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Customer Challenge Group
Our independent Customer Challenge Group advise, challenge and support us in development of our plans to ensure they reflect customer's priorities.
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Our Community Engagement Fund supports charities and community groups with funding for projects.
River Lea restoration
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Affinity Water Limited
Tamblin Way Hatfield
Hertfordshire AL10 9EZ
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You are here : At Home > Corporate > About us > Customer Challenge Group
Our Customer Challenge Group is an independent group, with an independent chair, who will advise, challenge and support us in the development of our plans to ensure they reflect your priorities.
The membership includes our regulators and representatives of household, commercial and special interest groups. A full list of members is given below. Minutes of meetings will be published and added to this site.
I am an experienced consumer advocate and non-executive Director, with 30 years experience in consumer advocacy, consumer protection and regulatory roles.
I was Director of Policy and Advocacy at Citizens Advice for more than 13 years, until June 2013 where I headed up their national policy, campaigning and government relations on a diverse range of consumer and public policy issues.
Prior to joining Citizens Advice, I held senior policy roles with the Office of Rail Regulation, Office of Water Services and the National Consumer Council between 1986 and 2000. My present non-executive portfolio spans consumer protection, energy, regulation and financial services. Non-executive roles include board member of the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation; member of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, I am a member of the Chartered Banker: Professional Standards Board Advisory Panel and Trustee and Deputy Chair of the charity The Fairbanking Foundation.
I have served on the boards of Smart Energy GB (2013 to 2016), the Personal Finance Society (2009 to 2016) and the Trading Standards Institute's Consumer Code Approvals Board (CCAB) (2013 to 2015). I was a member, and Vice Chair, of the Government’s Fuel Poverty Advisory Group for 10 years until March 2015.
Bob was appointed as the Executive Officer for the Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG) in March 2016. During his three years in role, Bob has overseen the rebranding of the organisation, significant development of the website and the establishment of a brand new membership structure. He has been responsible for the delivery of two highly successful Annual Conferences and the extension of the MALG Regional network. Bob was promoted to the post of Chief Executive Officer in May 2019 and represents the face of MALG both to its members and to the Debt Collection and Advice Industry.
Bob began his career with NatWest in Cheshire in 1977 and worked in Retail and Corporate roles and UK Head Office positions before undertaking a range of Senior Relationship, Area and Regional Management roles for NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group across the country. Bob subsequently worked for The Institute of Customer Service (ICS) in 2008 and was appointed to a senior role as a National Account Director during his time at the organisation.
Bob is a true believer in the real value of delivering outstanding customer service, and strives to deliver high levels of professionalism and leadership in everything he does. He lives close to the Affinity East Region Supply Area and is keen to support the organisation in this area in particular.
During her executive career Caroline worked as a Brand Director for blue chip luxury goods companies, including LVMH and L’Oreal. Brands in her portfolios included Moet & Chandon, Dom Perignon, Drambuie and L’Oreal Paris. During Caroline's time in the luxury goods industry she worked at the vanguard of consumer engagement as well as future trend research, creative thinking and influencer strategy. In recent years, Caroline has redirected her energies towards public service, spending time as a School Governor, Academy Board Member and Local Councillor before taking on a number of Chair roles and Non-Executive Director positions in the NHS and utilities sectors. Caroline is currently chair designate for the Affinity Water Customer Challenge Group, and takes on the Chair role in April 2020. She has been a member of the Group since 2016 in her former capacity as a representative of the Consumer Council for Water.
David Cheek lives in Old Welwyn and has been a customer of this water catchment area for most of his life. He is a Business Development and Retirement Coach helping businesses and individuals achieve their goals.
Prior to this he was a director of several international advertising and direct marketing agencies and ran his own communications consultancy. So he has a long track record in improving customer experience and communications.
He also has a particular interest in preserving and enhancing the rare chalk streams in the area and is a Friend of the River Mimram.
Gill Taylor, Operations Director, Groundwork East – the community charity with the green heart working to improve people’s prospects, create better places and promote greener living and working. Established for over thirty years Groundwork has worked closely with Affinity Water in many projects.
Gill has an MSc in Environmental Forestry and experience in many roles from community engagement in environmental improvements to running site restoration projects and large scale partnership programmes of access and landscape improvements.
She also runs the Luton Lea catchment partnership a group of individuals and organisations united to improve the River Lea through Luton.
James is currently an Associate Dean (International) in the School of Life and Medical Sciences at the University of Hertfordshire. His teaching and research specialisms sit within the area of Geography and Environmental Management, with him lecturing on a wide variety of geographical and environmental issues. His research interests in sustainable environmental practices have focused largely on international comparisons of water resources management, with a particular focus on drinking water quality, water usage, and consumer engagement.
