Citizens' Assembly Advisory Group members

Members of the Citizen's Assembly Advisory Group provide overarching advice on the key issues for the Citizen's Assembly to consider, make recommendations for speakers and ensure the evidence to be presented is of high quality, objective, accurate and robust.

Councillor David Hitchiner

Councillor David HitchinerDavid is the Leader of Herefordshire Council and Independents for Herefordshire and group ward councillor for Stoney Street. He is a former solicitor who worked in a corporate environment for over 30 years. David was first elected in May 2019, so is a relatively new councillor. He is very keen to increase local engagement between the council and the community.


Councillor Ellie Chowns

Councillor Ellie ChownsEllie is the cabinet member for environment and economy at Herefordshire Council. Responsibilities include action on the climate and ecological emergency. Ellie has worked in the field of sustainable development for over 20 years, initially for international development charities and more recently in academia. She works part-time as a lecturer in international development at the University of Birmingham, as well as serving as a ward councillor and leader of the Green Group on Herefordshire Council. Ellie previously served as an MEP and has lived on an organic farm in Herefordshire since 2003.


Andrew Lovegrove

Andrew LovegroveAndrew has been the chief finance officer (section 151 officer) at Herefordshire Council since March 2017. He is a qualified chartered accountant who started his career in public practice. After qualifying, he has worked in industry and the charity and registered social landlord sectors. He has worked in local government since 2004. He has held a number of non-executive director roles including nine years on the board of the Paradigm Housing Group.


Natalia Silver

Natalia SilverNatalia works for Herefordshire Council as the service director for corporate services. She is responsible for a range of functions including performance, commercial services, facilities management, equality, modern records, grants and programmes, and customer insight. She is the senior responsible officer for the Fastershire project which covers both Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.

Natalia has previously managed a range of council services, including communications, democratic services, community and economic development, customer services, arts, heritage and leisure. Natalia managed the emergency food delivery service during the Covid lockdown supporting vulnerable people across the county.


Collette Sutton

Collette Sutton

Collette is the Citizens' Climate Assembly programme director for the council. Collette is a local government finance expert and also specialises in project and programme management and large scale transformation in local government.

She has led the council's budget consultation for the past two years, working alongside Impact Consultancy, and is on the council's Budget Working Group with the Leader, cabinet members and the chief finance officer who devised the Citizens' Assembly and use of participatory budgeting.


Michelle Williams

Michelle WilliamsMichelle works for Herefordshire Council as a programme co-ordinator in corporate services. The role is responsible for supporting and co-ordinating the development and delivery of the council's portfolios of programmes and projects. Michelle previously worked as part of an executive support team providing support to the council's senior management team.


Sarah Fishbourne

Sarah FishbourneSarah's background is in community development and research. Sarah has many years experience working with the public sector and with the voluntary and community sector at both national and local levels. In 2004 Sarah established Impact Consultancy and Research with Claire Carter. Impact specialise in evaluation and community consultation and engagement and are most interested in supporting organisations to listen to the voices of those seldom heard. Impact are co-ordinating and facilitating the delivery of the Herefordshire Citizens' Climate Assembly.


Rachel Coxcoon

Rachel CoxcoonRachel is director of ClimateGuide, a consultancy through which she provides climate strategy, training and leadership support to local government. Rachel is also a Doctoral Researcher at Lancaster University, as part of the Climate Citizens project, looking at the role of deliberative democracy in climate policy-making.

Rachel was previously the director of the Climate Emergency Support Programme at the Centre for Sustainable Energy, in Bristol. In her 16 years at CSE, Rachel built a formidable reputation as a leader in local authority and community-based climate work, with particular expertise in low-carbon planning and community energy, and she is a regular speaker at conferences and events on local authority action on climate change. Rachel also brings additional insight through her role as a local politician, since she is cabinet member for climate change and forward planning, at Cotswold District Council.


James Marsden

James MarsdenJames leads a 'portfolio life' as a craft cider and perry maker, Welsh Government appointed member of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, and general member of Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority. He served as specialist advisor to the UK Parliament Environmental Audit Committee (2016-2017) and as a board member for the Marine Conservation Society (2013-2020) and Herefordshire Wildlife Trust (2014-2017).

Earlier in his career, James was director Land Management Strategy (2012-2014) advising UK Government on Common Agricultural Policy reform and agri-environment schemes, director marine and chair of the Marine Conservation Zone Programme Board (2008-2012), and director policy (2006-2008) at Natural England. He was formerly head of policy at English Nature (2002-2006), and the Nature Conservancy Council's Upland Ecologist for England and Wales (1988-1991).

James lives in Herefordshire where he owns and manages traditional standard orchards and MG5 hay meadow grassland for local produce, people and wildlife.


Dr Judit Kimpian

Dr Judit KimpianJudit is an architect and environmental policy expert, lead author of the book Energy| People| Buildings by RIBA Publishing. She chairs the Sustainable Architecture Group at the Architects' Council of Europe (ACE) and teaches net zero architecture and policy at UCL.


John Whitelegg

John WhiteleggJohn is visiting professor, School of the Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University and an associate of the German transport research organisation Zentrum fuer Mobilitätskultur in Kassel in Germany. He has authored 11 books on sustainable transport and related issues and his latest book Mobility: A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future was published in September 2015. He has worked on sustainable transport projects in India, China, Australia, Germany, Sweden and Slovenia and on the same subjects with the European Parliament and European Commission.

John is the technical author of the world's first technical standard on reducing demand for private motorised transport, published by the British Standards Institution. He is a former member of the International Advisory Board of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy in Germany and an adviser on road safety and promoting active travel to reduce obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease to the World Health Organisation in Geneva.

He is a board member of the Californian organisation Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities. He is the founding editor of the journal World Transport Policy and Practice. In September 2020, John was appointed to the position of fellow in transport and climate change by the (UK) Foundation for Integrated Transport.


Nick Read

Nick ReadNick is an Anglican priest and an agricultural chaplain with Borderlands Rural Chaplaincy. He combines chaplaincy with being director of the Brightspace Foundation, a charity focused on supporting Herefordshire's future sustainable development. He has a degree in agricultural science, a Master's Degree in forestry, an OBE for services to agriculture and is a fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society.

Nick's former roles include research fellow with the Technical Change Centre, looking at technology transfer in the biosciences; national food policy and research adviser for the NFU; co-founder and director of the Rural Stress Information Network, a charity supporting farming families suffering from stress; and chair of the West Midlands Rural Affairs Forum.

He is currently co-chair of the Herefordshire Green Network, chair of the Herefordshire Local Nature Partnership and was also chair of Farm Herefordshire which consists of 12 organisations working collaboratively to improve soil and water management within the county.


Dr Daniel Farrelly

Dr Daniel FarrellyDaniel is a principal lecturer and head of department in the School of Psychology at the University of Worcester, and is also a member of the Interpersonal Relationships and Wellbeing Research Group. In his research Daniel explores how aspects of our behaviour, in particular prosociality, are adaptive and shaped by social influences.

He is currently involved in projects that explore how social forces can affect peoples' behaviours and attitudes to different types of pro-environmentalism, as well as being interested in how other psychological factors relate to sustainability and climate change more broadly.