POWER LIST: Who are the 50 most powerful people in Chesterfield and north Derbyshire?

The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire in the North Sketch Gallery
The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire in the North Sketch Gallery

Here is the first Derbyshire Times Power List 2014 ... our panel of expert judges has compiled this who’s who of the 50 most influential people in north Derbyshire.

This is their view of who qualifies - and the list was compiled by considering the county’s important employers, those with a large amount of financial clout and people with political power or with a strong role in community leadership.

It is not a scientific exercise and we don’t claim it to be - this is simply our expert panel’s informed view of the 50 locally-based people who have the greatest influence on our economy and community.

The list includes some very high-profile people, such as our MPs and council leaders, but there are also some interesting names from industry and the professional services who support them. Most sectors of the economy are represented, as are community stalwarts whose work affects or improves the lives of hundreds of others. Let us know if you think we’ve missed anyone but here, in reverse order, are the 50 people who have made their mark on Chesterfield and beyond...

50. John Croot

As director of Chesterfield Football Club Community Trust, John Croot heads up a team of coaches, trainers and volunteers who work closely with the football club to promote sports participation, social inclusion and education.

The Trust works with children, offering sports coaching and football based education projects in and out of school, and also organises full-time education projects for young adults, all based around the Proact Stadium.

The Trust’s nationally acclaimed Extra Time project offers older people with a chance to participate in the widely publicized Walking Football programme.

Another aspect of the Trust’s work is acting as guardian of the Chesterfield F C’s history, working on heritage projects with the Supporters Club, local councils and local and national museums.

49. Darren Marshall
Darren Marshall has been RBS’s director of corporate banking for Sheffield and north Derbyshire for the past three years.

He is responsible for a team of ten relationship managers and two business development managers, and also for performance management, income delivery, risk and product partner penetration across Sheffield and North Derbyshire.

Darren is married with two grown-up children, and is an optimistic football fan; he holds a season ticket at Rotherham United.

48. Jo Dawson

Joanna Dawson joined Elliot Mather as a trainee solicitor in 2004, after graduating from the University of Sheffield.

Now senior associate solicitor, she is based in the Chesterfield office, managing the company and commercial law department, and balances work with a busy home life caring for her small twin sons.

She specializes in the buying and selling of businesses, and enjoys good relationships with the banks, brokers and agents in the healthcare sector.

Jo also serves on the committee of Harthill Cricket Club, and as an advisory board panel member for Sue Walker Children’s Centre.

A south Yorkshire girl by birth, she lives in Sheffield, and in her spare time enjoys cooking, dancing and reading.

47. Neil Hunt

Neil Hunt, BSc FRICS, is one of the most senior property professionals in North Derbyshire, and has over 35 years experience of the housing market in the Chesterfield area.

Now aged 61, he has been with long-established estate agents Wilkins Vardy since 1976, currently as managing director

A registered valuer and spokesman on the house market for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Neil is a former member of the President’s Working Party on reform to the house buying process.

He specializes in the planning and development of new homes.

46. Phil Walker

A return to traditional banking values and methods is the goal of Handelsbanken, a long-established Swedish banking operation which came to the UK 32 years ago.

Chesterfield branch manager Phil Walker heads up a team of four who recently moved into new offices at Spire Walk, close to Horns Bridge roundabout on the edge of the town centre.

Local boy Phil – he was educated at Henry Fanshawe School in Dronfield – is keen to expand the Handelsbanken decentralized, customer-led style of banking in the area.

The bank is part of the Chesterfield Champions scheme.

45. David Tate

David Tate, 44, became a chartered surveyor in 1995 when he joined Mitchell and Slaney in Chesterfield, and rapidly became a partner.

When the partnership merged with Bothams in 2000 to become one of the largest local firms of Chartered Surveyors in the area, David qualified as an auctioneer and took over the property auctions department.

In 2003 he bought the practice of John H Copeland & Co which later became Copelands, where he developed property management, survey and valuation work and grew the work of the auction department significantly.

44. Ian Maclean

Since Ian Mclean returned to the family business as chairman in 2008, and subsequently as managing director, he has led an updating and innovation process which has placed John Smedley Ltd in the forefront of quality fashion.

