YourVoice Panel

YourVoice membership is shown below. We have sought to ensure that our membership is open to all and provides a good coverage of experts in relevant disciplines. 

Mrs Bernice Law

Independent Member
Position: Independent Chair of YourVoice panel
Board membership: Sits on all sub groups and Chairs the YourVoice panel


Bernice has worked in public service in the North West, mainly in Local Authorities for almost forty years, working latterly as the Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at the North West Development Agency. She was Chief Operating Officer for Liverpool Capital of Culture in 2008. Her most recent role was Operations Director at Liverpool Vision, the Mayor of Liverpool’s economic Development Company.

Bernice has held a number of non executive positions at Merseytravel, Marketing Cheshire and the Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust.

Bernice is very active in the community. She is a school governor and has been a member of the Cheshire Advisory Committee which appointed Magistrates to the Cheshire bench.

Bernice was appointed as Chair following a national advertisement.

This post is remunerated.

Peter Fitzhenry

Independent Member
Position: Independent Secretary
Board membership: Sits on all sub groups and YV panel


My Name is Peter Fitzhenry and I am the new Your Voice Independent Secretary. My role was developed in conjunction with the new structure for Your Voice which sees the introduction of 4 Sub Groups or Panel that will focus on: Affordability & Vulnerability; Customer engagement; Stakeholder engagement and Environmental & Social Capital. The Your Voice Panel (consisting of the Chair and the Chairs of the sub groups/panel) will oversee this work.

My role will focus upon organising the panels and sub groups, pull together our agendas and papers and challenge log to record performance review challenges within our minute taking. This will be in conjunction with the Chair and UU lead officers.

I have significant experience at Executive and Non-Executive level including the housing association, local government, commercial, further education and technology sectors. My experience also includes servicing boards and committees.

Mr Damian Waters

Confederation of British Industry
Position: Economic & Social Represenative
Board membership: Sits on Stakeholder sub group


Damian was appointed Regional Director of CBI North West in January 2003 having previously been Assistant Director for the CBI North West and North Wales.

Damian studied Business and Finance at the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education and Lancashire Polytechnic between 1988 and 1991, obtaining first an HND and then a BA (Hons). He has worked as an accountant for an oil refining company and a production director for a manufacturing business in North Wales.

Damian is a member of the Nuclear Network North, the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation Advisory Board and a member of the Court of Governors of Lancaster University and The University of Manchester. For ten years he was Chair of Governors of Britain’s largest primary school. Damian is a Director of The Wild Media Foundation and a Trustee of The Cheshire Wildlife Trust and the People’s History Museum.

Dr Tayo Adebowale

North West Floods and Coastal Committee (Environment Agency)
Position: Independent member
Board membership: Sits on Customer Engagement, Environment sub groups, and YV panel


Dr Adebowale is a Chartered Environmentalist, and Chartered Water and Environmental Manager, with over 30 years of experience. She provides independent advice to a wide range of clients under the trading name of Cirkadia.  She is the Environment Agency Appointed Member for Sustainability, on the North West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.

Dr Adebowale has over 9 years’ experience as a Non-Executive Director within the public sector (Natural England, and the Forestry Commission), helping shape environmental policy and strategy. She is a member of the Design Council’s Cabe ‘Built Environment Expert (BEE)’ Panel.

Her portfolio includes environmental projects relating to strategy, policy, sustainable development and sustainable business management / green economy (including energy and resource efficiency), wastewater treatment, water quality and management, land management and regeneration, environmental impact assessments, academia, stakeholder dialogue and partnership building, and environmental auditing.

Mr Dave Thompson MBE

Warrington Disability Partnership
Position: Economic and Social, and Vulnerable customer representative
Board membership: Sits on Customer Engagement and Affordability sub groups and the YV panel


Dave has been a member of the YourVoice panel since early 2017, and he is also the chair of UU’s Vulnerability Panel.

He is the founder and Chief Executive of the Warrington Disability Partnership, an internationally recognised user led organisation, employing nearly 50 staff and over 200 volunteers. The organisation provides 27 independent living services including two Independent Living Centres, Direct Payments Scheme, Personal Health Budgets, Payroll, Shopmobility, a number of Employment and Educational contracts, a social enterprise with eight retail services, and an international aid project supplying recycled mobility and independent living equipment. Since 1992 Dave and his team have organised the world’s largest voluntary led pan-disability annual event, Disability Awareness Day, which is now celebrated worldwide, now attracting over 28,000 visitors each year. In 2020, as a result of the COVID-19, Dave and his team launched DAD-Virtual.

Until April 2015, Dave worked as a senior manager in the NHS for 20 years, starting his career as a Disability Advisor and finishing as the Assistant Director of Inclusion. His responsibility was to lead on issues of equality & diversity, patient & public involvement and social inclusion.

In 2001, Dave received an MBE in recognition of his contribution to improving services for disabled people. In 2006, he was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant for Cheshire.

