As an independent member, I bring with me many years’ experience of working in local government, both with the business sector and on behalf of the communities that local authorities serve. I am a former Chief Executive with the Association of North East Councils, which represented local government across this region. I have also worked with national government, a range of regulatory bodies, and the voluntary and community sector (VCS).
This experience has helped me develop a deep and broad understanding of the economic, social and environmental issues affecting the North East and the country as a whole.
By taking part in the Water Forum, I aim to provide useful challenge on a range of issues impacting on NWG’s plans and policies. As well as chairing this customer challenge group (CCG), I am a member of member of the Northern Gas Networks National CEG – this gives me a wonderful opportunity to infuse good practice into both forums.
I have a genuine interest in absolutely everything that impacts the society we live in, which has led me to get involved the Water Forums since 2010, as well as many different community organisations. At the moment I’m a trustee of several local and regional charities, a non-Exec Director of Gentoo (a Sunderland-based housing association), the Lay Chair of the North Tyneside NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, Chair of Shared Interest and a Deputy Lieutenant for Tyne & Wear.
My 30 years’ community and voluntary sector experience in the North East mean I’m well-networked in the public, private and voluntary sectors, and I find opportunities to bring the three together so they can learn from each other and innovate.
I believe that the value I bring to the Forum’s work is my broad experience and my naturally curious nature – together, these permit me to ask the ‘have you thought about...’ questions from a different perspective to some of my colleagues, so that together we offer a well-rounded challenge to NWG. I particularly challenge from the point of view of customers who have a limited income or who perhaps struggle to engage with the company due to ill-health or learning disabilities; I also think about what NWG’s plans mean for sustainable water supplies, flooding and water quality – all of which directly affect customers.
As an NFU member I give the Forum a national farming perspective and I believe that my current role and my network of contacts means I can provide useful challenge to NWG’s plans and strategies, in particular contributing an agricultural perspective to the environmental debates.
One of the twin aspects of Citizen’s Advice work is to research and campaign on big issues where vulnerable people need their voices to be heard. As the Chief Officer in Havering, Essex, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to challenge Northumbrian Water Group about its plans that will impact its customers. I offer a perspective that is based on what I hear from our clients here at Citizen’s Advice and from my network of contacts in volunteer organisations and local authorities. I’ve built this network up over the years, working and volunteering in jobs such as benefit assessment, a local hospital information service and an adult literacy scheme.
Through my work with the Forums, Essex & Suffolk Water have visited my team to explain what the company can do to help our clients, who come from a very diverse community in terms of their needs. It’s this diversity that I’m very keen to make sure the company understand, so that their needs are represented in its decision-making.
Iain is the lead for the Green Economy and the Growing Places Fund with the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. In this role he supports the development of a sustainable and commercial future that benefits the many businesses that operate in this dynamic new area of the economy; he also manages other business and funding development opportunities with a wide range of businesses and organisations.
Previously he developed a Low Carbon Development Unit at the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and managed production of the Green Economy Pathfinder and Manifesto on behalf of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. This built upon his experience of raising and managing the aspiration and partnership of Creating the Greenest County in Suffolk. Previous to this he enjoyed ten years of environmental, recreational and heritage management project management roles in Suffolk, before taking up the post of External Funding Manager at Suffolk County Council managing European finances and other investments.
Iain’s early career took him from working with the RSPB, the South Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty ,the Cheshire Wildlife Trust, to the USA and the Audubon Society in Massachusetts, Mono Lake Programme in California and Operation Raleigh in Australia.
In addition, Iain has held many voluntary positions in organisations :- Current - Fellow of Suffolk New College, Governor of Ipswich Chantry Academy, Forestry Commission Advisory Committee Member for Eastern Region, Creating the Greenest County Board Member, Wild Anglia Local Nature Partnership Adviser, Green Economy Pathfinder Board Member. Past - Director of Foundation East, Princes Trust Board Member.
My aims with ESW are to :
• To ascertain feedback from sme’s in relation to PR19 and on wider water matters relevant to the Essex and Suffolk Water Forum.
• To network and engage sme’s and increase awareness of water issues within the business community.
• To assist in providing a well engaged network which feeds positively back into the company and wider water initiative.
• To build upon the basis already established by the Water Forum under PR 14 and earlier reviews.
