Profile of the Steering Team

  Andy Walker - Chair and Founder
Andy is a long time resident of Otley who really enjoys living here and simply wants to put something back into the town. He is also known as the project manager of the 'Welcome to Otley' stone gateway structures on the Leeds Road and the new one on the Pool Road. (More info...)

Andy currently runs three businesses in the town. One is Ridgetop Property Repairs which specialises in the refurbishment of existing buildings - mostly to do odd jobs and house improvements and also to add better insulation and draught proofing.

The other business is Ridgetop Webdesign which offers internet marketing services to local companies.

More recently Andy has set up Ridgetop Energy Devices to market energy saving items like the increasingly popular ultra-low energy LED lightbulbs. A display of these bulbs can be seen at each of the events that SURE is part of.

Andy has added a significant amount of insulation and energy saving features to his own terraced house in the centre of town and wanted to reduce his fuel bills even further. He started the SURE Group in Autumn 2008 because he wanted to share his ideas with the local community and to take advantage of the grants that are available to save energy and in so doing reduce our carbon footprint.

More CV info here...

  Dave Auty - Renewable Energy Advisor
Dave has had a keen interest in energy and the environment for as long as he can remember and is fortunate enough to work as an Associate Director of Entec UK Ltd. - a national environmental and engineering consultancy.

At work he is an expert on the creation of renewable biogas energy from sewage and sludge though anaerobic digestion, incineration or gasification. And where energy is involved, so is a carbon footprint - the subject of his most recent conference paper. There's a related online article here.

Dave was on the committee of the local Chevin Eco-Centre group that was working with Leeds City Council to build an Eco-Centre on the Chevin.

At home, Dave continues to make his home more energy efficient and reduce its carbon footprint. With a degree in astrophysics he likes to use the sun's energy as much as possible whether it is to grow food and keep his house warm with coppiced wood from his garden or more directly using DIY designed and built solar thermal panels made from recycled materials.

Dave is also a founding member of the recently formed Anerobic Digestion and Biogas Association.

  Francesca Bridgewater - Energy Efficiency Advisor
Francesca has been involved with environmental campaigning for over 20 years. She is currently studying for the MSc in Architecture: Environmental & Energy Studies at the Centre for Alternative Technology, widening her knowledge of all aspects of the environment.

She has a scientific background, has worked as a Post-doctoral Fellow in the field of Developmental Biology and wrote occasional popular scientific articles for the New Scientist magazine. More recently she has indulged her passion for nature by working as a Garden Designer and is currently an administrator for Yorkshire Housing.

Francesca is constantly trying to decrease her carbon footprint, using sheeps' wool insulation and timber double glazing in her house, and growing her own vegetables.

Francesca is the co-ordinator of the SURE Energy Auditing Team which offers free audits of community buildings in the locality as well as energy efficiency advice.

Profile of the Advisor Team

  Neil Marsden - Housing Standards Advisor
Neil is a leading local authority environmental health professional now working as a consultant to national bodies such as the Residential Landlords Association.

As well as being a qualified environmental health officer, in a career spanning four local authorities, Neil also holds a degree in Environmental Health, an Honours Degree in Food Science, a Master's Degree in Environmental Pollution Science and a Diploma in Management Studies.

In 2001, in partnership with Leeds Unipol Student Homes, Neil established and was the first Chairman of the national Landlords Accreditation Network UK - which publicises, promotes and shares good practice in the development and operation of landlord accreditation schemes.

Neil is also a member of a number of national and regional technical advisory groups dealing with a range of housing health and safety standards.

Neil has lived in Otley for 25 years with his wife Lindsay who is also an Environmental Health Officer.

The SURE Steering Team is growing..

We're looking for more people to become involved with the Steering Team or the Advisor Team. If you'd like to be part of this exciting new group then do get in touch with us soon - before the next meeting if you like.

We're looking for people to fill the following roles:

  • Marketing Co-ordinator - This will involve marketing activities, press releases, generation of publicity material, liaison with local press and other media, creating copy for the website and message boards.
  • Technical Advisors - We're very fortunate to have a number of highly qualified advisors working with the Group and we'd additionally like to hear from people with specific knowledge about Energy in general and renewables in particular.
  • Researchers - We need people who have a few hours a week and access to the Internet to help us find out key pieces of information. This includes energy saving news stories from around the world, finding out about energy and ecobuilding exhibitions, collating the latest prices of insulation - and so on. I you'd like to help this community energy project - even in a small way - then please get in touch with us.


Jump in -- join the team -- share your ideas -- let's do this together