Mr Steve Cullen

CEO, Warrington Citizen’s Advice Bureau
Position: Economic and Social representative
Board membership: Sits on Customer Engagement and Affordability sub groups, and the YV panel


Steve has worked in the voluntary sector for over twenty years and is currently the CEO of Warrington District CAB. In addition he has many years’ experience as a Trustee/Director of various charities and local companies. He is Vice Chair of the Warrington Partnership and a member of the Health and Wellbeing Board and of the Central Neighbourhood Board. He attends a number of other strategic partnership boards to provide evidence based intelligence on behalf of the many thousands of CAB service users. His field of work is information and advice at all levels, and he has a particular interest in social inclusion and tackling health inequalities.

Steve has been an active member of a number of governance bodies with CAB; the Third Sector Policy Group, the Commissioning Sub Group, the Compact sub group, and the Assembly Planning Group which meet regularly with elected members and senior public sector officers.

Steve regularly liaises and meets with Warrington Borough Council’s Third Sector Team and reports back monthly to the CAB Network Hub.

Bhupendra Mistry

Consumer Council for Water
Position: Economic, Social and Customer Representative
Board membership: Sits on Customer Engagement sub group


Bhupendra took on the role of Local Consumer Advocate for the Consumer Council for Water in April 2015, the statutory consumer body for water & sewerage customers in England & Wales.

Bhupendra currently works with a range of public, private and third sector organisations across the U.K. providing specialist advice on all aspects of social inclusion and corporate social responsibility.

Bhupendra has served in senior positions in Central and Local Government in London, Birmingham and the North West of England. He was part of the Home Office team that led on a number of seminal reports during the aftermath of the civil disturbances in northern towns in 2001.

Bhupendra has served as a Board Member on a range of regional, national and international bodies namely; BBC World Service Trust (now BBC Media Action) for 12 years, Manchester Metropolitan University for 9 years, Carnegie (UK) Trust,  Harvest Housing Group, the Body Shop Foundation, Cedar Management Services Ltd and Fabrick Housing Group.

Bhupendra is the Founder and Chairman of Kamla Foundation, a charity based in the UK helping vulnerable communities in India, develop their capacity to meet basic needs and creating solutions to poverty and injustice.

Previously Bhupendra sat on the Advisory Boards of the Home Office and the Cabinet Office, working closely with senior Civil Servants and Ministers, rolling out a nationwide program to help regional agencies develop protocols to strengthen civil society across the U.K.

Mark Atherton

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA)
Position: Environmental Representative
Board membership: Sits on Environment sub group


As Director of Environment for Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Mark provides strategic support to the Greater Manchester Green City Region Board and Partnership. He plays a leading role in the development and delivery of strategies, policies, research and demonstration projects for environment and low carbon work areas.

Mark’s responsibilities include smart energy demonstration projects, domestic energy efficiency programmes, community energy promotion, natural capital investment planning, climate change adaptation research, as well as developing joint work programmes between GM and government departments, including hosting the Urban Pioneer for the UK’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

Previously, Mark worked for the Northwest Regional Development Agency for ten years to 2012, latterly in the role of Director of Energy and Environment. Here he led the agency’s work on energy and environmental technologies sector development; climate change and carbon reduction; sustainable consumption & production and environment quality.

Mark holds a science degree in Organic Chemistry and Industrial Ecology (Hons); and Master’s Degrees in Leadership for Sustainability (MA) and Hydrobiology (M.Sc.) plus several management qualifications.

Adam Briggs

Environmental Advisor, National Farmers Union
Position: Economic and Social Representative
Board membership: Sits on Environment and Stakeholder sub group


Adam Briggs is the Environment Adviser for the National Farmers Union in the North West of England, representing 5,500 members in Cumbria, Lancashire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside

Adam has worked for the NFU in the region since December 2003 and has held a number of roles leading on a variety of issues affecting the North West farmers before taking on the Environment Adviser role in July 2018.

In his current role he leads on environmental issues relating to farming including, for example, flooding, drought, climate change, pollution and agricultural support.  The role also involves engaging with farmers to make them aware of new policy developments. His duties include consulting with other stakeholders to highlight the impact that policy changes could have on farmers and to suggest areas where farmers are ideally placed to provide solutions to problems such as nature recovery and flooding.

As farmers now have to deal with more frequent extreme weather events owing to the impact of climate change, water resilience has become increasingly important to agricultural businesses.  The NFU produced its own integrated water management strategy in January 2021, calling for urgent action to bring the nation’s water infrastructure up to date to better cope with extreme weather events, from flooding to drought.

