Commons Conservators Chief Executive Decides to Quit

Stephen Bound is leaving to move to the Lake District

Stephen Bound
Stephen Bound. Picture: WPCC

March 3, 2023

The Chief Executive of the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators (WPCC) is to leave the role it has been announced.

Stephen Bound will be departing in May 2023 in order to relocate to the Lake District.

He joined WPCC in January 2016 as Chief Operations Manager, assuming responsibility for the day to day operations of the Commons and was promoted to Chief Executive in May 2021 having served as Acting Chief Executive on an interim basis following the retirement of his predecessor, Simon Lee.

He lead the organisation during a particularly critical time of the COVID pandemic, when the Commons proved to be absolutely essential to the well-being of the local community.

He played an integral role in the development of the Commons’ masterplan with a particular focus on the natural environment, recognising the need to increase the protection of vulnerable habitats and led the realignment of resources to help achieve this objective. He also recognised the need to ensure effective communication channels with the public were in place to explain the purpose and scope of the interventions to members of the public. The recent public consultation showed broad support for the intentions of the masterplan.

He was recently forced to defend a double digit rise in the Commons Levy after the move was criticised by the leaders of Wandsworth and Merton Councils.

Prior to joining WPCC, he had been Director of Malvern Hills Conservators, a body that was established in 1884 to protect and manage the Malvern Hills and adjacent commons, totalling some 3,000 acres.

Mr Bound commented, “I have loved my time at Wimbledon and Putney Commons, working with a committed Board and a wonderful staff team. I shall miss them, and the Commons.”

Diane Neil Mills, Chairman of WPCC, said, “On behalf of the Conservators, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to Stephen for the commitment and contribution that he has made to WPCC since joining the organisation seven years ago. As Chief Executive, he has provided first class
leadership for one of the country’s most special open spaces and his decision to relocate represents an immense loss for the Commons. He will be deeply missed by Conservators, staff and all those who had the privilege to work with him. We wish him well for the future.”

The Board are undertaking a recruitment process to fill the role.

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