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Trustees of Citizens Advice Shropshire

Citizens Advice Shropshire currently has 7 trustees:

Chris Boote (Chair)

Chris has lived in Shropshire for 24 years. He is now retired but spent 30 years in the social housing sector was Director of Operations for a Herefordshire based housing association where he had responsibility for strategy, policy development and the performance of key business functions including housing management services, supported housing, building maintenance, stock investment and business development. He managed annual revenue budgets of c£6 million, a team of 50+ staff and a development programme of up to 80 new homes per year. His successes included leading the first installations of PV panels and renewable energy solutions for the housing association as part of an investment strategy aimed at tackling fuel poverty and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the housing stock.

Chris has a strong and long-lasting commitment to the voluntary and community sector. He has held a variety of voluntary sector governance roles in Shropshire and Herefordshire and was Chair of the Herefordshire Citizens Advice Bureau Trustee Board from 2007-2013. He joined Shropshire Citizens Advice as a Trustee in 2016 and took on the role of Chair in 2020.

His other interests include walking, travel, museums and galleries as well as good food!

Penny Cooper

Penny has been a CAS Trustee since 2014.

After postgraduate study in France and Canada, where she began her professional career teaching undergraduates, she moved back to the UK to take on teaching posts in London secondary schools. Penny moved to Shropshire in 1979. Her Shropshire teaching roles included 23 years as Head of an 11-18 comprehensive school, leading and managing a staff of over 150 and a budget of more than £2 million, working with nearly 1,000 students.

She has undertaken various voluntary roles, including mentoring vulnerable young people, working with Young Shropshire in Work, Ludlow Foyer, South Shropshire Furniture Scheme, Pentabus, LOCOG and St Laurence’s Church in Ludlow, as well as acting as Treasurer, Committee member and magazine editor for other interest groups.

She has previous experience as Director of two other Shropshire charities but in recent years she has focused on her role as CAS Trustee.

She is a member of the Operations Sub-Committee and acts as Information Assurance Officer. She has a particular interest in the environment and has been active in developing the CAS Environmental Policy and embedding it in policy and practice throughout the organisation.

Her wider interests include walking, birdwatching, badminton, cycling, the Malcolm Saville Society, travelling and spending time with family and friends. Close family members are based in Ludlow, Herefordshire, and the USA.

Joanne Harrison

Joanne moved to Shropshire from south Manchester in 1992. Prior to moving, she worked for the NHS in general management and HR, and then latterly for 27 years, she worked for a large national charity as an HR manager, covering England, Wales and N Ireland. In this role, she was a member of various management teams, making strategic decisions about resources and capacity, planning priorities and projects, at a regional and national level.

Joanne joined the Trustee Board shortly before retirement in 2019, and has found it a challenging and worthwhile experience. In working with CAS, she feels she has learnt a lot, and also brought some of her own skills and experience to the table.

Other interests include gardening, travelling and cycling.

Tony Hinkley

My background is almost entirely in public sector. My first 30 years were in education, over half in school leadership roles where I had responsibility for curriculum, staffing and staff development, finance, premises, etc. of a large comprehensive school (some 100 employees and around £5m budget 20 years ago).

Also I conducted a successful research programme into service improvement for a large national organisation and later co-ran a management training centre for school leaders. I was also a school governor for nearly 20 years – a role rather similar to that of a trustee for CAS.

Following three years as an education advisor, I led a corporate transformation programme for a West Midlands council, where I was responsible for creating a successful customer service organisation. I introduced service transformation (including ‘lean thinking’), working closely with the Cabinet Office on a number of national initiatives in this area. Subsequently I have worked for the Local Government Association as an external consultant, providing information and support to councils around the country on service improvement.

I believe I bring to the Board of Trustees for CAS wide experience in a variety of public sector areas, strong interpersonal, organisational and communication skills and attributes such as being analytical and thorough, challenging, independent, objective – all underpinned with integrity.

Now retired, with four grandchildren and a set of golf clubs, I still have time and a desire to put some of my experience and expertise to good use in a voluntary capacity in an organisation in which I believe and to which I am committed.

Andy Howitt

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Paul Langton

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Elaine Williams

Elaine is a retired non-practising solicitor. She was born and educated in Shropshire and returned to live here 25 years ago whilst still working in London and latterly Birmingham.  Elaine spent most of her working life working in the public sector in Government and latterly in regulating the legal sector. She specialised in administrative law, regulatory law, European law, anti-money laundering and consumer law. Working in a General Counsel’s Group over the last 30 years Elaine has advised on policy development and legal compliance of public organisations at a high level. Elaine joined the trustee Board of CAS in July 2023 with the hope of using her skills locally.

Elaine loves walking the Shropshire Hills with her dog in free time.