Meet our Board members


Business representatives

Linda Pollard OBE JP DL is Deputy Chair of Yorkshire Forward, a role in which she takes the lead in skills, tourism and key account management. Linda started her first business at the age of 23 and sold her last over 8 years ago. Now she devotes most of her time to the public sector, and is Chair of Leeds NHS Primary Care Trust. She is also the Pro-Chancellor and Chair elect of the University of Leeds, as well as the regional Chair for Coutts Bank Plc.
Barry Dodd OBE Barry Dodd began working life as a graduate trainee with ICI and spent five years within ICI management working in London, New York and Teesside. He left when the urge to work for himself got the better of him.

He founded his first company as a two person start up. Through organic growth and 15 acquisitions what is now the Global Service and Manufacturing Group has grown to become the largest manufacturer of industrial graphic products in Europe. In the UK, GSM Group run 4 manufacturing plants and a software house. GSM companies have won many business awards and appeared in several best practice videos.

A typical serial entrepreneur, Barry is also Chairman of Addpower Technologies a high tech start up which has developed an instantly rechargeable battery and Varlink a fast growing distributor of mobile computing solutions.

In 2008 Barry set up a GSM Employees charity using the ‘John Lewis Partnership’ model of employee ownership.

Barry was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to UK business.

Mark Lovell is the executive chairman of A4e Ltd. He is a dynamic, successful entrepreneur and business leader focused on high-growth business in global public service markets. His company, which has grown from start-up 15 years ago to a £100m turnover business, has received a number of accolades.
John Vincent is a director of AECOM, a global planning and advisory service for the built environment. John has over 30 years’ public- and private-sector experience of delivering transportation projects from feasibility through to implementation. As managing director for transportation in UK and Europe, he is responsible for over 1,100 AECOM staff in the road, rail and aviation sectors. He is a graduate of the University of Leeds; founded AECOM’s business in Yorkshire; and is a resident of York.
Ajaz Ahmed founded Freeserve, once the UK’s largest internet service provider (ISP) and now part of Orange. Having bought a PC at a computer superstore, he discovered that no one there could tell him how to get online. So in 1998 he persuaded Dixons to launch Freeserve. After becoming the UK’s largest ISP (in just three months), quickly going public at £1.5bn and entering the FT100 soon after with a market cap of £9bn, Freeserve was later sold to Wanadoo for £1.6bn. Ajaz was business development director there until April 2001, when he left to pursue other business interests. He now holds several board positions and is actively involved with a number of investments. He also sits on the governing council at the University of Huddersfield. 
Heidi Mottram was appointed to the Northumbrian Water Group and Northumbrian Water Limited Boards, as an Executive Director, on 1 March 2010, and became Chief Executive Officer on 1 April. Heidi began her career with British Rail as a General Management Trainee in the mid 1980s. Her first senior position was that of Station Manager in Harrogate in 1987. She then moved to Regional Railways North East as Route Manager for TransPennine Express, overseeing the introduction of new train services to Manchester Airport and Middlesborough. Heidi then moved on to Great North Eastern Railways between 1993 and 1999, where her roles were those of Route Manager, Distribution Manager, Head of Retailing Standards and Development and finally, Head of Retail and Distribution. After Great North Eastern Railways, Heidi joined Midland Mainline in 1999 as Operations Director where she was fully accountable for the Operations Team and was part of the team which designed the new class 222 Meridian fleet. Heidi was Commercial Director for Arriva Trains Northern from January 2004 before joining Serco-NedRailways in November 2004 as Managing Director, Northern Rail Ltd. Heidi was named Rail Business Manager of the Year in 2009 for being an “inspirational leader”, and was awarded an OBE in the New Year honours list 2010,
for services to the rail industry.

Local authority representatives

Cllr Kath Pinnock is Deputy Leader of Kirklees Council. She is a member of LGA Finance & Strategy Committee and a trustee of Kirklees Council Mayor’s Charity Appeal Fund. Kath also chairs Yorkshire Forward’s Scrutiny Panel, which involves working closely with the Yorkshire & Humber Assembly.
Cllr John Weighell is the leader of North Yorkshire County Council and a member of Hambleton District Council. He is also vice-chair of the Association of North Yorkshire Councils; chairman of the North Yorkshire Local Government Pension Fund; Co-Chair of the Joint Regional Board; a member of the County Councils Network executive; and a partner in a family farming business in the Vale of York, which grows arable crops and rears beef cattle.
Cllr Mark Kirk is responsible for shaping and implementing Yorkshire Forward’s policies for the environment, sustainability and rural renaissance. He is the leader of North Lincolnshire Council and chair of the Regional Transport Advisory Board. Mark is also a director of Urban Renaissance in the Humber region, chairs the local ethnic community meetings and is a founder member of the Crosby Community Association.

Higher education representative

Professor Michael Arthur, is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, and champions inclusion and skills issues on behalf of Yorkshire Forward.  Throughout his distinguished career in medial research scholarship and education, Professor Arthur received an array of accolades for his studies of the liver.  He also sits on the boards of the White Rose University Consortium, Worldwide Universities Network and Yorkshire Universities.  He has recently become a US/UK Fulbright Commissioner, as well as a Council Member of the Medical Research Council.  In September 2009, he will become Chair of the Russell Group of Universities.

Voluntary/Community Sector Representative

Sharon Allen, is Chief Executive of St Anne's Community Services, a pan regional voluntary sector organisation providing a wide range of supported housing and social care services throughout Yorkshire and Humber and the North East of England. Sharon has a number of governance and strategic roles including; Chair of Volition (Leeds Voluntary Sector Mental Health Forum) and Board member of Affinity Trust and the Regional Forum. Sharon is also a founding member of ACEVO North Steering Group and member of Skills for Care Regional Committee and represents the voluntary sector on Leeds Joint Strategic Commissioning Board, and ACEVO North Steering Group. She has recently been appointed to the Health and Criminal Justice National Advisory Group on the Bradley report and is an external examiner for Leeds Metropolitan University Post Qualifying Social Work Award.

Trade union representative

Bill Adams is currently regional secretary of the Yorkshire and Humber TUC, having previously served five years as its education officer. Bill has been a trades union activist for most of his working life, in both the public and private sectors. In 1990, he returned to university to read law, and then completed a postgraduate degree in industrial relations and labour law. Bill cares deeply for the region, having served as an executive member of the Yorkshire and Humber Assembly. He is also on the executive of the ACAS Employee Relations Forum, the Work and Skills Board in Sheffield, and the board which promotes ESF funding in the region. He is a governor of his former University of Central Lancashire. His many interests include international issues and sport.


Any expenses claimed by our Board members are published here.

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Yorkshire Forward board meetings

Yorkshire Forward board meetings

This page lets you look up Yorkshire Forward’s board meeting minutes dating back to 2006. Meetings are held every 6 weeks and papers are published on the Monday prior to each meeting.

Audit Sub-Committee meetings

This page contains links to Yorkshire Forward’s Audit Sub-Committee meeting papers dating back to 2006, including agendas and minutes.

Regional Transport Advisory Board

 The aim of the Transport Board is to maximise the contribution of transport to Sustainable Economic Growth. It will do this by reviewing policies, hosting regional discussions and broker agreement on priorities for Transport to feed into the development of the Integrated Regional Strategy. 

Joint Regional Board meetings

 The Sub National Review Joint Regional Board is a strategic partnership between Yorkshire Forward and the region’s Local Authorities, and is charged with developing the new Integrated Regional Strategy to deliver sustainable economic growth in the region.

Board meetings

The board of directors meets every 6 weeks. Find out more in our archive of papers and minutes.