The Board of Cheshire Community Action

Kathy Benn MBE
Chairman and Trustee

Kathy has been a member of the CCA Board since 2001, Chairman since 2009 and Chairman of Community Pride and Community Spirit also since 2009.  This last activity has enabled her to meet hundreds of volunteers in the community and has opened her eyes to the invaluable work that they all do, giving freely of their time.  Kathy has been a Parish Councillor, a Borough Councillor in Warrington, and for several years House of Commons Secretary for the Warrington South Member of Parliament.  She has also been Parish Clerk for Alvanley and Manley Parish Councils.

Kathy has worked for the WRVS Meals on Wheels and Library on Wheels and founded a Coffee Morning for the Elderly in Grappenhall, giving lifts to the housebound so that they could enjoy the company of other people.

Kathy has always enjoyed working in the voluntary sector and will continue to work towards supporting the communities of Cheshire, Halton and Warrington.

Michael Trevor-Barnston MBE
President


Michael currently holds the following positions: Trustee & Chairman Cheshire Crimebeat, Deputy President Cheshire Agricultural Society (and Show), Deputy President Farndon Brass Band, President Cheshire Landowners Association, Trustee Farndon Memorial Hall and Coddington Village Hall, Patron Cheshire Constitutional Monarchy Association, Chairman and Trustee Drugwatch Trust and Deputy Lieutenant of Cheshire.

Michael’s many interests include photography, travel (with visits to 125 countries), hill walking, military history (including the Crimea War Research Society), scuba-diving and garden design. 

Lesley Smetham
Vice-President


Lesley’s work experience has been in administration, in local government, insurance and engineering.  She lived in Brussels for 4 years before moving to Cheshire in 1985 and became a Gawsworth Parish Councillor in 1999.  She studied social science as a mature student gaining an MA (Environment, Policy and Society) (Open) in 2006.  Lesley has been a school governor and civic society member.  She is interested in local, natural and family history, beekeeping, reading and most sports, either actively or watching.  She enjoys needlework of various kinds, caravanning and walking her English Setters.  Latterly, golf has become her sport of choice and her electric bicycle is a revelation!  Lesley was elected as a Cheshire East Borough Councillor representing first Macclesfield Forest and then, following boundary changes, Gawsworth Ward.

Rev Canon David Felix
Trustee


David is the vicar of All Saints Church in Daresbury and member of the Chester Diocesan Board of Finance. David has been an active Board member of CCA for many years, and continues to bring a wide and diverse range of views to support CCA in pursuit of their charitable objectives. David is also chair of the Rural Regeneration Board. 

Jackie Weaver
Trustee

Jackie is the Chief Officer of ChALC and was appointed to the CCA Board in 2008.  She has over 20 years’ experience of working with the Town and Parish Councils across Cheshire, Warrington, Halton and Trafford and works to ensure that these local councils are actively involved in the work of CCA.  Jackie is a Fellow of the Society of Local Council Managers and is involved in a number of key strategic partnerships across Cheshire.

Christine Bailey
Trustee

Christine is the former Chairman of the Cheshire federation of Women’s Institutes, representing the 195 WIs and 8,000 members in Cheshire.  The WI is the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK and is now in its 100th year with 214,000 members.  Christine also serves on the Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN) panel and is a member of the Council of the Cheshire Agricultural Society.  Her home is in Barthomley, where she plays an active part in the community.

Mike Dixon
Trustee

Mike graduated from Oxford University with an honours degree in Modern Languages.  He had obtained a pilot’s licence at the age of 17 whilst still at school but his intended career as a pilot was curtailed by an injury sustained playing rugby.  He remained in the RAF becoming a first-class interpreter in Spanish and working in intelligence, security, diplomatic and defence sales roles, including the Falklands Campaign. 

Following his RAF career, Mike joined a life assurance company and after 7 years he was invited to join the Board of Directors in charge of sales and marketing.  After this he joined an independent financial adviser (IFA) group, specialising in pensions, until retirement in 2004.  That year, he joined a small voluntary group that launched the Sandstone News, a thrice-yearly publication distributed free of charge to the residents of the villages along the Sandstone Train between Malpas and Tarporley.  In 2005 he was elected to the Management Committee of Bickerton Village Hall with special responsibility for overseeing the building of the new Community Room.  In 2007 he was elected Chairman of Bickerton Village Hall and in 2010 he was appointed to the Board of CCA.  In 2015, a year after stepping down as village hall chairman and two years after being co-opted onto the council, he was elected as a Parish Councillor for Bulkeley and Ridley and also in 2015 he was appointed to the Board of the Cheshire Pension Fund.

Denis Parton
Trustee

Denis is a tenant farmer currently growing crops for sale.  He is a former Chairman of the Cheshire Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) and a former NFU County Chairman and spent 15 years as the NFU County National Council member.  He was also for 10 years the Cheshire (local) Director of the NFU Mutual Insurance Society.  He is also Chairman of Tarporley Round Table, President of Tarporley Rotary Club, Treasurer of St Thomas Church in Eaton and a founder Board member of the Sandstone Ridge Econet Partnership.

Denis is currently a Governor of Reaseheath College, a Council member of the Cheshire Agricultural Society (where he is Chairman of the Show’s Trade Stands Committee), and Treasurer of the recently built Jessie Hughes Village Hall in Eaton, near Tarporley.

Sybil Crossman
Trustee

Sybil has lived in Cheshire for over 40 years and she has been active in her local community, particularly the village hall, for all of this time.  She is an active member of the WI, Cheshire Wildlife Trust, the National Trust and Tatton Garden Society.  Being a Parish Councillor and Community Pride Judge, both since 1988, Sybil hopes these many years of experience of working across local government and the wider voluntary and community sectors can not only help support CCA in enabling communities to have a voice but also provide much needed support.

Edward Brady
Trustee

Edward Brady is a former communications professional whose career centred around blue-chip companies ICI and Shell UK. He specialised in areas such as internal communications, sponsorship management, community and press relations, and crisis management. He has held directorships in companies involved in business creation and the arts.