The company won Premium Brand of the Year at the 2013 Drapers’ Awards.

John Smedley’s was founded in 1784, and has remained in the family through seven generations.

The Matlock premises now house the world’s oldest manufacturing factory, employing over 400 people making high-end garments in sea island cotton, merino wool and cashmere – still including the men’s long-johns which have become the company’s signature product – with worldwide markets.

43. Alan Terry

As a partner in Botham, Mitchell and Slaney, Alan Terry, 65, plays a key role in one of Chesterfield’s longest established firms of estate agents, chartered surveyors and valuers.

His specialism within the company is dealing with sales, lettings and valuations of commercial property.

42. Richard Trueman

Since joining Mitchell’s Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers in 1980, Richard Trueman has worked with a wide range of businesses, from start-ups to companies with over £30M turnover, especially small to medium sized family businesses looking to expand and mature.

The company has made an impact as a specialist in the care home sector, providing financial support and advice based on extensive experience.

Away from work, Richard is a keen golfer. He is a member of Chesterfield Golf Club, and regularly enters competitions, at both his own club and others, often with his wife Sally.

Sally and Richard also enjoy countryside walking and sampling local restaurants, and he refuses to believe his skiing days are behind him!

41. Guy Robinson

Robinson’s has been associated with Chesterfield for more than a century and a half, and over the last 15 years has returned to its packaging roots.

Family involvement has always been important to the company, and finance director and company secretary Guy Robinson is maintaining the tradition.

Guy qualified as a chartered accountant in 1981 and worked for Coopers & Lybrand until he joined Robinson’s as management information systems manager in 1985.

He became group finance controller and Packaging Division financial director before he was appointed finance director in 1995.

He is also responsible for the company’s property portfolio.

40. David Jones

Chief executive of DCJ Group Insurance & Risk Management David Jones is also the company’s founder.

After its inception in 1991 as David C Jones Insurance Services, expansion was rapid.

An increased range of services and extended office space brought with it the new name.

The company now offers a range of insurance services for business and the private clients, and social and charity organisations.

There are 40 staff at the Brimington Road headquarters.

David Jones is proud to be one of of Chesterfield’s Champions.

38. Richard Wilkins

Richard Wilkins is a partner in Wilkins Hammond, a firm of chartered surveyors which has provided property services to Chesterfield and North Derbyshire for nearly 20 years.

Educated at Repton and Chesterfield School, and Trent Polytechnic where he read Urban Estate Surveying, Richard now runs the day-to-day operations of the family firm along with his brother Robert and sister Roz.

Richard’s specific responsibility is for the commercial property division, offering a comprehensive service including sales, lettings and acquisitions, valuations, rent reviews and lease renewals and business rates valuations and negotiations.

Commercial property management also falls within his remit.

He lives in Walton with Debbie, his wife of 17 years.

37. Sean McClafferty

Sean McClafferty has been headteacher of St Mary’s Catholic High School in Newbold since 2008.

Under his leadership, the school has achieved outstanding exam results and excellent Ofsted reports – but academic achievement is only part of the story.

Mr McClafferty’s balanced outlook on education involves ensuring that achievements of all kinds are celebrated, and that young people are encouraged to develop different aptitudes and abilities.

Recent non-academic events organized by the school have included an exchange visit to Darmstadt, Chesterfield’s twin town in Germany; a music festival at the Winding Wheel; and a St Mary’s Got Talent competition.

36. Paul Beeson

After studying accountancy at Sheffield Polytechnic, Paul Beeson worked as an articled clerk for a large firm of accountants in Sheffield before qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1977.

He joined Shorts Chartered Accountants in Chesterfield in 1988, and was made a partner two years later.

As senior partner, he has overseen the company’s move to its present premises on Ashgate Road, where over 50 partners and staff are located.

He lives in Walton with his wife Alex, and in his spare time enjoys watching cricket and likes to keep an eye on Sheffield Wednesday.

35. James Brand

Born, bred and educated in South Sheffield, James Brand joined United Cast Bar in 2004. As sales manager and then group sales director, James Brand helped the company survive then begin to thrive again through the most difficult economic conditions the UK has ever known.

