Meet the Panel


Nick Buckland OBE (Chair)

Nick Buckland OBE lives in Cornwall where he owns and operates an organic livestock farm with his wife. After spending 20 plus years in the IT industry he embarked on a career change in 1996 developing a wide ranging career portfolio in the voluntary, public and private sectors.

Nick is an acknowledged expert in strategic planning, audit, governance, review processes and quality, and has worked closely with many boards and board committees. He was on the board of the South West Regional Development Agency (where he was Deputy Chairman). He was also a member of the Technology Strategy Board – the government’s innovation agency.

He is Pro Chancellor and former chair of Governors of Plymouth University, one of the largest Universities in the UK. He holds a number of private sector executive and non-executive directorships in a variety of companies. He is a governor of two schools, one in Slough the other in North Devon. He is the chair of Peninsula Community Health CIC, an NHS provider responsible for all non acute hospitals in Cornwall and community nursing services. He chairs the board of EDT annually encouraging 30,000 young people into STEM careers and sits on the advisory board of Great Western Railway. He chairs the board of CSW Group and sits on the board of Tempest Leisure and the Theatre Royal Plymouth. He is an External Member of the Council of the National Trust. He is a trustee of KARST, Plymouth’s largest visual arts facility.
He holds a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Bath, is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, the Institute of Maths and it’s Applications, the Royal Society of Arts, and the Chartered Management Institute. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and the Royal Institution. He holds a Dip RSA, is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Information Systems Practitioner, Chartered Manager and a European Engineer.
He was appointed OBE in the 2009 New Year Honours List for services to Innovation & Technology and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Technology by Plymouth University in 2013.


Tim Jones - (Deputy Chair) - Board Member of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and Chairman of Devon & Cornwall Business Council

Tim Jones is a Board Member of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (having served as Chairman from its inception) and Chairman of Devon & Cornwall Business Council. He is also involved in a number of other organisations including the executive of the HoTSW Business Forum, Board Member of Plymouth Chamber, Vice Chairman of Plymouth Area Business Council and Board Member of North Devon +. Board Member of the Local Transport Board and the national lead for the LEP Network on the Great Food Plan (a Defra initiative).

Outside of business related activities, Tim is also involved in a wide range of Criminal Justice Issues being a Special Advisor to HM Prison Services serving on the South West Regional Offending Board, and is a Trustee of Broadreach which deals with a wide range of Drug and Alcohol Services along with being a Patron of Tomorrow's People. He is Trustee for the Dartington Hall Trust Property Board, Trustee for the Outset Foundation and Trustee for Fort Bovisand. Tim also served for 22 years as Chairman of the Princes Trust for Devon & Cornwall and as a South West Regional Board Member.

Tim has active business interests and has been involved for over 30 years in a wide range of property issues. Tim is now extensively involved in Commercial Property Development across the South West Peninsula and is a Director within Belstone Fox Project Management Ltd and Wessex Investors Ltd.

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Kevin Ward - Water Company Account Manager, Environment Agency

Kevin is a water company account manager for the Environment Agency (EA). He is the lead contact for South West Water and has oversight of the full range of environmental disciplines relevant to the company: water quality, water resources, flood risk management, price review/AMP and environmental performance. With over twenty years of experience with the Agency in a large range of subjects Kevin's previous role was as advisor to EA directors on water, land and biodiversity issues. Previous to this Kevin worked as an Environmental Consultant in London and Oxford after graduating in Environmental Science from the University of Plymouth


Harry Barton - Chief Executive, Devon Wildlife Trust

Harry joined Devon Wildlife Trust in October 2011, having spent the previous five years as Chief Executive of the Earth Trust in Oxfordshire. He has worked for nearly twenty five years in the environmental sector, including spells at the Council for National Parks, Kew Gardens, CPRE and the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. Harry studied Geography at Durham University (BSc) and then Environmental Policy at Wye College, University of London (MSc). He has a passion for the environment and a particular interest in landscape scale conservation, having played a key role developing the Wildlife Trust movement's Living Landscapes programme.


David Heath CBE - Regional Chair (Western), CC Water

David Heath was born in Westbury sub Mendip, in Somerset, and continues to live in the county of his birth, in the village of Witham Friary, near Frome. He has been Member of Parliament for the constituency of Somerton & Frome since 1997, stepping down in 2015. A qualified optician by profession, Mr Heath was also involved in local government prior to his election to parliament, becoming in 1985, at 31 years of age, the youngest ever leader of a county council when he became leader of Somerset County Council, and subsequently serving as Chair of the Avon and Somerset Police Authority.

He held a number of senior roles in local government and policing at national level, and was appointed to the Audit Commission. In the 1990s he worked as parliamentary consultant to the Worldwide Fund for Nature. In 2010, Mr Heath was asked to join the government, serving as Deputy Leader of the House of Commons and as Minister for Farming and Food, standing down from ministerial office in 2013.


Richard Lacey - Chair Customer View Group

Richard Lacey was appointed as a Commissioner in October 2004. He is a Chartered Civil Engineer with a lifetime’s experience in the Water Supply Industry both in the UK and overseas, where he has held both Executive and Non-Executive Directorships in Water Companies.

Following early retirement from corporate life he set up his own consulting practice and worked for several years for the United Nations and European Union in Kosovo to restructure the water industry of Kosovo. Richard now holds several non Executive directorships in the voluntary sector to which he devotes about 50% of his time.


Steve Meakin - Independent

After completing his education at Imperial College Steve had a successful 20 year career self in the retail sector.

He now devotes his time to the voluntary sector with a particular interest in debt advice. Following initial training in Kerrier Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) Steve became a legal aid debt caseworker where he initiated the court desk system in Cornwall which assists those not legally represented in housing repossession cases. Following on from this, he worked at Plymouth CAB as the Money Advice Coordinator for Devon and Cornwall responsible for the development of money advice in the two counties.

Until recently stepping down Steve was Chair of the Institute of Money Advisers, the professional body representing over 1700 money advisers working to alleviate the distress caused by problem debt and is a trustee of CAB Cornwall.


Barbara Shaw - Chief Executive, Westward Housing

Barbara has worked in the housing industry for more than 15 years. In January 2012 she became Chief Executive of Westward Housing Group which manages 7,000 properties across the south west, as well as the regional HomeBuy agency, South West Homes.

Westward Housing also has a commercial arm, Horizon Homes, and delivers the government's affordable housing strategy. Prior to this she worked for The Guinness Partnership and before that, Sovereign Housing.  She began her career as a communications specialist and has held positions in the commercial, public and charitable sectors.

Barbara was Managing Director of Guinness Hermitage, prior to this holding the posts of Communications Director, Group Director North, and Managing Director of Guinness Care & Support. She is passionate about delivering great services to customers and making organisations highly efficient and professional, whilst continuously focusing on people and their neighbourhoods. She has an MA in business management and has participated in the National Housing Federation's leadership programme.