Lodestone looks to local politics with ‘ethical’ property unit
Former Labour party operative Mark Walker will head up Lodestone Local.
Public affairs and strategic communications agency Lodestone is moving into property and planning lobbying with the launch of a dedicated practice.
Lodestone Local is billed as ‘an ethical property and planning unit’ and will be officially launched at an industry event next week.
The new unit is being headed up by newly-appointed account manager Mark Walker. Before joining Lodestone, Walker spent a decade working for on campaigns for the Labour party . Most recently he held positions on Tom Watson’s deputy leadership campaign and Sadiq Khan’s London mayoral campaign.
Walker said: “There has been a shift in the public attitude towards politicians and the political process with a greater focus on ethics. Lodestone Local has the expertise to engage with this process in support for its clients.”
Asked to explain the ethical component of the offer, he said: "We want to make sure that the engagement process is more than just a box ticking exercise. When developers engage with stakeholders, proper dialogue and consultation is needed. We want to help developers understand the fabric of the local area".
Lodestone chairman David Wild said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark to our team. He has an unrivalled expertise in London politics and brings multi-dimensional experience to running strategic campaigns. He will provide invaluable support to planning and property businesses.”
Lodestone was set up in 2012 by Wild, Fran O'Leary, Martha Dalton and Mike Parker, all of whom used to work at lobbying firm Jefferson. The agency now claims to be one of the fastest growing in the industry, reporting double digit turnover growth in 2017.
The organic growth has been achieved through new client wins including the British Poultry Council, Girlguiding, DK Partners, Glennmont, Learning Disability Voices, Agilesphere, the Enterprise Research Council, JISC, the Committee of University Chairs and the University of Portsmouth.