Emma Degg

Chief Executive of the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT)
Position: Stakeholder Representative
Board membership: Sits on Stakeholder sub group


The NWBLT brings together leaders of national and international businesses with substantial commitments and interests in the North West of England. The Team works to exert its collective influence for the long-term good of the region, economically, environmentally, culturally and socially.
Emma has spent her career focussed upon bringing together business leaders and policy makers to make a tangible difference, nationally, across the North West and in local government. Emma regards the promotion of responsible business leadership as essential to the future of the UK economy, in particular the importance of inspiring and encouraging young people to achieve their full potential. She is currently a member of the independent House of Lords UK2070 Commission, Board member of Net Zero NW, Made Smarter NW, and a Trustee of ‘We Mind the Gap’ and Best for Britain.

Jo Lappin MBE

Chief Executive of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
Position: Stakeholder Chair
Board membership: Sits on Stakeholder sub group


Jo Lappin is the Chief Executive of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), responsible for Cumbria’s economic and business growth. Since March 2020 she has been leading Cumbria’s economic response and recovery to the pandemic. She was a member of Government’s Local Economic Recovery Group, which helped ensure that the voice of business informed the economic policy response to the pandemic.
Since her arrival in April 2018, Jo has transformed the performance of Cumbria LEP ensuring that it has become one of the best performing LEPs in the country. Previously, she was the Chief Executive of Northamptonshire LEP and was responsible for developing and delivering its Strategic Economic Plan, which was recognised by Government as ‘one of the best’ nationally.
Prior to this Jo was a Senior Civil Servant in Government Office North West responsible for all of government’s policy and investment priorities in housing, planning and transport alongside leading the £850million European Programmes for the North West of England. During her Civil Service career, Jo worked on all policy areas, majoring on economic growth, regeneration, skills and the ‘place’ agenda.
Jo also spent two years at Cheshire West and Chester Council working on the Whole Place Community Budget public service transformation pilot and on developing the Cheshire and Warrington LEP.

Lucy Byrnes

Position: Customer Representative
Board membership: Sits on Customer Engagement and Environmental sub groups


Lucy brings over 10 years’ experience of working at CCW to Your Voice. Her career has seen her move from the Complaints Team to become a CCW Policy Manager. In this latest role as Policy Manager her main areas of responsibility include customer billing and customer protection as well as business customers.

With a background in customer research, Lucy will be joining the Customer Engagement Sub Group. Lucy also has direct experience of leading customer research projects so she will bring an in-depth knowledge of customer research and the importance of framing questions to engage UU customers.

Stephen Parry

Managing Director Ion Property Developments Limited
Position: Stakeholder Representative
Board membership: Sits on Stakeholder sub group


After a decade of working for a property consultancy, Stephen moved into the development sector and has spent the intervening 30 years working for Ion Property Developments Limited (formally Neptune Developments Limited), delivering complex and mixed-use regeneration schemes; often working with Public Sector partners.
Stephen is committed to delivering projects that maximise the benefit of physical development for the wider community and the environment, creating sustainable neighbourhoods with a strong sense of place, where local people can fully access employment and training opportunities during construction and operation.
Stephen has worked very closely with public bodies and agencies including, Knowsley Council, Liverpool City Council, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, North West Development Agency, Homes England, Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council, Wolverhampton City Council, Advantage West Midlands, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council and, the Government Property Agency.
Stephen’s particular expertise is in identifying and developing area-based regeneration projects, which often contain Public Sector elements. His latest focus has been on the delivery of large-scale regeneration projects bringing redundant land back into use for sustainable homes using modern methods of construction, creating new urban neighbourhoods.
Stephen has been responsible for many major regeneration projects including Columbus Quay Liverpool, Rumford Place Liverpool, Queen Square Liverpool, New Brighton redevelopment Wirral, Mann Island Liverpool, Rhyl waterfront regeneration, Halewood District Centre, Earlsfield Park Knowsley. Current Projects include Festival Gardens Liverpool, Hind Street Birkenhead, along with a number of urban residential schemes in Liverpool and Chester.
Stephen received a number of accolades including a lifetime achievement was recently included on the Place North West Power list as one of the most influential property professionals in the North West.

Stuart Dunne

Participation Officer
Position: Young Person Representative
Board membership: Sits on Customer Engagement, Affordability, Stakeholder and Environment sub groups


Stuart is an experienced participation officer with a Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) qualification in youth and community work.

Stuart brings over 20 years’ experience of working with children and young people, He has a particular interest in working with young people with additional needs and engaging them in youth participation projects. He has an academic and professional background in participation and research delivery with hard-to-reach groups. He also has a MA in Participatory Action Research.

Claire Bunter

Environment Agency
Position: Environmental Representative
Board membership: Sits on Environment sub group


Claire is a Water Company Account Manager with the Environment Agency. In her current role, Claire takes a regulatory overview of the water company’s environmental performance and the development and delivery of their investment programme to protect and improve the environment.
Claire is a Chartered Environmentalist, with over 30 years’ experience in environmental protection and improvement. Based in the northwest Claire, has held senior positions within the Environment Agency and local authority, regulating a range of water, waste and major industry.

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