Community Group Leaders Invited To Big Society Meeting

Subject: 5 November 2010 Big Society meeting

Good morning all

Please find below further information on the 5th November event at Great Asby Village Hall from 12:00 -18:00

As you will see from the agenda it is a packed afternoon with lunch and tea provided.
From the information exchange list you will see that there are various senior government department staff available ( we are talking about regional directors etc – the key decision makers). County Council and District Council staff will also be in attendance.

The subject areas range from high speed broadband (looking extremely promising for Crosby Ravensworth), community funding, rural transport, housing, renewable energy.

This is a superb opportunity to get help for any of our projects, youth groups, school, church etc etc

If you are interested let me know. Feel free to circulate widely.

Don’t miss this opportunity!

David Graham


Friday 5th November, 2010
Great Asby Village Hall, Great Asby, Appleby, Cumbria CA16 6EX


The event today will start with a ‘policy information exchange’: an informal workshop-style event. There are tables for each of the policy topics outlined below, which are arranged around the hall. You are invited to approach the tables where you will have an opportunity to have discussions in groups about the progress on that topic and on what opportunities are available. After this first session there will be a break for lunch, which will also give us an opportunity to determine if the timings are adequate or need adjusting. If they are about right the expectation is that this information exchange will happen a further two times after lunch.

The last session of the day will be a staged Question and Answer panel with Rory Stewart and Councillors and Leaders from the local authorities, Cumbria County Council and Eden District Council. You may well be called upon to answer questions specific to your area of expertise, but it is hoped that this will be an informal open discussion involving all participants. This session will end with a buffet supper.


Keith Halstead is Chief Executive of the Community Transport Association UK, and a former Regional Director for the National Trust. During eighteen years with the Trust he held various senior management roles in the North West, the West Midlands and Thames & Solent regions and led a number of significant projects, particularly in Liverpool, to demonstrate the important role the historic environment can play in urban regeneration. These included the restoration and opening of the former home of Paul McCartney; securing the future of E Chambre Hardman’s house, studio and photographic collection; and implementing a major revival plan for the Speke Hall Estate. He was also involved in saving Red House in Bexleyheath – the first and only home William Morris ever built. Currently, Keith is Chief Executive of the Community Transport Association UK – a rapidly growing national charity and social enterprise giving voice and providing leadership, learning and enterprise support to community-based organisations delivering local transport solutions to achieve a fairer society. He is a Director of Watlington Community Interest Company, a member of Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts.

Edwina Edwards is CEO of Bakewell and Eyam Community Transport. She came to Bakewell and Eyam Community Transport as a volunteer initially and is now responsible for the operation of 10 small minibuses, up to 16-seaters and a voluntary car scheme in the Peak District. The charity has been operating since 1989 and has grown from 1 vehicle and driver to 150 volunteers and 19 staff members.

Kevin McGilloway represents Eden’s Fellrunner Bus service. The Fellrunner Buses are operated and driven by local volunteers for the benefit of the community. They serve most of the villages in the Penrith area with services to Penrith or Carlisle. The first Fellrunner services were launched in December 1979 after two years of planning by the local community, Cumbria County Council and Voluntary Action Cumbria. The first bus was a 16-seater Ford Transit and, in the early days, provided a feeder service from Fellside villages to connect with the Ribble bus services from Langwathby to Penrith and Carlisle. Since the withdrawal of all commercial services, the Fellrunner has itself provided scheduled shopping services from the Fellside to both Penrith and Carlisle. These services have now been supplemented by monthly excursions and by private hires to local community groups.


Caron Britton from BIS joined the former Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1981. Since then, she has worked in a number of MAFF/Defra policy Divisions including on fisheries, livestock, and Nitrates policy and is currently the Defra lead on rural broadband. In her current role, she has responsibility for working with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and Broadband Delivery UK to champion the need for broadband improvement in rural areas.

Mike Kiely is acting Technical and Industry Lead for Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). He has over 20 years’ experience in the UK and international telecommunications and internet industry.  He has launched national UK services for Voice Mail and Voice over IP.  He has worked in the US, Chile, Australia, Malaysia and most of Europe in various technical and regulatory roles.  He has also been a active advocate of Universal Broadband in his spare time. He is seconded from Predictable Network Solutions, a company which specialises in analysing congestion and application performance of data transport networks. Mike also has specialist knowledge in radio spectrum.  His principal responsibility in the BDUK procurement process will be to specify the NGA access and backhaul requirements to be the best in Europe and ensure that these are delivered. Mike is married to Susanne and has three children.  Mallerstang and Upper Eden holds a special place for Mike as he used to walk there with Susanne before they got married.

