Inspire is a Community Benefit Society, registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. We have a set of rules, which set out what Inspire has been set up to do. We are an independent organisation with exempt charitable status. 

We have a Board of Directors, with twelve places on it.  Our directors have signed up to our Code of Conduct. Each member of the board has a duty and responsibility to protect the interests of the Society and ensure the organisation is well run. Members of the board are not to represent their own interests or that of any other organisation they have a role in. You can find out more about our directors here.

Inspire Board Meeting at Nottinghamshire Archives Oct 2018

John Cottee - County Council Nominated

Councillor John Cottee, born in Nottingham, is married and has two daughters. He has lived in the Keyworth area for most of his life. He was educated at West Bridgford High School and Nottingham Boys' High School and continued his studies while working for his father at Windley Fibres.

In 1979 he was a co-founder of Cottee Fibres Limited with his father and he became Managing Director in 1994 when his father retired. John sold his interest in the business to his brother in 2005 to concentrate on his Council duties.

John has represented the Keyworth division on Nottinghamshire County Council since June 2001. He is also a Rushcliffe Borough councillor representing the South Keyworth ward.

When the Conservatives gained control of the County Council in June 2009 he was appointed Cabinet Member for Culture and following the Council's change to a committee system in May 2012 he was elected Chairman of the Culture Committee.

Following his re-election to the County Council in May 2013, John has continued as the Conservatives' lead spokesman on the Culture Committee.

John is a very keen sportsman, having had experience in running and managing various local football teams as well as being a qualified referee.

Glynn Gilfoyle - County Council Nominated

Glynn became a Councillor for Bassetlaw District Council in 1987 after 15 years working in the mining industry, his background and heritage has meant that Glynn has started from a place where communities and the services that serve those communities are so important. He has dedicated his life to public services and is particularly passionate about services being available to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our communities. Local services, are for Glynn, the very backbone of our communities and access to libraries, the arts and local courses are essential for positive community cohesion. Glynn is an expert in how Local Government works from both a District and a County level and has represented the Council at many high profile events.

During his period at the District Council, he held the position of Deputy Leader of the Council, Chair of Environmental Health and held a portfolio for Community Safety, Personnel, and Health and Safety. Glynn was instrumental in introducing the first no-drinking zones in the Nottinghamshire and ever since then has pioneered new and exciting projects that have protected communities and ensured their health and wellbeing. At this time Glynn was also appointed to the Heart of England Tourist Board and was its Vice Chairman for a number of years.

 In 1997 he became a member of Nottinghamshire County Council and since that time he has served on every major committee of the Council. Glynn has a strong record of finding ways of working that mean services are protected and preserved in communities for the long term.

Glynn has served twice on the Nottinghamshire Police Authority from 1999 until May 2006 where he was Chair of the Performance and Resources Committee and took a leading role on Health and Safety.

Glynn stepped down from the Police Authority after being elected as the Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Partnerships. During this period he also chaired the Safer Neighbourhoods Board for Nottinghamshire.  During Glynn’s tenure as Cabinet Member, Nottinghamshire County Council was awarded Beacon status for its emergency planning protocols and their work with schools, and was the first County Council in the country to successfully seek a countywide injunction against boy races under his stewardship.

Shortly after re-joining the Police Authority in 2009 Glynn was elected to the position of Vice Chairman of the Nottinghamshire Police Authority until its demise.

Glynn was Nottinghamshire County Councils Chairman of Community Safety and took a lead on Trading Standards, Emergency Planning, the Registration of Birth, Deaths and Marriages and working with all our partners both public and voluntary to combat crime. Glynn’s work on trading standards is nationally recognised and once again demonstrates his ongoing commitment to the health and wellbeing of all communities in Nottinghamshire. Glynn’s current role is the lead Labour spokesperson for the communities and place  committee and is already working hard in protecting services and communities. 

Tim Eatherington - Appointed Selected

Tim is Finance Director of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and leads the club’s community engagement work. Has worked for a number of companies in Lincoln and Nottinghamshire across a variety of sectors. Tim sees himself not as an accountant, but as having a business developmental role. He has good small business and community organisation experience and has already contributed to the development of Inspire’s approach to financial management.

Liz Edwards - Staff Elected

Liz has worked for Nottinghamshire Libraries for 17 years in a variety of roles, starting as a trainee at Mansfield Library before doing her MA in Librarianship at the University of Sheffield, continuing to work at Mansfield Library on Saturdays as a library assistant. After university, Liz became a Children’s Librarian and went on to lead on refurbishment projects at Mansfield and West Bridgford Libraries. In her current role as Principal Librarian for Community Partnerships, Liz enjoys working with partner organisations, library staff and volunteers to make smaller libraries more sustainable and community orientated. Liz is committed to libraries and Inspire as a whole, and takes particular interest in exploring innovative services through digital platforms and ensuring that customers are at the heart of what Inspire does. 