• To help to build a strong link between business and the water industry in a geographical area where business use of water will be a key issue in the future in relation to supply and demand, quality, sustainability and cost.
I’m the Regional Director for the CBI in the North East, an area where I was brought up and which I returned to over a decade ago. Roles that I’ve done prior to this include: being an Executive Search Consultant recruiting at senior management, director and non-executive levels; working in sales and marketing roles in the manufacturing, IT and graphic arts sectors in Europe and USA.
I have a keen interest in, and have been actively involved in diversity and developing talent and skills throughout my career and will bring this experience into the Forums’ discussions. I’m involved in a range of groups that support women and their development, specifically in the construction and property sectors. Given my specific passion about providing effective careers advice in schools and colleges, I also chair the Steering Committee for the NELEP′s Gatsby Good Careers national pilot scheme that’s running in the North East.
At Groundwork, the environment is the inspiration for all our work, and there’s a strong overlap between the work of the Water Forums and Groundwork’s priorities and very reason for being. Part of our work includes encouraging and empowering people to use less water in areas where there’s high ′water stress’ (less supply than demand) and helping them understand the importance of their actions. This type of behaviour change is what we specialise in, so will help me assure that NWG’s proposed plans for the coming years will achieve their behavior change goals.
I’m the Operations Manager for Groundwork Suffolk and Norfolk, and have 12 years’ experience of designing, developing and providing environmental advice to businesses, communities and schools. I have also done a lot in the areas of European funding, Corporate Social Responsibility and partnership working.
I’m keen to add value wherever I can to the Water Forums’ discussions and activities, and to create bridges between our two organisations, for example to work together on pilot projects and to network with and learn from other organisations and influencers.
As well as being the Essex & Suffolk Water (ESW) Forum Vice-Chair, I have many roles including being Director of the History of Advertising Trust, the world’s largest archive of UK advertising history. I have worked in the natural environment all my life and I was lucky enough to spend 24 years in the RSPB as Reserves Manager and Regional Director, and in June 2005 I was awarded an OBE for my work in the Environment and Sustainability.
This was a time of growth both in RSPB membership and, importantly for me, in the buying of land to recreate many new nature reserves. I oversaw the creation of thousands of hectares of different habitats, my favourite being Lakenheath Fen, which was one of the most exciting projects of its time. Ironically, ESW pipelines run under the reserve to Essex.
I have always worked in roles where water is fundamental to environmental success, people/consumers, economics, or just important as a sustainable commodity. Working with Northumbrian Water Group is exciting because they really do understand their customers, the environment and sustainability as well as being a business.
My aims for the group are three-fold:
• To make sure customers’ voices are heard and not too much burden is placed upon them
• That sustainability, climate change and the environment are taken in all that NWG do, because this will continue to make it stand out from the others
• To ensure big picture and longer-term influences and planning override short-term gain; and that the different environmental challenges the company has with the water rich North and the droughts in Essex are balanced in its long-term plans
To achieve this I will give as much advice as I am able, and connect with a network of people to enhance that advice, all the time remaining curious and asking questions.
Our team is vastly experienced in providing consumers with free advice and support on every aspect of their water and sewerage services.
We support thousands of customers with complaints they have been unable to resolve directly with their water company. We’ve secured £29 million in financial redress for consumers since 2005.
In addition, we carry out research on a wide range of water issues and publish our findings.
At the moment, the CCW is represented on the Water Forums by:
We use the opportunity of working with the Water Forums to review and challenge the company’s next five-year plan so that it achieves the best possible outcomes for both customers and the environment that they live and work in.
At the moment, the EA team members who work with the Water Forums are:
As well as taking part in the Water Forums, the EA works day-to-day with NWG to help it protect the environment and supply water to its customers in a sustainable way. You can read more about what the EA does on the gov.uk website.
This is why we are a statutory member of the Water Forums.
The supply of water and sewerage services can affect the environment in many ways, for example: discharges affecting water quality; abstraction from surface and ground waters; and how land and other assets are managed.
At the moment, the Natural England team members who work with the Water Forums are:
By participating in the activities and discussions with the Water Forums we can work with other stakeholders towards agreement about how NWG can contribute to the natural environment, whilst meeting the needs of its customers.