Board of trustees

The Civic Voice Board currently has 8 trustees.

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

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 Hamilton (chair)

Martin Hamilton (chair)

Martin Hamilton is the current Chair of Civic Voice.

Martin Hamilton has been a Civic Voice Trustee for three years and is the Director (CEO) of Leeds Civic Trust. He has a background in university administration (he worked for the University of Leeds for 20 years) and local politics. He served on Leeds City Council from 2002 to 2014, representing Headingley Ward and chairing one of the city's Plans Panels. He currently manages a team of four staff members at Leeds Civic Trust who assist countless members and volunteers in making Leeds a better place to live.  Martin is a member of the Yorkshire and Humber Association of Civic Societies, and many civic societies will recall Martin from participating in our webinars on the Planning White Paper. Martin has attended Civic Voice meetings with MHCLG officials and recently met with the Planning Minister to discuss neighbourhood planning.

Martin leads on the Levelling Up agenda for Civic Voice.

Margaret Hollins

Margaret Hollins
Margaret Hollins qualified as a solicitor in 1978, and from 1979 – 1992 taught law at NE Surrey College of Technology. In 1989 she completed a master’s degree at London University, specialising in planning and environmental law. In 1992 she joined London South Bank University (LSBU) as a senior lecturer working with planning and other built environment professionals on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, undertaking research and consultancy, and delivering programmes of continuing professional development for the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Margaret was appointed Principal Lecturer and Deputy Head of Department in 2006. In 2012 she became a member of the LSBU/RTPI Partnership Board, assuming the role of lead academic in 2016. Margaret was appointed Associate Professor in 2015 and retired in August 2018. She joined Epsom Civic Society in 2011 and has been its Chair since 2016. Margaret was appointed to Civic Voice’s Board of Trustees in October 2018.
 

Margaret leads on developing our manifesto for 2024 and wider policy thinking.

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson

Jane Maggs

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

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.