James is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, as well as being a Chartered Environmentalist and Geographer. He is also a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Geographical Society.
John Ludlow is a public affairs specialist, who has spent his professional life working in and around Westminster.
He spent a number of years as an adviser to senior Labour MPs, before leaving to act as a lobbyist for several national organisations. He was Head of Parliamentary Unit at the Law Society for ten years and Head of Press and Public Affairs for four. He also spent time as television producer, with stints at BBC Question Time and Sky News Westminster.
Recently, he has returned to work in the House of Commons as an adviser. He continues to help organisations with their externally influencing strategies – most recently working with StepChange Debt Charity and the Legal Aid Practitioners Group – and runs several courses for the Civil Services, including the Machinery of Government and Working with Ministers.
He is married with two daughters and lives in Beaconsfield, Bucks.
Karen leads CC Water's Environmental Policy Team and is the Senior Policy Manager for London and the South East.
Areas of particular interest include water resources planning, demand management and water efficiency, metering and drought management.
Karen has worked in consumer representation within the water sector since 1993, and is an Affinity Water customer.
Richard has over 15 years’ experience of working in the environmental sector and has been involved with a number of large landscape Heritage Lottery Funded projects. He is currently responsible for designing and managing the Up on the Downs Landscape Partnerships Scheme that works with partners and communities to celebrate and conserve the wonderful landscape and heritage in the Dover and Folkestone area.
Prior to this Richard was responsible for delivering an integrated range of landscape and heritage projects for the Valley of Visions in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the Medway Gap. His environmental knowledge extends from a background in geography and a love for the natural world.
Richard Tunnicliffe is Regional Director, CBI East of England. Richard joined the CBI in 1997 after completing his degree in applied biology at the University of Hertfordshire. He completed his MBA in 2005.
He worked initially in the CBI headquarters with responsibility for a wide range of membership activities including recruitment and regional relations. He moved to the CBI East of England office in July 2000 where he had responsibility for the whole range of CBI activities in the East. He was appointed Regional Director in July 2005. This role includes regular support of CBI member companies and interaction with local, regional stakeholders to ensure the business voice is at the heart of decision making in the region.
Simon lives in Letchworth Garden City and has been a domestic customer of this water catchment area for more than 18 years. Professionally he is the Deputy Chief Executive of Nesta, the UK’s independent innovation foundation.
In this role he leads both operational teams (including technology, operations and venue hire) and oversees content teams (including communications, skills and explorations) as well as working on strategy and the day-to-day issues of running a multi-million pound business.
Simon has been a Nesta executive for almost seven years and tries to use his corporate memory and practical experience to mentor individuals and units throughout the business. He is also a director of Nesta Italia, an innovation foundation based in Turin, and is actively involved with innovation developments across Europe.
Prior to Nesta he held senior positions at the Institute of Fundraising, Home Office, Royal College of Midwives and the National Trust. He also worked in charity and local government communications and as a journalist in the commercial sector.
Simon is motivated by social justice, fascinated by social history and likes to think of himself as a generally sociable person.
Tina Barnard is Chief Executive of Watford Community Housing, the largest social landlord in Watford, and is a Board Member of Hertfordshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). She is a qualified accountant, and has worked in housing for over 20 years.
Tina was previously Deputy Chief Executive/Resources Director at CHP, Resources Director at Worthing Homes and Finance Director at New Era Housing Association. She has been a Non-Executive Director for a number of organisations, including being Chair of Watford’s Citizen Advice Bureau.
Tom is a Principal Account Officer for the Environment Agency and an Affinity Water customer. He has worked in the Environment Sector for 15 years and held a range of roles all aimed at making our rivers healthier for the people who live and work near them.
Tom's main areas of interest are water resources planning, river restoration and water efficiency. Tom also works with other water companies in the South East of England and aims to support shared learning to help deliver the best outcomes for people and the environment.
Unette is Director of Enterprise Partnerships at Mastercard. She is a specialist in customer insight and loyalty consulting with over twenty five years’ experience gained at CACI, dunnhumby and Mastercard. She has worked with international retailers in a territory spanning Europe, South America and South Africa. Unette has provided customer strategy expertise and consultancy, directly to the C-suite and senior management: sharing best customer centric practices across the business to drive loyalty and customer engagement through data led decision making. In her global role within Enterprise Partnerships at Mastercard, Unette combines her retail, FMCG and loyalty expertise to drive solutions within the commercial value chain of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) & Retail industries leveraging the latest developments in FinTech, data insights and retail technologies.
Find out more information about our Business Plan here
Previous Customer Challenge Group (2012-2014)
To contact the Customer Challenge Group email CCG@affinitywater.co.uk.
Registered office: Tamblin Way, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9EZ.
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