[CLOSED] We’re looking for our next Communities Director to join the Low Carbon Hub Board

Charlie Luxton presents at the Low Carbon Hub Inspired by Communities event 2019

Our Low Carbon Hub Board helps to direct our future direction and strategy, as well as ensuring that we’re always best serving the interest of our shareholders – both our Low Carbon Hub IPS Investor Members and our Low Carbon Hub CIC Community Group Members.

As part of the Board we have a Communities Director, whose role is to represent the voice and interests of our CIC Community Group Members.

Over the past two years we’ve been extremely lucky to have Nina Alphey as our elected Communities Director. Nina is a long-term member of Westmill Solar Co-operative Ltd and has been on its Board since 2016. She was also an active member of low carbon community group Kidlington vs Climate Change until 2014.

Nina’s term comes to an end in October 2020, and so we’re now inviting noinations for our next Communities Director. If they aren’t already, candidates will be encouraged to join one of our Low Carbon Hub Community Groups.  We’re also keen for candidates who:

  • Have the time and availability to attend our Board meetings
  • Have previous experience of working on boards or committees
  • Are committed to and enthusiastic about supporting community energy projects
  • Are happy communicating with people in diverse and different roles.

If you’d like to nominate someone, you need to complete our nomination form and return it to us at info@lowcarbonhub.org, by the deadline of midnight on Monday 27 July. If you have any questions, you’re very welcome to get in touch.

Members of East Oxford community gather to look at the results of thermal imaging in the area, funded by a Low Carbon Hub community grant

What the role involves

The elected Communities Director will act alongside the other Directors of the Low Carbon Hub CIC, and their duties include:

  • Attending quarterly Board meetings, the AGM and occasional additional meetings of the Board or sub-committees, having read the required papers
  • Representing the interests of the community groups at Board level, and ensuring our operations are transparent and guided by those it is designed to serve – including our community groups.
  • Contributing actively to the decision-making of the Board, helping to shape the future direction of the Low Carbon Hub CIC.

Along with all our non-executive directors, the post is unpaid but reasonable expenses incurred in carrying out the role can be paid.

Celia Hawkesworth of Sustainable Kirtlington, standing outside Kirtlington Village Hall with its solar panels installed

Nina Alphey’s experience as Communities Director

Other than the necessary parts of the role outlined above, the role is very flexible, and our previous Communities Directors have each taken the role in a different direction – but always with the focus of representing our community groups.

As our current Communities Director, Nina has taken the approach of placing herself at the heart of our community groups, ensuring she had met with each of them at least once over her two-year term. She has also carried an interest in encouraging partnerships with academic institutions to encourage ongoing research, particularly in relation to renewable energy and climate change mitigation.

Here’s what Nina told us about her experience:

I love learning – new knowledge, skills and experiences. Joining a Board is one way to do that. I’ve served with three different Chairs, and the Low Carbon Hub has changed a lot in that time, so it has been a very varied experience. It is a dynamic organisation and an exciting time to be involved.

The directors and staff are very nice people to work with. I have always felt respected, listened to and valued. I have particularly liked chairing the community grants panel, and being able to allocate funding for some of the great ideas generated from around the community shareholders groups.

There have been three Communities Directors including myself and we have all taken a different approach – other than the usual responsibilities of being a Board Member – and there is plenty of scope to make the role your own. In my case, I decided to meet as many of the community groups as I could during my term, preferably in their natural environment (such as their AGM, a public event run by them, or a routine group/committee meeting). This helped me understand what the groups are so I could better represent their interests and those of their wider communities at Board meetings.

Nina is very happy to chat to anyone who is thinking of standing about her experience in the role. If you’d like to speak to her, please email communities@lowcarbonhub.org

Read next…

  • News story

    Become a Community Energy Champion

    26th February 2020
    The Low Carbon Hub Community Energy Champions Guide Councils across the country, including Oxford City Council, have now that we’re in a state of climate emergency. It’s time to act. We all have our part to play when it comes to mitigating the effects of climate change. Here at the Low Carbon Hub we’re primarily…
    Find out more