As managing director since the beginning of 2013, James has seen a significant expansion in the cast iron manufacturer’s operation at its site on Spital Lane, Chesterfield, following the development of a stretch of waste land into a new stock yard.

He regards the ability to respond to customers’ needs by devising innovative solutions to as a key factor in the company’s ongoing success.

He enjoys the opportunities for foreign travel which form part of his job, and in his spare time is a keen reader.

34. Dominic Stevens

A twelve-year career in tourism and destination marketing in various parts of the UK preceded Dominic Stevens’s appointment as manager of Destination Chesterfield.

Since taking up his post in January 2011, Dominic has developed a wide variety of profile-raising events and campaigns designed to put Chesterfield on the map a place to invest, visit and live.

Activity has included Invest in Chesterfield, the Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards as well as managing the Chesterfield Champions scheme.

He even plans to run in the half marathon first Chesterfield Marathon in September.

33. Chris Sellars

Solicitor Chris Sellars is an executive director at Banner Jones, one of Chesterfield’s leading legal firms.

He also heads up both the Business Legal Services team and the Residential Property team, and his wide-ranging role includes advising on commercial agreements, insolvency and partnership law.

Chris is a Fellow of ICBA (Institution of Commercial and Business Agents), and also a council member of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.

When he isn’t at work Chris is a keen skier, and enjoys a glass of good red wine.

32. David James

Chief executive of Visit Peak District and Derbyshire since 2005, David James combines a love of the Derbyshire countryside with a sound professional background in marketing and leisure services.

David has lived in Tideswell for nearly 20 years, with his wife Melanie and grown-up children Emily and Ben.

He heads an active team at the tourism agency’s headquarters in Buxton, covering a diverse area stretching from Glossop to Swadlincote and Biddulph to Bolsover, and encompassing moors, meadows, valleys, woodlands and cities.

Outside work, David enjoys sporting and outdoor activities, and theatre, music and cinema. A qualified Football Association coach, he coaches Tideswell’s Under 12s football team.

31. Graeme Huston

North-easterner Graeme Huston became Group Editor of WEL Newspapers Ltd in October 2013.

His move to the Derbyshire Times’ Chesterfield office followed eight years as Editor-in-Chief at South Yorkshire Newspapers and its flagship title the Doncaster Free Press. Before that he was deputy editor of the Edinburgh Evening News after spells working for the Glasgow -based Daily Record, the regional Sunday Sun in Newcastle and Today newspaper in London. Graeme, 48, is a member of the board of Destination Chesterfield.

30. Ryan Fletcher

Ryan Fletcher is bass guitarist and backing vocalist in the pop rock band Lawson.

Born on January 9th 1990 in Chesterfield, he has been a member of the band since its formation in 2009.

Lawson’s debut single When She Was Mine reached number four in the UK singles charts, leading to live performances alongside music greats including Bruce Springsteen, The Wanted and Jessie J, and sell-out tours in the UK and north America.

Ryan’s nickname is Rhino. He loves tattoos and has a number on various parts of his body.

He is also a great fan of Facebook, and can’t get enough of it.

29. Geoff Miller

Top England cricketer Geoff Miller, 63, was born and raised Chesterfield, and attended the Grammar School.

He played for Derbyshire Second XI from the early 1970s, and made his first-class debut in July 1973 against Somerset, when he scored a duck in his only innings.

His record improved later. He captained Derbyshire from 1979 to 1981 and played in thirty-four Tests and twenty-five one-day internationals for England, taking a total of 85 wickets.

He was an England selector from 2008 to 2013, and was appointed president of Derbyshire County Cricket Club in March 2014.

He was awarded the OBE for services to cricket in the 2014 New Year’s Honours.

28. Dominic Staniforth

Dominic Staniforth runs the Chesterfield office of leading chartered accountancy firm Barber Harrison & Platt, having joined the company in 1997 as a partner, in a move from one of the Big Four firms.

In addition to expertise in audit, accountancy, advisory and outsourcing, Dominic has industry experience in the manufacturing, engineering, automotive and healthcare sectors. His clients are typically owner-managed, or family-owned small-to-medium-sized enterprises.

Dominic is a member of the national ICAEW Technical & Practical Auditing committee, and holds various positions within the community, including chair of Young Enterprise’s North Derbyshire Area Board and a trustee of the Sheffield-based healthcare charity Neurocare.

