The Board

Our Board of Directors

Tricia Mitchell – Chair

Dorchester is my adopted town. Much as I enjoy living here,  it is increasingly obvious that many younger, working people cannot find a home that they can afford.

Having been fortunate enough to benefit over the years from rising house prices, I decided to volunteer, with others, to help make renting easier for younger people who work in Dorchester.

John Christmas

I have lived in Dorchester and worked in Dorset for over thirty years. I am a chartered building surveyor now working as a consultant and have been involved in the assessment and construction of buildings for my whole working life.

I have seen local property values increase way beyond the means of most working people on average salaries in the area and a failure of government and local authorities to address the issue both nationally and locally. I have been very impressed by the successes of other community land trusts and I believe the current opportunity brought about by the Town Council will allow us to make a significant provision for housing for the young workers of this area and will I hope enable the Trust to take on further projects in future.

I believe my training and experience of property and construction  will be of benefit to the Trust and help us to progress our plans into the future.

Ian Gosling – Secretary

I lived in Paris for forty years where I practiced in an international law firm, having qualified both at the London and Paris bars.

Five years ago I moved to Dorchester, close to the area from which my family originated.

Whilst in Paris I served for many years on the supervisory board of a large apartment block and then acted as the unpaid manager of a historic town house which had been divided into six apartments. In this latter capacity I supervised the restoration of the fabric of the building.

As an environmental activist I sat on a Parisian neighbourhood Council. In my individual capacity I challenged a planning decision taken by the Paris Town Council and fought the case through to the Supreme Court. I then set up an action group of members of the local community and challenged another proposed development by the Paris Town Council. Our campaign resulted in the purchase by the group of the disputed site which we redeveloped, in conjunction with a purchaser chosen by us, into low density residential accommodation in a style which blended into the historic street environment.

I have always been in favour of initiatives by members of local communities working together to achieve common objectives. The Dorchester Area CLT’s objective of developing affordable housing in Dorchester is a welcome initiative to which I hope to contribute.

Barry Thompson

Born Portland, Dorset

I was an electrical fitter apprentice with the Admiralty at Portland Navy Base. I was an electrical engineer officer in the Merchant Navy for 20 years, travelling extensively worldwide, before working at DSG Bovington as an electrical fitter for 13 years on tank repairs.

I am now retired, aged 72, and have lived in Fordington for 18 years. A lifetime support of Southampton Football Club.

I am a member of the Labour Party and have been for many, many years, past Chairman of Dorchester Labout Party, currently Vice Chairman. Also a member of the Co-op Party.

I have campaigned for affordable housing, for Dorchester, on many occasions trying to ensure 35% of all sites are affordable. I think this scheme is immense and I look forward to being selected to be a Director at the Special General Meeting.

Alistair Chisholm

Alistair has been town crier of Dorchester for 25 years. As a local tour guide he is passionate about Dorchester "the small market town with a big story". 

With his particular interest in history and heritage he has campaigned vigorously to make people aware of the importance of the town's long and fascinating past and is happy that this rich and varied story is now playing a more significant part in both the promotion of, and vision for, the town. 

A former President of the Dorchester Chamber for Bustness he was instrumental in the establishment of the Dorchester Business Improvement District or BID in 2008. 

He has been a director of the DACL T since it was formed and was delighted when the Town Council offered the old tennis courts as a site for affordable housing. He is convinced that the latest planning application for the site will not only provide some of the accommodation so desperately needed by younger working people, but will serve to enhance the south west corner of the Roman town where the view from the bottom of West Walks looks over both the town (to the east) and the area beyond the line of the -Roman wall (to the west). 

He is looking forward to further DACL T projects all of which will be rooted in enhancing and improving the community in which we live. 

Lynda Kiss

I am a pensioner, my former career is not important; my own experience is the reason why I have made the commitment to be a Director and why I would like to be re-elected.  In 1961 my husband and I were only able to buy our first home because a family friend stood guarantor for £1,000 bank loan. My husband did not earn enough for a mortgage of £3000, a wife’s income was not considered. With three jobs between us, we paid off the loan in five years.  In 1990 at the height of another property boom, I returned to work to share a mortgage with our daughter in order for her to get a step on the property ladder.  I would like to continue to  give my time to help in any way to enable Dorchester young people own or rent a home of their own.

Practical experience – having a decorating and interior design business – Secretary/Treasurer of Flat Owner’s Management Company.

Felicity McLaren FCA – Treasurer

I am a Chartered Accountant, now retired from full-time work but still actively engaged as treasurer of various voluntary organisations in Dorchester. 

I was born and grew up in Bristol and moved to Dorset in 1968; I have lived in Dorchester for over 20 years, and worked in and near the town for more than 50.

I know from personal experience how difficult it is for young people to find somewhere affordable to live in this area. The Community Land Trust is an ideal vehicle for developing sites in and around the town in ways that are sensitive to local needs while providing much needed housing for young people who otherwise would have to move away to find work where they could afford to live. 

Theo Hawkins

I have an educational background in environmental science and ecological economics, and now work as a Civil Servant. I settled in Dorset a few years ago, and over the last 15 years moved around regularly living in cities across England and Scotland. During that time, I had first-hand experience of the sub-standard rental accommodation on offer and became interested in understanding why the market fails and offers so much substandard accommodation at rents that are unaffordable for many.

I have always sought to support initiatives by local communities working together on a common cause.  Alongside my involvement in DACLT, I also work with other volunteers from the local community in Stinsford in improve neighbourhood planning and the sustainable transport routes available between Stinsford and Dorchester.

Having joined the Board of DACLT a few years into its first project, I am highly impressed by the progress DACLT has made and I have learnt a lot from seeing it progress over the hurdles thrown up. Dorchester Town Council have led by example by offering the site, and I hope will continue to support further initiatives in future.   

I believe that affordable housing should be truly affordable; I think that Dorchester Area CLT and other Community Land Trusts are an important way through which this can be delivered for the community, by members of the community and with the full involvement of the community.