Robert Ling is National and Regional Co-ordinator for Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).


Neil Pickering is the Homes and Communities Head of Area for Lancashire and Cumbria. He has responsibility for delivering the Agency’s programme to create new communities and bring economic growth and higher investment to the counties. He works closely with strategic partnerships to deliver housing growth, urban regeneration and to maximise the potential for affordable housing. Neil graduated in Town Planning at Leeds Polytechnic and began his regeneration career in Local Government before moving into private sector consultancy, specialising in development management and funding/delivery advice.  He moved to the Homes and Communities Agency in May 2010, but prior to that had considerable experience as an adviser to English Partnerships and the HCA.
He is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Andy Lloyd from Cumbria Rural Housing Trust is a Community Land Trust Project Officer. From 2003 to 2008 Andy worked for Dorset Community Action as the Rural Housing Enabler for West Dorset and Purbeck Districts. He organised the New Solutions for Affordable Housing conference which resulted in two communities opting to deliver affordable housing through Community Land Trusts. Originally from Cumbria, since January 2008 he has been employed as the county Community Land Trust Project Officer based in Cumbria Rural Housing Trust, Penrith. The post is funded by Local Authorities responding positively to community interest in CLTs, and also by the Tudor Trust. Andy supports community groups by describing the nature of CLTs, providing on line resources, helping to strengthen delivery partnerships, looking at sites and viability, and obtaining consultant and funding support from the CLT Facilitation Fund and other agencies.


Gareth Bradford is currently a Team Leader within the Planning Directorate in the Department for Communities and Local Government, which he joined in July this year. Gareth is at the forefront of the Department’s work on neighbourhood planning, particularly the legislation being brought forward through the Localism Bill, and is a planning link for the West Dorset and Eden vanguard areas. Gareth is heavily involved in the team’s strategic planning work, especially on Local Enterprise Partnerships, the recent Local Growth White Paper and the new ‘duty to co-operate’. Prior to this Gareth was a team leader of a development plans team in Devon County Council, leading work on infrastructure planning, sub-regional and local planning policy and the design and delivery of major new development proposals. Gareth has a 1st Class Geography Degree, a Masters Degree in Planning Practice and Research and is a chartered town planner. Gareth was a finalist in the UK’s Young Planner of the Year competition in 2008.

Richard Turner is an Eden District Councillor and Executive Member with responsibility for Housing and Planning Policy. He is currently Chair of the Cumbria Housing Group and, more locally, Chair of the Alston Moor Affordable Housing Group.


Hugh Rolo is Head of Assets and Investment at the Development Trusts Association. There are over 450 development trusts across the UK, all community owned and led. They cultivate enterprise and build assets – creating wealth in communities and keeping it there. On behalf of the DTA he is a delivery partner of the Adventure Capital Fund and an advisor to Communitybuilders. He is a founder partner and Director of the Key Fund Yorkshire- both of which are investing “patient capital” in community enterprises. 
He is leading for the DTA on an action learning research programme into Community Shares and Bonds backed by Communities and Local Government and the Office of Civil Society
Hugh is also a director of ACCENT Regeneration, a leading housing association and remains active in his own community of Manningham in Bradford as a Director of ABL, and Manningham Mills Community Association, development trusts, and as a secondary School Governor, where he chairs the finance committee.

Gareth Nash is a founder member and co-director of Co-operative and Mutual Solutions Limited, a worker co-operative providing business advice, consultancy and training to the co-operative and social enterprise sector. He has 20 years of experience of co-operative, social enterprise development and financing. He has helped to raise funding and finance for new start and growing co-operatives/social enterprises. This includes community shares and loans for community buyouts, employee equity, loan and leasing finance for employee buyouts. He has helped to bring several community buyouts to fruition including: The Natural Food Store (Leeds) and the Fair Traders Co-operative in Holmfirth.  Gareth is a member of the Community Shares expert reference group. This is a 2 year action research project led by the Department for Communities and Local Government and delivered in partnership with Co-operatives UK and the Development Trusts Association.

