Our People

YHACS is run by an Executive Committee made up of volunteers from civic societies around the region who are usually elected at our Annual General Meeting although new committee members can be co-opted at any time. As we are a registered charity, committee members are trustees of the charity. There are four officers – Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer plus any number of ‘ordinary members’.

Apart from the chair, committee members are elected annually and have to stand down at the Annual General Meeting although they can stand for re-election each time. The chair is elected for a period of three years and can serve as chair for a maximum of two terms of office (i.e., six years in total). When an individual retires from the position of chair, they can re-join the committee in one of the other posts.

As well as elected members, YHACS also has a President. This is an honorary position and the President is not a trustee of the Association. The President may sit in on meetings of the Executive Committee and offer advice, but the President does not have a vote in committee matters.

President: Peter Cooper BSc CEng MICE

Worked in the civil engineering industry for 30 years for contractors, local government and consulting engineers, mainly in highways and infrastructure. Chairman of Scarborough & District Civic Society for 5 years, chairman of YHACS for ten years. Born and brought up in Scarborough, moved away to work at age 18, returned in 1997. Particular interest in the built environment and the quality of public spaces. Currently a director of a not for profit company which aims to restore a historic Scarborough building.

Portfolio: Website, Towns and Cities & Public Realm

Executive Committee – Officials

Chair: Kevin Trickett MBE, BA (Hons), MBA, MA (Phil).

Kevin is a native of Wakefield and has lived in and around the city all his life. After a 40-year career in the Civil Service, culminating as a senior project and programme manager, Kevin now devotes much of his time to charity work, writing, public speaking, and travel. Kevin writes and speaks about some of his favourite subjects including architecture, heritage, philosophy, travel and Art Deco. He also writes restaurant reviews and other articles for Wakefield-based regional business-to-business magazine TopicUK. His blog can be found on his website https://itbroadensthemind.com/.

Kevin is well versed in the activities of the civic movement, having been a trustee of Wakefield Civic Society since 1990. He was elected as the Society’s President in March 2002 and continues to hold that position today. Shortly after taking up the presidency of Wakefield Civic Society, he became a trustee of the Yorkshire and Humber Association of Civic Societies (YHACS) and was elected as its Chair in January 2011, a role which he also continues to fulfil.

In the 2019 New Year’s Honours List, Kevin was awarded the MBE for services to the community in Wakefield.

Portfolio: Strategy and Growth; Governance

Vice-Chair: Margaret Hicks-Clarke

Margaret is chair of the relatively new Goole Civic Society, established in 2011. Born and educated in Sheffield, she lived in Leeds for many years, where she was assistant editor of the Yorkshire Post. She moved to Goole in 2003 and was Head of Operations for the Press Association, the UK’s national news agency, based in nearby Howden. Now retired, she is involved with various local organisations helping to promote Goole. She sits on the Goole Town Deal Board and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership Employment and Skills Board. She is a trustee of Castaway Goole, a charity providing theatre and arts opportunities to adults and young people with learning and physical disabilities or mental health difficulties.

Portfolio: Civic Pride and Engagement

Secretary: Helen Kidman BA (Hons) MCIPS MCMI

Born in Brigg, North Lincolnshire, Helen went to college and worked in London before moving to Ilkley twenty years ago. Now happily retired after 34 years in the civil service as a procurement specialist. Special interests include environment, transport, planning and local history. Chair of Ilkley Civic Society and active involvement in several other voluntary organisations and campaigns.

Portfolio: Planning

Treasurer: Alan Goodrum BA MSc MA CMILT FRTPI

Alan lives near Halifax and is a member of Halifax Civic Trust. Originally from Selby he had a career in town planning and management in local government and development corporations, including Kirklees Council and Leeds Development Corporation. His final role was Chief Executive of Chiltern and South Bucks District Councils, leading on the creation of a joint officer team, shared services and mitigating the impact of HS2. He was chair of of the District Councils’ Chief Executives Network which he was involved in establishing. Since retirement he has a portfolio of activities including being a Director of a Housing Association, advice on senior appointments and ‘corporate peer challenges’ with the Local Government Association. His interests are regeneration, the creation and development of place and identity in communities, town centres and conservation.

