Meet The Governors

  • Mike Priestley - Chair and Independent Governor

    Previously, Area Manager (West) for Inspira, providing youth support work and independent careers’ advice and guidance, Mike is well known in the area and recognised for his professional achievements and voluntary commitments particularly in the field of sport and youth work. He has always been committed to work with young people and this continues to be his passion. He chairs the Quality Working Group.


  • Phil Jardine - Independent Governor

    Phil Jardine started his working life as an apprentice. After many years in commercial, operations and project management, Phil now runs his own management consultancy, with Westinghouse Electric Company among his clients. With a good few years’ experience as a school governor, Phil is now intent on bringing the benefits of his expertise to the College. He will chair the newly formed Finance Working Group and has until recently served on the Quality Working Group.


  • Mark Stanger - Independent Governor

    A qualified Chartered Accountant and a partner in local firm Gibbons Chartered Accountants and Tax Advisers, Mark brings extensive financial experience to the governing body. He is a member of the Search and Governance Committee and Chair of the Board, and will serve on the Finance Working Group.


  • Dr Robin Talbot - Independent Governor

    Until recently Executive Dean, Faculty of Health and Science at the University of Cumbria, Robin brings an academic perspective to the Board and previous Board experience as a former Chair of the Morecambe Bay Primary Care Trust, and the incoming Chair of the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. He is committed to close working between Further and Higher Education, and between the colleges and the health sector. Robin is a member of the Quality Working Group.


  • Chris Nattress - Principal

    With a background in finance and banking, Chris moved into the education sector as a lecturer, moving through the ranks to take the Principal’s position at Lakes College, where he had been Deputy Principal for five years. A natural athlete, Chris is a keen cyclist and he and his family, who are all outdoor enthusiasts, are all well embedded in the local community. And it is the local community which is at the heart of discussions around the boardroom table, as Chris continues the drive to provide the very best of education and training here in West Cumbria.


  • Norma Boyes MBE - Independent Governor

    With strong roots in the local community, Norma is Director and Company Secretary of the Cockermouth Agricultural Show and on the Executive of the North West Show Association, in addition to her daytime job at the Rural Payments Agency. She is a long-serving Governor, passionate about providing opportunities for local students, with a particular interest in equality and diversity. She is Chair of the Search and Governance Committee and is a member of the Remuneration and Audit Committees.


  • Claire Madden - Independent Governor

    Previously a partner in two firms local to West Cumbria, Claire Madden LLB (Hons) is now a consultant with Brockbanks Solicitors and an Assistant Coroner for the North and West Area of Cumbria. Claire has contributed to the boardrooms of the NHS in West Cumbria for many years and brings to the College Board a commitment to the local community, in addition to her legal skills. Claire is particularly committed to raising standards of education locally. She is a member of the audit committee.


  • Tanya Weston - Independent Governor

    A recent director of quality and support services in a FE College, Tanya brings senior management knowledge and understanding of the sector to the Board. She is a member of the Quality Working Group.


  • Denise Rollo - Independent Governor

    Throughout her career, Denise has been a committed volunteer, serving on Workington Town Council and mentoring ex-offenders. A former student of the College, she has returned to support and promote education as a means of expanding horizons and getting work. This fits well with her current day job, which is to support unemployed people to find work, by building their confidence and skills.


  • Robert Milburn - Independent Governor

    Robert joined the board to give the benefit of his significant financial experience to a local body, which is firmly based in the local community. Local to West Cumbria, he is committed to giving something back and supporting the life chances of local people. He brings enormous enthusiasm for the role, in addition to his skills and experience.


  • Stuart Williams - Staff Governor

    Stuart is a staff governor with wide-ranging responsibility for Sports, Public Sector and the Arts.


  • John Thinnesen - Student Governor

    Student Governor John Thinnesen is studying for a HND in Mechanical Engineering, while keeping on his day job. He is enjoying the course and his new role of being a governor, bringing a student perspective to Board discussions.


  • Alison Hampson - Independent Governor

    With extensive experience in occupational therapy for the NHS, Alison is currently Head of Department for Health, Pyschology and Social Studies at the University of Cumbria and brings significant leadership and management expertise to the Board. As she has continued her own professional development for many years, including currently her doctorate, Alison is passionate about education and raising aspirations in the local communities of Cumbria.


  • Nigel Holliday - Independent Governor

    Nigel is a former student of Lakes College and Head of Profession (Maintenance) with Sellafield Ltd, where among his many responsibilities, he has overall responsibility for the training and development of 1,500 maintenance staff, including the technical content and governance of apprenticeships. His enthusiasm and commitment to partnership working, and to enhance opportunities for local communities, shines through.


  • Elaine Clinton - Independent Governor

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    An education specialist and a former lead inspector with Ofsted, Elaine brings important sector experience to the Board, championing high quality provision which is student-focused. She is firmly committed to ensuring that all students have the very best chances to learn and as a consultant working with several colleges, she has oversight of practice elsewhere in the country which adds value to the Board.


  • Loren Redmond - Independent Governor

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    Loren is Head of Programme, Portfolio and Business Capability at Sellafield Ltd, where she is responsible for establishing and managing standards for change.  As a former student of Lakes College she is passionate about choice in education, including the provision of high quality technical and vocational education at every level.


  • Amie Calvin - Staff Governor

    Another former student of the College, Amie works in the Quality department and is committed to business improvement.  She has diverse experience in a number of sectors from Motor Vehicle to Catering and Healthcare, which gives her a good oversight of college provision. She also has a keen interest in Human Resources, which is an area she continues to expand and is an associate member of CIPD Health and Safety, Quality systems.


  • Jane Murray - Clerk to the Governors

    With a background in broadcasting, government media relations and local government scrutiny and committee clerking, Jane joined the College as Clerk to the Governors in 2009 and has since completed the national, specialist qualification for Clerks. She is the first point of contact for Governor enquiries.