Ron Seddon is the Strategic Outreach Manager for the Community Development Finance Association, which represents community development finance institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs provide loans and support to people who find it difficult to access finance from the commercial banks. The CDFA‘s mission is to support the development of a thriving and sustainable community development finance (CDFI) sector that provides finance for disadvantaged and underserved communities and, as a consequence, contribute to the increasing prosperity of these communities. The CDFA‘s objectives are to grow, support and strengthen the CDFI sector; to promote the sector to stakeholders and to government; to support members in achieving collective influence; to help forge closer links between individual CDFA members and stakeholders. In addition to member subscriptions the CDFA‘s core funders are the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Barclays and NatWest/Royal Bank of Scotland.

Grahame Latus is the Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Asset & Reinvestment Trust Ltd (CART).  CART is an Industrial and Provident Society, registered with the Financial Services Authority. It is Cumbria’s only Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) and the only rural CDFI in the north of England. This is a sustainable, independent organisation providing financial services across Cumbria with the aim of creating social improvement and business development returns.


Oliver Henman is a Project Manager leading the Big Society Network’s ‘Your Local Budget’ project. This project aims to develop new directions for citizens to set priorities in their local budgets and identify opportunities for innovation in the delivery of services. He has worked in the voluntary sector for a number of years and specialises in participatory democracy. He is on secondment from NCVO where his role is UK & International Campaigns Manager. Previously he worked at the Power Inquiry, where he coordinated the European Citizens’ Consultation – UK. He has had considerable experience in Europe and Brazil on grassroots democracy and citizen participation, including in the Amazon rainforest and has also worked as a parliamentary researcher in Westminster. He completed his studies at Oxford University, where took an MPhil in Latin American Studies (Politics) with a thesis on the Participatory Budget process of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Paul Dodson is Economic Programmes Manager for Cumbria County Council, and manages a variety of programmes including social enterprise support, business start-ups and the Rural Development Programme for England. He also chairs Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership.


Eleni Yiasoumis is the Senior Rural Carbon Challenge fund Manager for Envirolink Northwest. Envirolink Northwest aids the development and growth of the energy and environmental technologies and services sector in the Northwest of England.  Envirolink Northwest is funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency, the region’s local authorities and industry. Envirolink Northwest is a not-for-profit organisation working to increase the levels of technology transfer and innovation within the sector; increase the level of knowledge and skills in the current and future sector workforce; and promote the sector in regional, national and international markets.

Stephen Lang represents the Rural Carbon Challenge Fund. The Rural Carbon Challenge aims to benefit the rural economy and rural communities by supporting community level demonstration projects. The expected outcomes of funded projects include job creation, training and the provision of renewable energy in rural communities. On the supply side, it will support microenterprises to set up or expand a renewable energy business as well as supporting training provision for a range of organisations. On the demand side it will support businesses, social enterprises, charities, and formally constituted community groups with the capital costs of renewable energy projects.

Matt Crump is Area Environment Manager for North Cumbria. He has worked in Environmental Regulation for approximately 20 years, and in his current role deals with a wide range of environmental issues, from Flood Recovery and Droughts to Waste Regulation, Water Quality and Monitoring. He lives in Penrith and is based in the Penrith office

Steve Powell of the Environment Agency is an Environment and Business Advisor specialising in fisheries and currently hydro-power schemes. He is based out of the Environment Agency’s Warrington Regional Office.

Steve Welsh is General Manager of Water Power Enterprises. Water Power Enterprises is a social enterprise, a Community Interest Company limited by shares. It aims to save approx 6,500 tonnes of carbon emissions per year by installing around 5MW of renewable energy by 2012. Water Power Enterprises takes the long view of renewable energy creation enabling larger hydro-electricity sites to be installed with a greater benefit to the environment obtained over the lifecycle. This is achieved by providing a slower financial return to stakeholders which is the essence of being a social enterprise; bigger social returns achieved by accepting more modest financial returns. WPE believe that social enterprise and renewable energy go hand in hand and that local communities can become the beneficiaries of the revenues so raised for decades to come. Water Power Enterprises propose to remove the two biggest barriers to the involvement of the local community in renewable energy by providing both the finance and capacity to develop and install small scale hydroelectric schemes.

Charlotte Jackson represents the Energy Saving Trust, the UK’s leading impartial organisation helping people to save energy and reduce carbon emissions. They do so by providing expert insight and knowledge about energy saving, supporting people to take action, helping local authorities and communities to save energy, and by providing quality assurance for goods, services and installers.

Peter Ward was introduced to the Anaerobic Initiative in Crosby Ravensworth in 2009, as a result of contacts made through PACT, part of the Transition Town Movement. Since then he has worked to ensure that this and similar low carbon initiatives are successfully implemented.


3 thoughts on “Community Group Leaders Invited To Big Society Meeting

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