Reading & Libraries
An Evening with Simon Armitage: Inspire <Virtual> Poetry Festival 2020
We're always looking to improve your experience. Please send us your feedback.
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.
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.
Liz has worked for Nottinghamshire Libraries for 18 years in a variety of roles, starting as a trainee at Mansfield Library before doing her MA in Librarianship at the University of Sheffield whilst continuing to work at Mansfield Library as a Saturday Library Assistant. After University, Liz became a Children’s Librarian and went on to lead on refurbishment projects at Mansfield and West Bridgford Libraries and developing Inspire's Community Partnership Libraries in her role a Principal Librarian for Community Partnerships. Now Projects and Logistics Manager, Liz leads on Capital and smaller projects across the whole of Inspire, and along with a small team, is responsible for ensuring that our buildings are well managed and maintained. Liz takes particular interest in cost efficiency and sustainability within our sites and is committed to providing excellent customer service for our customers.
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.
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.
Carol’s background is in Commercial Business Partnering, being a qualified accountant who, during her career worked for a number of different sized organisations in both the private and public sectors, mainly in roles working closely with the operational teams, supporting them to understand and manage their KPI’s, as well as challenging and helping them to improve their performance. She is also qualified and has experience of delivering training courses for adults.
She also volunteers for a number of other organisations, including a large national charity, a small local activity and helping out at several annual events for other organisations. As a result, she has a good understanding as well as first-hand experience of what is important in retaining volunteers, ensuring they feel valued and enjoy their volunteering activities.
Carol is a user of Inspire services and keen to use her skills and experiences to support Inspire to develop and deliver services that support the needs of the local communities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Margot’s first career choice was as a librarian, starting with Wandsworth Public Libraries, and after qualifying as a chartered librarian in 1977, she moved into academic libraries, in London and Sheffield. Changing career in 1989, she qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG Nottingham in 1992 and has worked briefly in industry, and as Finance Manager for the Amateur Swimming Association/British Swimming in Loughborough, but mainly in general practice.
She was an audit partner at UHY Hacker Young in Nottingham until April 2020 and has extensive business experience but her particular interest has always been in the third sector. At UHY she was a national specialist for charities and not-for-profit/membership organisations. She has acted as independent examiner and auditor for a wide range of local and national charities over the past twenty-five years, and helped to set up the Nottingham Charities Forum.
Margot has also been a trustee of a number of charities, including the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and the national charity Home-Start UK, and currently for Groundwork Greater Nottingham. She has spoken at seminars and written articles and blogs advising trustees and directors in the third sector on a wide range of issues.
Margot is an avid reader and active member of her local library, and is keen to ensure that libraries continue to be available to all.
Emma is a Business Psychologist with years of HR and Talent Development experience working in public, charity and corporate sectors. Emma has sat on Trustee Boards previously and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge having completed a MA in Voluntary and Third Sector Management. She has a keen interest in all things people and governance and is very proud to be part of the amazing Inspire Board.
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.
We’d love you to join us! By becoming a member of Inspire you will be able to have your say on how the society works and develops.
Not a member yet? Sign up