Our Trustees

Valerie Owen
EDC Trustee

Valerie Owen is a multidisciplinary professional – Chartered Architect, Town Planner, Development Surveyor and Environmentalist – expert in sustainable development and regeneration.

In her early career, Valerie specialised in conservation and heritage, converting redundant Listed Buildings to commercial uses. She then became Architect Director at international consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle, upgrading properties in Fund portfolios to maximise investment returns. Later, Valerie became Managing Director at London First, delivering sustainable development programmes through business/government partnerships.

Valerie is passionate about good architecture, placemaking and design and has held numerous Ministerial and NED appointments, serving as a Board member and commissioning client for several major regeneration projects led by the public sector. Valerie is Managing Director of Le Vaillant Owen Consultancy and, until 2021, was Chair of Swan Housing, managing 11,000 houses, a construction company and MMC factory. She currently Chairs the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence and is a member of the Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board, seeking to drive improved outcomes in health and social care.

Valerie is an active member of Girlguiding UK, for 20 years she pioneered community education and youth outreach initiatives among disadvantaged girls and women from Bangladeshi Muslim communities in Tower Hamlets, East London, and is experienced in leading/managing volunteers; charity fundraising and international outreach. In 2016-17 Valerie was Chief Guide, UK & Territories and Chair of Trustees, Girlguiding UK, the largest education charity for girls/young women, which has 600,000 UK members and 10 million worldwide

Valerie lives in Deal, east Kent, is married to Bob Le Vaillant and has 3 adopted daughters. Locally, she volunteers for the Walmer RNLI and was previously a Special Needs Advisor for Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award scheme.

Penny Marsh
Resident Trustee

Penny has been working in the North Kent area for over 13 years and living in Ebbsfleet since 2019. She is a Baptist minister with a focus on new housing in North Kent. During this time, she has initiated several new projects including the weekly Sunday Active programme and the Ebbsfleet Coffee morning based in Castle Hill, and a project based in Northfleet.

Prior to moving to Ebbsfleet, she lived and worked in the Royal Docks, East London, where she established a local charity and new church. Penny understands first-hand what it is like to live and work in an area of new housing and is keen to see Ebbsfleet develop as a great place to live with a vibrant sense of community. When not working, Penny likes to run, meet up with friends, and relax with her family.

Melanie Lay
Resident Trustee

Having lived in this area of Kent for most of her life, Melanie was excited to move to Ebbsfleet Garden City in 2020 and to benefit from the infrastructure, space and amenities this new community has to offer. Working locally as a Marketing and Resources Director for a power electrical business, and with her family both at school locally and commuting to work in London, Ebbsfleet offered her the perfect base for an ever evolving work/life balance.

She joined the Ebbsfleet Garden City Community Board at the end of last year, and is keen to make a positive contribution to the Garden City which she plans to make her home for many years to come. Moving forward she hopes to bring her experience from both a professional and resident’s point of view to the board of Trustees, helping form decisions that boost and empower the local community and further strengthen the area’s cohesive spirit.

Peter Bolton
Voluntary / Community / Faith Sector Trustee

After a degree in music at Cardiff University and postgraduate study at the RoyalNorthern College of Music, Peter started a career in arts management in 1985.His early career was spent in short term contracts with various festivals in thiscountry and abroad including the Edinburgh International Festival and Festival ofSydney before a stint as Tour Manager for The Academy of Ancient Music. Hehas been the Music Officer for Southern Arts Board, Concert Hall Manager for the Turner Sims Concert Hall in Southampton and Chief Executive & Artistic Director of Norfolk & Norwich Festival. From 2004 – 2008 he ran his own business programming the International Orchestral Series at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham and Artistic Director of Petworth Festival as well as providingconsultancy services to cultural organisations throughout England.

In September 2008 he took up the post of Chief Executive of Kent Music which in 2012 became the lead partner for the Music Education Hub for Kent. The Hub is funded by Arts Council England to work with schools, teachers, arts organisations and other partners to provide music education opportunities for all children and young people in the county.

Peter has a busy life away from Kent Music as a trustee of Music Mark, the subject association for music education, and as clarinet player with various groups around Kent. He also enjoys a bit of cycling to keep fit.

Cllr Pete Scollard
Local Authority (Gravesham Borough Council) Trustee

Peter started working in the community as Chairman of the Seven Avenues Resident Association where he ran numerous street parties, cleaned up the are, a and created a play park for local children. He set up No Walls Gardens CIC in 2013 with the hope of beautifying a much unloved and deprived area whilst providing opportunities for long term unemployed and ex-offenders to gain skills, experiences and confidence to return to the job market. They have had many achievements including the creation of two new outdoor community green
spaces, edible spots that offer free fruit and veg to residents and volunteer and work experience opportunities for the most vulnerable and socially isolated.

Peter is passionate about the community he lives and works in and is currently striving to improve it through his work as Chairman of Northfleet Big Local, School Governor at Lawn Road Primary, Trustee of the Diamond Jubilee Trust and the William Pinn Trust and as a local Councillor for Northfleet North and Deputy Mayor of Gravesham.

Interim Chair

Phil Miles
Registered Housing Provider Trustee

Phil is Director of Clarion Futures, part of Clarion Housing Group, the UK’s largest Housing Association.  Clarion is a major developer on Ebbsfleet.  Clarion Futures is Clarion’s charitable foundation and delivers a wide-ranging socio/economic development programme for social housing residents and communities across England. Phil is also the Chair of Chichester Community Development Trust in West Sussex and has been a trustee for 12 years since its inception.  The Trust owns several local community facilities and is refurbishing a local church with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Cllr David Mote
Local Authority (Dartford BoroughCouncil) Trustee

David Mote has held senior positions within the employee communication, media relations, external marketing communication and publication editorial disciplines, working within both client and agency environments. In the late 1990s David was the Director of Marketing and Communications for the then Housebuilders Federation where he jointly chaired the housing industry’s Green Leaf Awards and was responsible for the New Homes Marketing Board. Having retired in 2019 David is currently the Dartford Borough Councillor for Greenhithe & Knockhall and is the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing, and a former Mayor of Dartford. He is also a Stone Parish Councillor, The Chairman of the Stone (Dartford) Scout Group and a Trustee for MCK (Marys Child Kent), the Greenhithe Community Centre and We are Beams.David has lived in what was a brand new home in Stone for 30 years and has family and friends living in Ebbsfleet, Swanscombe and Greenhithe. His passions include supporting his local community and turning new build developments into integrated, sustainable and family friendly neighbourhoods.