Board of trustees

Fom March 17th 2021, there will be 11 trustees on the Civic Voice board.

Gill Battarbee

Gill is a Trustee of Addingham Civic Society. This is a thriving village society in West Yorkshire with over 400 members, representing just over 10% of the population. The Society focusses on the rich agricultural and industrial heritage of the village, on sustaining and enhancing its natural environment and on supporting and engaging with residents. Largely through its environmental projects the Society not only works with the village organisations but has also established close working relationships with a wide range of local, regional and national organisations. The Society received the Marsh Trust Award 2013 and the Yorkshire and Humberside Association of Civic Societies Peter Spawforth Award 2020.

Gill’s professional background is in education as a Primary Headteacher, Local Authority Advisor, Ofsted Inspector and Chair of Governors. She has lived and worked abroad, as well as in rural and urban areas of the UK and she and her husband are now retired and living in Addingham. 

Since retiring she has been an active member of Addingham Civic Society, and is currently the Society secretary. She is also responsible for liaison with local school and youth groups and serves on the Civic Society Environment Group Steering Committee.

Linda Brown

Linda has two degrees: BA(Hons) The History of Art and Design and MA Reformation and Early Modern Studies. Her thesis for the BA was about Octavia Hill, the founder member of the National Trust, Open Spaces Movement and Housing Reformer. 

By 2000, Linda had become interested in the Local Plan being prepared by Solihull Borough Council where she lived. She resided in a rural ward which was going to be used for housing development. Linda joined forces with some other residents and they registered as an Independent Residents Association so that they could stand in parish/local/national council elections. Linda attended planning/transport/main council meetings as an observer for many years before she stood for the Borough Council in 2010. She was elected as the first Independent Borough Councillor for 12 years in 2012 and obtained places on the Planning, Licensing, Conservation and Education Scrutiny Committees. 

Linda has been a member of Kidderminster Civic Society for many years and for the last two years, she has been the Secretary. 

David Evans

David Evans
David is currently the Secretary of Chester Civic Trust, an active and thriving civic society which runs its own (Grade 1 listed) premises. He was chair of the Trust for six years from 2008 to 2015.
 
For most of his life David has worked in higher education and is now a (mostly) retired Professor of Biology at the University of Chester.  He also spent 20 years as a member of Chester City Council, serving both as Lord Mayor and as Leader of the Council as well as a term as Cabinet member for economic development. This experience gives David an understanding of how local government and strategic planning works and experience of negotiating with and lobbying MPs and ministers.
 
David also served for over 20 years on my local parish council and he is still actively involved with drawing up a Local Heritage List and trying to develop a Neighbourhood Development Plan. 

Martin Gunson

Martin Gunson was appointed to the Civic Voice board of trustees at the AGM in Chester on 22nd October 2016. 

A founder member and past chairman of Blackpool Civic Trust, where he is currently a Vice-President, Martin is also an Honorary Life Patron of Lytham St. Anne's Civic Society, where he provides (free) professional support for their land owning subsidiary.

A Chartered Accountant since 1980, Martin currently combines running a professional practice with being the Clerk (Chief Executive) of an educational charity that dates back to 1702, and being a member of the Council of University College, Durham. He has worked as a Policy Adviser at the Office of Tax Simplification (part of H. M. Treasury), and continues that involvement on an ad hoc basis. In what time he has left, he runs a salon (palm court) orchestra raising monies for local charities.

Martin Hamiton

Martin was appointed to the Civic Voice board of trustees at Civic Voice's 2019 AGM. Martin is Director of Leeds Civic Trust.

Margaret Hollins

Margaret was appointed to the Civic Voice board of trustees at the AGM in Birmingham on 20th October 2018. Margaret is a Trustee of Epsom Civic Society. 

Joan Humble (chair)

Joan Humble (chair)

Joan Humble is the current chair of Civic Voice.

She is also chair of Blackpool Civic Trust, a lively, active group that organises projects, social events, visits and regular monthly speaker meetings. She co-ordinates their Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner which celebrates achievement in design, new build, refurbishment and community enterprise. She is active in local voluntary groups; Chair of FC Rangers Junior Football Club, member of the Board of Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Volunteer Centre and the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army’s Bridge Project. A graduate of Lancaster University, she is a former Civil Servant in the DHSS, then the Inland Revenue and a Lancashire County Councillor (1985-97) and a Member of Parliament (1997-2010).

Helen Kidman

Helen was appointed to the Civic Voice board of trustees at the AGM in Birmingham on 20th October 2018. Hele is a Trustee of Ilkley Civic Society. 

Jane Maggs

An interest in architecture, local history and the environment led me to join my local civic society Southgate District Civic Voice (SDCV), in north London, nearly 20 years ago. I initially joined as a member of their Planning Group, before joining the Executive Committee. I was Secretary for many years, before becoming Vice Chair. This society has changed and evolved over time, so I have been fortunate to be in a position to help broaden the remit, updating
processes, as well as improving and developing relationships with local politicians and council officers.
 
The experience gained in the practical problems and issues faced by local societies today, has been further widen since I became a member of the Civic Voice Regional Forum in 2017. 
 
SDCV is an active society, engaged with the community, holding speaker meetings, events and projects. However, the standout experiences for me were being involved in the planning, setting up and organising Southgate Civic Week in a pop-up shop. A week where we focused on different parts of our community, to really celebrate our area. Then in 2019, I initiated a community workshop facilitated by Civic Voice to discuss our response to a proposed local redevelopment. The weekend gave local residents, politicians and anyone interested time to raise and discuss the implications of the planning application and consider alternative ideas. Since then I have been fortunate to share these experiences with other societies facing similarly challenging redevelopment proposals.

Robert Osborne

Robert Osborne

Appointed from March 17th 2021

Robert is the Secretary of St Albans Civic Society and also responsible for their website and email communications. He first joined the Society as one of the team of volunteers who help to keep the historic Clock Tower in the city open for visitors. He then became more involved by joining the committee as minute secretary and his role gradually expanded as he took on other responsibilities.

He has worked for membership organisations for nearly 40 years and has experience managing regional networks, as membership director of a medium size trade association, and as acting chief executive for a year. He has been secretary to various Boards and committees over the years and at one point had 25 different committees or working groups to support. His role includes managing events ranging from seminars, conferences to awards presentations. He is currently the manager for two small trade associations.

Peter Karpinksi

Peter Karpinksi

Former civil servant responsible for architectural design policy at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and sponsor of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.  At DCMS helped to set up the Farrell Review of architecture and the built environment.    

Served on the board of the charity Beam; an architecture centre based in Wakefield, dedicated to the imaginative understanding and improvement of the public realm.  Currently help the Place Alliance, a movement for place quality which believes that through collaboration a culture can be established whereby place quality becomes a universal priority. 

An active member of the Kingston upon Thames Society, and have become one of the Society’s voluntary guides for the historic Coombe Conduit.  Have also been campaigning for the establishment of an urban room for the borough of Kingston.