27. Steve Smith

Steve Smith has spent 18 of his 34 years with NatWest Bank in Chesterfield.

As relationship director, he works with owner-managed businesses, ranging from small start-ups to £30 million turnover companies, many of which are still banking with him after 20 years.

Steve has wide experience of supporting businesses across a range of sectors including agriculture, construction, engineering, healthcare, landed estates, manufacturing and real estate.

In 2012 he joined the board of Destination Chesterfield to represent the professional service sector and provide expertise on the funding available to businesses who plan to relocate or grow in Chesterfield, benefitting the local economy.

26. Melanie Ulyatt

Originally with a background in Childcare, Melanie Ulyatt set-up her own care and training company, One to One Support Services, in Chesterfield in 2006. Turning her entrepreneurial skills into a successful business model, the company has gone on to win both regional and national awards and is now recognised as one of the leading domiciliary care providers in the region.

Melanie isn’t just committed to her own company and specialised teams, but also hundreds of businesses through her volunteer role as Regional Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses- a leading business organisation that represents the voice of small business across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire

25. Tony Cordin

When Autoworld’s managing director Tony Cordin isn’t ensuring that everything runs smoothly at the company’s eleven car dealerships, he enjoys watching Matlock Town play football!

He first saw them play forty years ago, in an F A Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers, and is still an enthusiastic supporter.

Tony recently negotiated a sponsorship deal with the club which resulted in the renaming of their ground as the Autoworld Arena, and their social club as the Autoworld Lounge.

Tony is also a keen cyclist, and has taken part in several bike rides for charity as part of the company’s ongoing support for good causes.

24. Andy Dukelow

East Midlands Apprenticeship Champion in the regional final of the National Apprenticeship Awards and National Training Awards 2012; Business Personality of the Year in the Derbyshire Times Business Awards 2013; Community Contribution of the Year in the same Awards for the company’s commitment to its comprehensive apprenticeship programme and donations to charities –

The accolades keep on flowing in for Andy Dukelow, managing director of Franke Washroom Systems, Chesterfield’s leading manufacturer of hi-tech stainless steel washroom fittings.

Having started out as an apprentice himself, Andy Dukelow is dedicated to encouraging young people into paid vocational training.

‘Luckily for us,’ he says, ‘Chesterfield has an abundance of young talent.’

22. Gavin Boyle

Gavin Boyle, 47, joined the Chesterfield Royal Hospital Foundation Trust two years ago as chief executive.

His career in the NHS began in the early 1990s, as a general management trainee in Liverpool, where he worked with primary care organisations and hospitals.

He moved to Exeter and then Winchester, to take responsibility for a broad range of hospital and community services.

More recently he has held board level posts at the Oxford Radcliffe Trust, the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham and at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. Before moving to Chesterfield, Gavin was chief executive of Yeovil District NHS Foundation Trust, a successful hospital serving its rural community in Somerset.

21. Kevin Raine

Fusion Group has come a long way from modest beginnings.

Set up in 1971 by chairman Eric Bridgstock to fill a gap in the market for high quality jointing equipment for polyethylene gas pipes, it is now a manufacturer and distributor of products for utility infrastructure projects throughout the world, and a major supplier of products and services in the UK.

The career of Kevin Raine, 53, Fusion’s group managing director, mirrors the company’s trajectory. He started out as an apprentice fitter with British Gas; joined Fusion Group as a depot manager in 1989; became managing director of the company since 2004.

A fitting tribute to hard work and ambition.

20. Steve Perez

From chef in the family restaurant to proprietor of Chesterfield’s premier hotel, via imported beer and alcopops: that’s the career trajectory of Steven J Garcia Perez.

Steve (58) was born in Chesterfield, and in 1986 he founded the pioneering Global Beer Company, which led to the hugely successful vodka-based VK. In late 2010 Steve’s dream of building Chesterfield’s first four star hotel came true when the Casa opened. He takes a close personal interest in his organic farm which produces most of the meat used in the Casa’s restaurants.

In 2010 he won the Derbyshire Times Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Steve is also a successful rally driver, and pilots his own helicopter.

19. David Allen

Dave Allen is well-known in sporting circles throughout north Derbyshire and south Yorkshire.

