News story

South West Regional Development Agency Non-Executive Directors continuing to serve on the Board

Brian Robinson and Ellen Winser will serve from 14 December 2010 until the RDA closes. The Minister also announced a one year extension for…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Brian Robinson and Ellen Winser will serve from 14 December 2010 until the RDA closes. The Minister also announced a one year extension for Nick Buckland OBE who will accumulate 10 years service on the Board.

The Minister commented:

“As we move toward a new framework for our regional economies, it is important that the development agencies are equipped with the leadership to ensure the transition period is a smooth one.

“The skills and experience of these board members will be a valuable asset during this time and I hope they will continue to work with us to ensure an efficient evolutionary process.”

Sir Harry Studholme, Chair of the South West Regional Development Agency, said:

“All three board members have made outstanding contributions to the South West RDA, bringing their expertise in the worlds of business, education and local government to bear on the Agency’s work.

“Whilst RDAs are being phased out, we still have an important programme of work to carry out over the next 20 months. It’s heartening to know therefore that the Agency can count on the support of Brian, Ellen and Nick as board members in this challenging transitional period.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Regional Development Agency non-executive Board member posts

attract a remuneration of £8,666 per year for a minimum time commitment of two days per month.

  1. The continued terms for Brian Robinson and Ellen Winser will run until

the RDA closes. Nick Buckland has been granted a one year extension until December 2011. Final closure of RDAs is likely to be completed by 31 March 2012 following legislation.

  1. RDAs are business led organisations, promoting and co-ordinating

economic growth and development, enterprise and regeneration.

  1. The coalition government has made the decision to support the

creation of local enterprise partnerships to replace RDAs. On that basis the decision was made not to continue with further Board member recruitment. The continued terms are necessary to ensure that the RDA Chairs are able effectively to manage their Board membership up until closure, and that membership does not fall below the minimum requirement of eight, as stated in the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998.

  1. The original appointments were made following open competition in accordance with the requirement set down in the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public.

  2. Ellen Winser and Nick Buckland have not declared any political activity undertaken during the past five years. Brian Robinson is a County Councillor and District Councillor for the Conservative party.

  3. Nick Buckland holds a further ministerial appointment on the Technology Strategy Board which attracts remuneration of £9,000 per annum for a time commitment of two days a month. Brian Robinson and Ellen Winser do not hold any further ministerial public appointments.


Brian Robinson, since joining the South West RDA in 2007, has been engaged actively in many areas including Chairing the Rural Advisory Group where he championed investment in rural broadband. He had a track record of business development in financial services before being elected councillor to Gloucestershire County and Forest of Dean District. With business and local government experience, Brian is actively engaging with the Strategic Leaders Board and other groups to help shape effective support for South West businesses during this period of transition to more local structures.

Ellen Winser **was the first woman to be taken into partnership by a London firm of stockbrokers (James Capel & Co) and one of the first women Members of the Stock Exchange. After 25 years in the City, Ellen went long distance sailing. On her return, she became chairman of Liontrust Asset Management plc from 1996 to 2004. She is now Chairman of the Governors of Truro and Penwith College as well as Chairman of the Trustees of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, and a governor of the University of Plymouth. She was Chairman of Sutton Harbour Holdings plc from 1997 until 2006, director of Pendennis Shipyard Ltd until 2009 and was a director/trustee of Cornwall Care Ltd for eight years. She became a Deputy Lieutenant for Cornwall in 2003.**

Nick Buckland OBE lives in Cornwall. He spent 20 years in the IT industry. He is Chair of Governors of the University of Plymouth, a board member of the Technology Strategy Board and Chairman of Tamar Science Park. He holds a number of private sector non-executive directorships in a variety of companies. Since 1989 he and his wife have run a working organic farm in Cornwall. He holds a BSc in Maths, is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, the Institute of Maths and it’s Applications, the RSA, and the Chartered Institute of Management. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and the Royal Institution. 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.

Notes to Editors

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Published 26 July 2010