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The Bristol Cable

A board of directors, elected by members

Co-operatives are legally required to elect a board of directors. To ensure democratic accountability, directors have limited executive power but provide an added level of scrutiny within the co-operative.

As is the case with all co-operatives, the general membership retain the ultimate power, holding the capacity to elect and un-elect all officials within the co-op.

Directors do not play an executive and operational role in the day to day, but function as an advisory group for oversight and consultation on longer term planning of activities and strategies. The role involves meetings every two months, and ongoing consultation and advice according to the needs of the operational team.

Our current board

Jennifer Bartle

Elected in 2020

I have a good deal of experience as a charity trustee, most notably serving on the board of Humanists UK, which has a turnover of £2.5million/year. I was highly praised by my colleagues on this board, who said that I always asked insightful questions, gave useful suggestions, and pressed hard on potential risks. I have volunteered on boards for 10 years, and have a solid grasp of governance, strategic development, and the mechanisms that lead to organisational success.

I have volunteered in various community groups, such as organising a trans day of remembrance service, a people’s assembly, and various Green party campaigns such as the recent opposition to Bristol airport expansion. I’m really passionate about trans rights and Green issues – and the staunch position of the Cable on these points has been a beacon of hope for me.

Julia Beasley

Elected in 2020

I bring to The Bristol Cable 40 years’ experience in journalism and law. A retired solicitor, I specialised in fighting employment rights cases such as discrimination and whistleblowing, and led successful class actions in the employment tribunals. Following my conviction that legal assistance should be more accessible, I also helped develop pro bono advice locally. I understand legal concepts that help the smooth running of The Bristol Cable. These include confidentiality, conflict of interest and defamation. Originally a journalist, I freelanced extensively in London and Bristol and have worked with XR local media team. I am passionate about the role of independent journalism in fighting for social justice and action on the climate emergency. 

Alain Demontoux

Elected in 2019

I have been in involved in the co-operative sector for over 30 years in both Essential Trading, where I was the finance lead, and for the last 12 years as Operations Manager at Co-operative and Community Finance, where we have been providing loan finance to worker coops, employee and community businesses since 1973. I also have experience of the co-operative housing sector and within the voluntary sector as the treasurer of a community centre and an anti-GMO lobby group. I also take a keen interest in the International Development Sector.

Roseanna Dias

Elected in 2018

Roseanna is a freelance producer working with organisations like Rising Arts Agency, Trinity, Watershed and East Bristol Cinema. She nurtures new networks, talent and inclusive practices through a range of creative projects spanning film and media, digital technologies, performance, and community events. Roseanna is experienced in mentoring young journalists and creatives, building partnerships and shaping activities aimed at young people.

Ben Harris

Elected in 2020

I have been a trustee and company secretary at St Werburghs City Farm for the last four years. Through this role I have gained first hand experience of good governance and financial management, and I have supported the organisation through regulatory changes such as GDPR. I also have an understanding of the increasingly challenging grant funding environment in which small charities and cooperatives operate.

I am committed to supporting diversity in business, taking action on this in 2018 when I became a mentor on the Stepping Up Diversity Leadership Programme run by Bristol City Council.

I am a lawyer by trade, helping people running growing businesses feel informed, secure and supported and have particular experience of working in the digital technology sector. I have provided pro-bono legal advice in relation to Extinction Rebellion actions, and prior to commencing my legal training I worked at the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights. I am able to bring broad legal skills to the board, as well as a compassionate yet commercial point of view.

Yuliya Kosharevska

Elected in 2018

Yulia is studying for an MSc in Public Policy at the University of Bristol. She is co-founder and voluntary CEO of the Bulgarian NGO Treatment without Borders that supports patients who need treatment abroad. Yulia studied journalism at UWE Bristol where she learnt about media governance and the local community. Yulia was the news editor of the student newspaper Western Eye – and after leading a campaign against its censoring, won the UWESU media personality award.

Abdi Mohamed

Re-elected in 2019

I have years of valuable experience in project development, management, teaching, training and community development. I currently am Project manager (and co-founder) at Somali Media Group and Manager of a supplementary school.

Kate Oliver

Elected in 2017

I am keen that The Brilliant Bristol Cable has a long, healthy and successful life. To sustain its vision, energy and talent I would like to share my experience of governance, commissioning, income generation, management, policy and research in academia, strategic and local authorities, the voluntary sector and community activism. Erstwhile flexitime schooling national co-ordinator, foster carer of young unaccompanied asylum seekers and founder trustee at Bristol Refugee Rights, I am currently a founder director of Wernbrake Woodland social enterprise and the acting convenor for Bristol Walking Alliance pavements for pedestrians campaign.

Laura Williams

Elected in 2020

A journalist, editor and communications and campaigns manager working for a number of organisations including the National Trust, UWE Bristol and a local MP, Laura is a journalist by trade and has worked for a range of regional newspapers across the South West. She helped build and grow the online version of Bristol247 from 2011-2014 and contributed articles to the Bristol Cable as a freelancer as well as writing for national newspapers and magazines, specialising in music journalism, politics and women’s issues. A mum-of-two, Laura helped build Baby Bank Network and was previously Trustee with Trinity Community Arts, where she organised a fundraising festival which raised £8,000; she also led a successful campaign to save a local nursery from closing when the council wanted to evict it from its home of 25 years. Laura currently works part-time heading up Campaigns and Communications for Campaign for National Parks and for Bristol Women’s Commission alongside this role.

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