Peter Gaw - Chief Executive Officer

Peter was appointed to the role of Chief Executive of Inspire in January 2016. Before that, from June 2007, he was Group Manager of Libraries, Archives, Information and Learning at Nottinghamshire County Council.

Over the last 2 years Peter has led the mutualisation of a range of cultural and learning services into Culture, Learning and Libraries (Midlands) – Inspire, the new Community Benefit Society.

He is passionate about the value and enjoyment of culture and learning, and is committed to ensuring the best opportunities are open and accessible for people and communities across Nottinghamshire. Before coming to Nottinghamshire he worked for the City and County of Swansea where he was Strategic Manager; Libraries and Culture covering Archives, Arts, Libraries, Literature, Museums and Theatre.

Whilst at Nottinghamshire and Swansea he has led services to modernise through a number of capital projects and considerable cultural change. Increased performance, improved service offers and contributions to social, educational and health outcomes have been central to his work, whilst managing in the context of decreasing resources.

He has also worked for Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire and Gwent County Councils, Birmingham Chamber of Industry and Commerce, GKN plc and Birmingham City Council.

Peter is Chair of the East Midlands region of the Society of Chief Librarians and sits on the national executive. Peter also sits on the board of Inspire in his role as CEO.

Peter is married to Hilary, has four children, two grandsons and one dog.

Richard Gaunt - Member Elected

Richard is committed to representing the views of all members of Inspire, whatever their background and interests. As a university academic, Richard is particularly interested in Inspire’s investment to education. He is currently Chairman of Friends of Nottinghamshire Archives, serves on the Nottinghamshire Archives User Group and Nottinghamshire Local History Association and is a board member of the Nottingham Civic Society and Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire.

John Hess - Member Elected

John believes that libraries are the beating heart of a community and that Nottinghamshire’s libraries should be ambitious to establish a national reputation for excellence.    

Until his retirement last year he served for 20 years as the BBC’s Political Editor for “East Midlands Today” and is currently a trustee of the Nottinghamshire based Music for Everyone organisation and Honorary Professor at the University of Nottingham’s School of Politics. 

Liz Howell - Appointed Selected

Head of BBC Weather

Liz began her career in journalism at the Nottingham Evening Post as a news reporter, feature writer and columnist before leaving to join the BBC. Liz initially worked on BBC regional news programmes in the Midlands in a variety of roles from broadcast journalist, producer and latterly Output Editor managing all TV news, current affairs and TV documentary programming in the region.

In 2001 Liz took charge of the BBC’s News and Sport Interactive services for England. Working from Pebble Mill, she oversaw many innovative technical and digital changes as online output rapidly developed. Her role within Nations and Regions also led to attendance at the Political party conferences, a variety of major external contract negotiations and a number of strategic all-BBC projects.

Part of her role latterly was to develop the nations and regions’ weather portfolio and in doing so discovered Liz rediscovered her passion for science as a genre. Liz initiated the commissioning of a multiplatform project Wild Weather with 12 regional TV documentaries -  awarded the Royal Met Society Michael Hunt Award in 2010.

She was delighted to be appointed the first ever Head of BBC Weather in 2011. Her role entailed the strategic management of all  BBC weather output on all platforms – from local through to global and from online to mobile and TV and included the launch of the hugely successful BBC Weather app. Liz is now tackling the challenge of a complete relaunch of BBC Weather due next year.  Liz was also recently selected to take part in the first ever BBC Women in Leadership programme which is aimed at getting female leaders to executive board level within the organisation.

Philip Jones - Member Elected

Philip is committed to the future of all libraries and the Nottinghamshire Archives as centres of learning and culture in the 21st century. A recently retired librarian and lecturer in local and family history, Philip has spent over 30 years working in libraries in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, and has worked in a voluntary capacity at the Nottinghamshire Archives. He now concentrates on freelance research, writing and public speaking, as well as voluntary community work.

Sarah King - Appointed selected

Sarah has good experience of business and organisational development having worked for NHS, British Airways, City of London Police, National College for School Leadership and Capital One. She now also has her own business, We Are Unstuck, working with organisations such as Red Bull, Camelot, Penguin Random House. She has strong business and social enterprise networks and has quickly understood some of the challenges and strengths for Inspires future. Sarah worked on the Mansfield Here Now ‘MILO’ project and thus has experience in working with libraries, arts and creative organisations.

Peter Ware - Appointed Selected

Peter is a solicitor and partner at Browne Jacobson LLP. He works with clients across the public sector and has a lot of experience advising central and local government bodies. He also has a particular specialism in supporting organisations such as Inspire as they emerge from the public sector and grow into their new independence. Being a resident of Nottinghamshire and a regular user of libraries with his wife and two boys, he is passionate about helping Inspire succeed in delivering a fantastic service across the county for all those who need it. 

Claire Henson - Member Elected

Along with her passion for the provision of libraries and arts services to communities, Claire brings a wealth of experience in events management and a background in academic libraries having worked at both Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham where she created a 3 year equality and diversity events programme. Claire believes strongly in the power of arts and culture to change people's lives and the importance of engaging with different groups within the community.