CCS Board of Trustees

Penny James – Chair

Penny is passionate about the value of the public and voluntary sectors and spent her entire career there. Her family also benefitted from the support of both when she was growing up. Penny has just left her job as Chief Executive of her local Council. She now wants to use her experience and skills to help CCS help others in her home community.

Penny also loves the voluntary coaching and mentoring she does now. She is a parent to five amazing children and a massive sports fan, being a proud West Ham United season ticket holder.

Gary Francis

Gary is a trained accountant. He has spent his career working within the defence and aerospace business sectors for large organisations, holding a number of board positions. He was previously Managing Director of Thales Optronics in Taunton.

Gary owned and ran his own aerospace/precision engineering company for 13 years. He sold his business in 2021 and is now retired.

Gary has mentored a number of organisations with Cornerstone (a local voluntary organisation), is a Pension Fund Trustee and has been Chair of School Governors.

Gary lives in Taunton with his wife Lorraine and has 2 children.

Jim Claydon

Jim Claydon is a town planner with over 40 years of experience in the profession and has lived in Somerset for over 30 years. He has worked in local government, higher education and private practice in Leicestershire, Devon, Bristol and Bath. He was Chair of the Royal Town Planning Institute in the South West in 2000 and National President in 2007.

He was a trustee of Creating Excellence (SW) from 2008-14. Recently, he has examined applications for offshore wind farms for the Planning Inspectorate.

His main passion is supporting communities and improving the environment for future generations.

Peter Gunner

Peter has been a Chartered Accountant for 50 years. His accountancy career started in London, working in commercial roles. After living and working in the Isle of Wight for some time, Peter returned to a position in a major service charity, where he had a role in general management.

Now retired, Peter has been on the Boards of a wildlife trust, a community charity and a heritage trust for some years; the latter in the initial years of its development following de-merger from local authority management.

He has enjoyed being on the Board of CCS for many years, seeing really significant expansion and increased impact.

Dr Chhavi Gautam

Bio coming soon!

Emma Lower

Bio coming soon!

Martin Kitchen

Bio coming soon!

Sarah Tudor

Bio coming soon!