Committee Members

Paul Cartwight

Paul has always lived around Pontefract, and has over 40 years of private sector commercial experience in sales, marketing and operations, which includes 10.5 years with Ufi-learndirect – a government funded learning and careers charity. Paul has a good understanding of programme and project management. He has been chair of the British Youth Band Association, and an international visual judge, with previous cadet and officer experience in the Air Training Corps. Paul and his wife Christine joined Pontefract Civic Society in 2009, he was elected as honorary secretary in March 2011, then executive chair in March 2015. Based on his commercial management experience, Paul has set a new strategy for the trustees, which is more action oriented and accountable, more visible, and more engaging to all sectors in the community, from residents and businesses to community groups and schools.

Portofolio: Conservation

Carolyn Curr MBA

Originally from West Cumbria, my career was in Local Government, I was Head of Policy for Carlisle City Council and for Wirral Metropolitan Borough. Around 10 years ago I moved to France where I ran a small holiday business. I moved to Whitby four years ago; the property I bought was a huge renovation project and took two years to make remotely habitable.  I currently run an on-line interiors store, one of my lockdown projects. I’m the secretary of Whitby Civic Society, a role I’ve done for a year or so. I am particularly interested in the built environment and its role in promoting public health. 

Martin Hamilton

Born in Leeds, Martin worked at the University of Leeds for over 20 years in various management roles before becoming Director of Leeds Civic Trust in December 2016, taking over from the long serving Dr Kevin Grady. Martin was also a Councillor on Leeds City Council for 12 years (representing Headingley Ward) during which time he developed a particular interest in planning and development issues (including a period chairing the City Centre Plans Panel) – an interest which has stood him in good stead in his new role!

Portfolio: Housing

Tony Leonard

Tony has been a committee member since almost the day he joined Market Weighton Civic Society in 1985. Has held the position of Chairman and is currently Secretary and has represented the Society at YHACS since its inception. Tony’s working life began on arable /dairy farms in Hampshire. Realising getting up for milking cows at 5am at 50 was not for him, he qualified as an agricultural engineer and subsequently found himself specialising in education and training at Agricultural Colleges in East Sussex and in East Yorkshire. Currently employed, in a more recent post, as a School Technology Technician. Has a passion for environmental issues, the built environment, industrial heritage and social history. Other active interests include ploughing judging and hedgelaying.

Portfolio: Market Weighton Civic Society

David Moss

David has been a Committee Member of Selby CS for six years, and has spent the last four years as Secretary and “Planning Applications” monitor. Originally from Lancashire, David has been living in Yorkshire for 35 years. He has a doctorate from Oxford in chemistry. He retired after 33 years with various UK chemical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, in research and development managerial roles.

Portfolio: Newsletter

Alan Nicholson

After qualifying as an electrician, I joined British Rail’s Signal & Telecommunications Department in 1973, working up to being a Team Leader in a Signal Fault & Maintenance Depot at Scunthorpe with Network Rail, taking voluntary severance in 2010. I was Chair of the staff side Area Council for LNE area of the rail network, dealing with consultations & negotiations with management, and acting as Stage 2 Representative for colleagues facing disciplinary, grievances, etc. My interest in civic issues is an extension of my local history interests, becoming a member of Grimsby, Cleethoroes & District Civic Society since retirement.

Jim Robinson

A Geordie, Jim moved down to Yorkshire in 1976 with his work. He was in insurance all his working life, until retiring in August 2009. He held a number of posts from Customer Services Director to Major Account Director. Jim moved into Addingham in 1990 but only got involved in civic society ‘life’ when he retired. He has been Chairman of a very dynamic and vibrant society since 2011.

Portfolio: Infrastructure

Malcolm Sharman

Malcolm lives in Hull but was originally from the Peak District. In 1968 he was awarded a degree in 3-D Design by Leeds Metropolitan and undertook a post-graduate Certificate in Education at Manchester University in 1969. He was awarded the Leeds Art Travel Scholarship in 1967 and did ‘The Grand Tour’. DfES granted him a sabbatical in 1968 to study Ceramic Design Education at St Martin’s, Lancaster. He has since worked as a teacher in Hull, and has worked in the community as an Adult Education Tutor for over 25 years. He also was co-opted as a Local Councillor in the East Riding and served as a School Governor. Since retirement in 2004, he has become increasingly involved in the work of Hull Civic Society as Programme Secretary and Good Mark Award Officer, and is also a Trustee of the arc (Architectural Resource Centre) in Hull.

Portfolio: Heritage and Culture