the home can be used to help disabled and older people lead healthy, independent and socially rewarding lives. 

We are very grateful to Commission sponsors Bournemouth University and Coventry University.

Our steering group is:

  • Councillor Sir Paul Carter CBE, leader of Kent County Council from 2005 until 2019
  • Liz Twist MP, MP for Blaydon 
  • Aneta Armova-Levin, Education Manager, CEDIA
  • Philip Bridges, Business Development Manager, Oysta
  • Professor Sally Dibb, Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University 
  • Clenton Farquharson MBE, Chair, Think Local, Act Personal Partnership
  • Professor Lee-Ann Fenge, Professor of Social Care, Bournemouth University
  • Kush Kanodia, Governor, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 
  • James Lampert, Head of Tech-Enabled Care, NRS Healthcare
  • Dr Hannah Marston, Research Fellow, Open University
  • Julie Ogley, Director of Social Care, Health and Housing 
  • Janet Seward, Programme Manager, Disabled Living Foundation
  • Claire Sutton, Digital Transformation Lead, National Care Forum 
  • Steve Tyler, Director of Assistive Technology, Leonard Cheshire Disability

Councillor Sir Paul Carter CBE  

Councillor Sir Paul Carter CBE was leader of Kent County Council from 2005 until 2019. He has championed health integration and social care funding reform; and helped lead the MHCLG Brexit Delivery Group, providing insight and expertise from Kent as the closest county to mainland Europe. As elected Chairman of the cross-party County Councils Network (CCN) between 2015 and 2019 he led 26 county and 10 unitary councils representing 26 million residents, gaining the respect and confidence of Ministers.  

Liz Twist MP 

Liz Twist is the Labour Member of Parliament for Blaydon. Before being elected in 2017, Liz served as Gateshead Council's Cabinet Member for Housing and UNISON’s Regional Head of Health. Since her election in June 2017 Liz has served on the Communities, Housing and Local Government Committee, the Petitions and European Statutory Instruments Committees. In addition, Liz Chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Phenylketonuria (PKU), Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention and is Vice Chair of the Zero Carbon group.  

Kush Kanodia

Kush Kanodia is a disabled BAME champion for equality and inclusion.
Kush was a Torch Bearer for the Paralympic Games in London 2012, selected for his dedication to disability rights. He was recognised as being in the top 10 most influential BAME leaders in technology. In 2019, receiving the Entrepreneur of the Year and Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Kush also featured 2nd in the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100, the list of most influential disabled people in the UK.
In 2021, Kush led the #NoWheelChairTax campaign to success and transformed NHS England. By abolishing all disabled car parking charges from 206 NHS hospitals and helping 2.5 million disabled people to access critical healthcare during the Covid19 pandemic.

James Lampert

An experienced health and social care professional of 25 years, with a breadth of public sector frontline, management and strategic commissioning experience, James Lampert now leads NRS Healthcare's Technology Enabled Care Services in the company’s growing Clinical Services division.  He has responsibility for services across England, commissioned by local authorities and the NHS, providing specialist support to individuals and delivery of transformation and service development activities.

James, a registered occupational therapist, uses his passion for supporting people to live full and enriched lives as the goal by which his interest in care technology is directed.  

One of James’ plans for this coming year includes upskilling his assessment workforce in app prescriptions, which further puts tech solutions right into the hands of people that want to be in control of their own lives. 

Dr Hannah R. Marston

Dr Hannah R. Marston holds a PhD in Virtual Reality and Gerontology from Teesside University, UK. Since graduation in 2010 Hannah has worked in Canada and Germany as a post-doctoral fellow and research scientist, respectively and she currently holds a position as a Research Fellow at the Open University, UK. Hannah is an interdisciplinary researcher, and her interests lie in the fields of videogames, digital (health) technology, technology adoption, gamification, health, wellbeing, digital ex/inclusion, age-friendly cities and communities, ageing, and user experience. 

Hannah has published over 40 peer-reviewed journal papers, 10 book chapters, led and co-guest edited special issues and has presented her research at both national and international conferences. More recently her research has been published by respective Committees by the UK Government, specifically the Covid-19: Committee report ‘Beyond Digital: Planning for a Hybrid World.’ 

Hannah is involved in a wide range of research projects and is the lead for the Covid-19: Technology, Social connections, Loneliness and Leisure Activities international project. This Consortium includes partners from Spain, Germany, Austria, India, Portugal, Singapore, USA, Ireland, Turkey, and Romania. 

Julie Ogley

Julie joined Central Bedfordshire Council from North East Lincolnshire Council in January 2009, where she had served as Executive Director of Community Care since 2003, encompassing Adult Social Services, Strategic Housing and Safer Communities (and statutory Director of Social Services).  

As Director of Social Care, Health and Housing at Central Bedfordshire, Julie’s responsibilities include: Adult Social Care; Commissioning; Housing Landlord Services; Strategic Housing Services; and Customer Contact Centre.

More recently, Julie has become a Non-Executive Director of the Council’s WOC: New Vista Homes (housing development) and Care is Central (care company).

Julie has been the Chair of the East of England Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) Branch, has been the Regional Lead Trustee, was Vice President of ADASS 2018/19, President of ADASS 2019/20 and Immediate Past President 2020/21.  

Julie was involved with leading an Adult Safeguarding Peer Review and also has led the Council through peer reviews.

Julie recently joined the panel of commissioners leading the commission on the role of housing in the future of care and support believing that “every decision about care is a decision about housing”.

Janet Seward

Janet Seward is Programme Manager for the DLF part of Shaw Trust a charity registered in England, Wales & Scotland. For over fifty years the DLF has been providing impartial information, advice and training on assistive technology to enable older and disabled people to live independently. The charity provides advice to the public both online and by phone under its Living Made Easy programme which reached over two million people in 2020 and runs DLF for Professionals to support assessors and prescribers of AT solutions. As the UK’s member of Eastin, it runs the largest database of AT products solutions in Europe.

Before joining the DLF Janet worked for a number of manufacturers of AT solutions in commercial roles having previously specialised in brand management in the IT & telecoms sector and she is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Steve Tyler 

Steve Tyler serves as the Director of Assistive Technology at Leonard Cheshire, a pan-disability charity with a national and global footprint. 

He has worked in the sector of accessibility generally with a specific focus on technology for over 20 years and has led on such developments as synthetic voice development, access to TV, banking, commerce and publishing.  He works closely with operating systems providers – Apple, Microsoft, Google – and informs accessibility development and broader technical solution delivery.  

He works closely with g3ict, Valuable 500 and supports a range of strategic initiatives centred on broader cultural change, not least commercial awareness and delivery of products and services usable by people with disabilities.

A current focus is around smart home access, integration of technologies, and maximising benefits through policy and support changes such that we begin to address the challenge of more people living longer as independently as possible.