TOWARDS tomorrow today. Three words that go hand in hand with Ray Morgan’s vision for a better, greener, more sustainable planet.
Anybody fortunate enough to witness first hand the reinvention of Surrey commuter town Woking into a vibrant, economic and green space will know that it didn’t just happen by accident.
Ray, chief executive of Woking Borough Council and a man with 30 years experience in the public sector, has been largely responsible for championing key initiatives in the town while he was awarded an OBE in 2007 for his services to local government.
The World Wildlife Fund saw enough in Woking to build its award-winning Living Planet Centre headquarters there.
‘Building our own premises was the best and most cost-effective option and offered us so many other opportunities to engage with people more widely,’ said a WWF spokesman.
“So here we are at our new, brilliantly located site in Woking, a quick hop along the line from Waterloo. Beneath us, a municipal car park. Behind us, ancient heathland and a waterway buzzing with dragonflies. In one of the greenest buildings in the UK, a state-of-the-art building with minimal environmental impact which houses an interactive exhibition that brings the wild to life right in the centre of Woking.’
The town is not only home to the WWF but also world-renowned McLaren and Woking Football Club, while major employers, such as Cap Gemini and SAB Miller continue to thrive.
The many sports and leisure facilities include Pool in the Park where in 2003 a new fuel-cell based combined power and heating system was implemented in a joint venture between Woking Borough Council and its subsidiary Thamesway Energy Ltd.
It was the first of its kind in the UK and Ray had a hand in securing the deal including helping to raise the funding as part of one of the authority’s key strategies, Asset Management.
Thanks to Ray’s visionary leadership, the rejuvenated town centre has been updated with purpose-built restaurants, revamped shops and an attractive revamped market, all catering for the needs of a diverse population.
Ray is another high-level speaker at Naked Leader’s Conference and will be sharing his views on how government and businesses can work together to manage a better future and make places more sustainable for people.
‘Ray is an inspiration, a perceptive leader, with an empowering style,’ says Naked Leader CEO Rosalind Howard. ‘He has led Woking to become a place where businesses and people are passionate about working and living there.
‘We are delighted Ray will be with us at the Conference and emphasising to delegates that shaping our future depends on what we do in the present.
‘His theme ‘Towards tomorrow today’ is an exciting one and something we can all learn from as businesses and individuals.’