Westmill Co-op Board
Mark has had a career in local government finance. He was Finance Director at Oxford City Council from 2002 to 2007 before joining the Local Government Association as their Finance Programme Director.
A member of Baywind since 1997, and interested in environmental issues, Mark also chairs the Oxford Credit Union as well as being a non-Executive Director of the Ethical Property Company and Westmill Solar Coop.
Mark has chaired the Westmill Windfarm board for the last five years. He is a non-Executive Director of Energy4All and a WeSET trustee. Mark has represented the windfarm on national policy making discussions.
Richard has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, an MBA, and membership of the Institution of Engineering & Technology. After an early career in mechanical and industrial engineering, I joined the Wind Energy Group (WEG) in 1983 as a Project Manager leaving in 1998 following its sale to NEG Micon, having held the role of Commercial Director for some years.
Since leaving WEG, I have worked as an independent wind energy consultant and have included in my portfolio the development of a wind farm in Jamaica, setting up contracts/sub-contracts for wind farm construction, valuation of wind farms for rates, valuations of wind farms for sale, location of new sites, and evaluation of potential new wind farm sites.
Dr Eoin W Lees – (Chairman)
Eoin has been involved in energy efficiency and renewable energy since 1985. From 1989 to 1993, he was the Director of ETSU which was then the Governments agency for the research, development and demonstration of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Eoin was also a member of the Renewable Energy Advisory Committee. In 1993, he became the founding Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust for the first ten years of its life. From 2003 onwards he has been a private Sustainable Energy Consultant working for UK and overseas Governments as well as the private sector.
Eoin is currently a member of Ofgems Environmental Advisory Group and Vice Chair of the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.
I am 50 years old, married with 4 teenage children and live in Oxford. I studied Engineering at the University of Sussex and later gained a Masters Degree in Building Services Engineering at the University of Glasgow. I have spent most of my career as a mechanical engineer designing energy efficient buildings, initially for a number of large international consulting engineering practices and latterly my own smaller company. I became a Chartered Mechanical Engineer in 1988. Recently I have moved into the field of renewable energy and my current position is UK Director of Energy for the Danish consulting engineer Ramboll. I have always had an interest in renewable or alternative energy developed from early days by attending the Centre for Alternative Technology CAT in Wales and more recently as a member of Westmill Wind Farm Co-op. Outside of my work I enjoy reading, sailing and preparing for and taking part in triathlons.
Until a few months ago I was the Technical Manager, for a large utility, developing and operating a number of community heating schemes using combined heat and power plant. I am now self-employed offering technical advice on community heating projects and working to develop the scope for community ownership and operation of community heating systems. My ambition is to see if the Energy4All community co-op model could work for community heating projects.
Over the past year I have attended a number of Westmill board meetings to start to understand the workings of the co-op. With Rod Blunden, one of the technical stalwarts of the board standing down this year, I would like to think my experience of technical and commercial operation of small scale generation plant could, in a small way, help fill the gap Rod will leave. I live locally in Oxford and would be keen to get involved on the operational issues of the wind farm, such as monitoring of the performance and reliability of the turbines and of the maintenance contractor. I am a Chartered Engineer with an engineering degree, and an MSc. in Renewable Energy Technology. I’m married with two daughters and live in our DIY ‘superhome’.
Michael David Pickering
I am the Community and Sustainability Manager for The Midcounties Co-operative, and have been working within the Co-operative movement for over 10 years. I am chair of the Midcounties Environmental Steering Group, and have been chair previously of Business in the Community’s Sustainability Leadership Team in the West Midlands. Within my role at Midcounties I am responsible for energy saving and recycling, and for the Society’s community programme, including community volunteering and charitable giving.
I am a share/bond holder on a small scale across nine community energy projects of which Westmill Wind was my first – so WWF can take the credit for my continued investment in the industry.
In my day job, I am a retailer by trade, starting out in stores and now a qualified computer and general Audit Manager, which includes risk management and control assessment, plus auditing operations and processes, both in the UK and Internationally, over a 25 year career for a UK based retail group.
I would therefore say I have a layman’s interest in renewable energy, plus an understanding of risk, understanding problems and ‘asking the stupid questions’ and I still live in the village.
Sarah is an Independent Sustainability Consultant, providing advice to companies on the development and communication of their corporate responsibility and sustainability strategies. Sarah has been running her own consultancy for the last three years and currently advises a number of FTSE 250 clients. Prior to this, Sarah was Head of Communication and Corporate Responsibility for W H Smith PLC for eight years, taking the lead on corporate communications and PR.
Sarah joined the Board in December 2017 to take the lead on communications with our members and external parties.
Mike Blanch (Advisor)
Mike is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with 17 years experience in renewable energy. From 1991 to 2004 he worked in wind energy related research firstly for 2 years at Cranfield University and then at the Energy Research Unit at CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Mike has since worked for AEA Future Energy Solutions where he provided consultancy services to both private and public sector organisations primarily in wind energy technologies. Mike is currently the Wind Energy Manager at Atkins which includes providing consultancy services and the management of the development of two wind farms.
Mike also chairs the WeSET charity.
Annette Heslop (Secretary)
Annette is the Company Secretary of Westmill Co-op (and Energy4All and Baywind). She has worked locally in Cumbria as a Management Accountant in the private sector of small sized businesses for over 15 years, qualifying as an AAT Technician in 1999 and extending her skills in Information Technology and website design. She joined The Wind Co. UK Ltd in 1998 and was elected to the board of Baywind in 1999 dealing with the day-to-day accounting procedures, maintaining the members share register and organising educational site visits to the Harlock Hill and Haverigg II wind farms. Annette is responsible for the company secretarial function for all co-operatives in the Energy4All family and serves as a trustee of the Baywind Energy Conservation Fund, actively supporting energy conservation through the Trust.
Stephen Andrews (Advisor)
Stephen has spent many years working in the electricity and renewables industries. In 1989 he co-founded Windcluster and ILEX, the leading European energy consultants, and now operates as an independent consultant through Lower Watts Consulting.