Who's in charge?

START is managed on a day-to-day basis by a board of directors (see below) elected by the original steering committee. One third of this group will stand down at each of the next three AGMs and it will be up to the voting members to re-elect them or elect new members to replace them. From then on, all directors will be elected by the members for three-year terms, with a maximum of 9 consecutive years.

So it's the members who are in charge - of everything!

Our full policy on the recruitment and election of directors is available from our downloads page, with our other formal policies and overall rules.

Founding steering committee

On 4th April, Gillian Keegan, MP came along to the first board meeting of START Community Trust to congratulate its steering committee who had just heard they had successfully registered START with the Financial Conduct Authority. The steering committee, set up by Mairi Renni and chaired by Elizabeth Brown, consisted of parish council members and other local volunteers from all three parishes. After getting the ball rolling, it elected the current board, listed below. to do all the legal and other work to set up the community land trust.

Board of directors

David Edmondson


  Airline pilot for 40 years, now retired and have recently become a part-time boatbuilder/ repairer. Have restored 2 cottages and built a new house in my previous life so some experience of building works and planning. Currently a member of Stedham with Iping parish council.

John Field


Career in rural estate management , farming and consultancy, and in charity fundraising and legacy management. Served as member and chairman of Trotton Parish Council (involved in low-cost housing project) and of Rogate and Terwick Housing Association.

Max Harwood


 Forty-plus years in large insurance companies including negotiating and implementing complex agreements, diplomacy,

legal understanding, tort and contract claims handling, planning and risk management. Member of Rogate parish council and governor of Rogate C of E primary school

Mairi Rennie


 English lecturer and principal, and museum director in UK and USA, with additional experience in recruitment, management, review, international conferences, exhibitions, and other events, as well as fundraising. Founder and curator of Rogate Heritage Centre and member of Rogate parish council, PCC and  village hall committee. Secretary of START.

Neil Ryder


RAF pilot and Financial Times marketing exec followed by 25 years in investor relations, marketing, database and strategy management. Has chaired global consulting company, professional body and charity. Currently member of Trotton parish council and chairs Rogate primary school and START.

Simon Ward


  Chartered surveyor and land agent with 40 years experience managing large rural estates and extensive property portfolios. While at West Dean, initiated and developed 4 separate housing developments in partnership with Hastoe Housing to construct a total of 18 affordable housing units. Treasurer of START.

John Wheelhouse


Worked in both public sector and own architect practice specialising in local authority and housing association residential design and construction including site appraisal and project management. Served on three parish councils and represented housing associations and parish councils at inquiries into local plan reviews and negotiations on large mixed developments.