Formerly chairman of Sheffield Wednesday, he is currently chairman and majority shareholder at Chesterfield F C.

During his time at the club, Allen has invested heavily in its infrastructure, building a new ground for the club named the Proact Stadium.

Since he took over as chairman, the Spireites have won the Coca Cola League Two championship (2011) and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy (2012).

Allen’s other business interests include a 99.9% share of the A & S Leisure Group which runs Napoleons Casinos across England, as well as the greyhound racing track at Owlerton Stadium in Sheffield.

18. Ian Greenaway

As managing director of MTM Products Limited, a Chesterfield company with 49 employees, manufacturing labels, nameplates, fire exit legends and vinyl cut decals, Ian Greenaway is at the heart of the north midlands business community.

Ian has worked in manufacturing since graduating from Nottingham University in 1970.

He is immediate past president of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce following a two-year period as vice-president, and as non-executive director of EMB Ltd and chair of emqc Ltd, he is dedicated to helping to optimize standards of training and performance over a range of manufacturing and service industries.

Ian is married with three children and five grandchildren.

17. Andrew Pugh

Following an early career with blue-chip companies including Unilever and BP, and several years as a champion powerboat driver, Andrew Pugh embarked on a life in tourism in the early 1970s, when he bought the Heights of Abraham.

A decision to install a cable car system to increase visitor numbers led to opportunities to project-manage similar schemes at Alton Towers, the Great Wall of China, Table Mountain in South Africa and the London Eye.

In 1993 he was awarded the MBE for services to tourism, and subsequently led the formation of the Peak District and Derbyshire Tourist Board.

He has been chairman since its inception.

16. Natascha Engel

Born in Berlin in 1967, Natascha Engel moved to England as a child, and was elected Labour MP for North-East Derbyshire in 2005.

She has succeeded in achieving a high profile.

She has been a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee and the Select Committee on the Reform of the House of Commons.

She is currently chair of the Backbench Business Committee, the first business committee of any kind to be established by the House, and has been named Backbencher of the Year for her work on this committee.

15. Mick Creedon

Mick Creedon became Chief Constable of Derbyshire on October 1st 2007, having spent much of his career in CID with Leicestershire Constabulary.

He has been national co-ordinator on serious and organised crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers, and came to Derbyshire in 2003 as assistant chief constable (operations).

He has overseen investigations into police corruption and conducted several reviews into external forces. As a result in Feb 2013 Home Secretary Theresa May appointed him to head up an enquiry into undercover policing methods at the Metropolitan Police: a task which impacted on the ongoing high-profile investigation into the handling of the Stephen Lawrence case.

14. Trevor Clay

Principal of Chesterfield College since July 2012, Trevor Clay is also on the board of Destination Chesterfield.

Originally from Nottinghamshire, Trevor pursued an early career in local government administration before moving into the education sector in 1991.

He became director of corporate services for Chesterfield College in August 2000, and deputy principal in 2008.

He has played a leading role in extending the College’s connections with employers, developing the apprentice scheme and providing training and business support for companies looking to relocate in the north Derbyshire Enterprise Zone. Married for over 30 years with two daughters, Trevor is also a keen golfer.

13. Lucy Nickson

Forty-two-year-old mum of two Lucy Nickson was well prepared when she joined Ashgate Hospice as Chief Executive in March 2013, just six months before the Hospice celebrated its 25-year anniversary.

A clinician and registered nurse, Lucy started her career at Weston Park Hospital, in Sheffield, looking after patients in need of palliative care.

Later she became CEO of Helen’s Trust, the Bakewell-based charity which supports care in their own homes for terminally ill people.

Lucy is working hard to extend Ashgate Hospice’s home care facilities, and to strengthen ties with the local community and healthcare providers including Chesterfield Royal Hospital and the Derbyshire Community Health Trust.

12. Peter Swallow

Born and raised in Dronfield and a former student of Henry Fanshawe School and Chesterfield College’s building and architecture department, Peter Swallow has always had Chesterfield’s interests at heart.

He is the founder and managing director of Bolsterstone Group PLC, the property and investment company behind the the town’s prestigious Waterside development.

He is also a board member of the Derbyshire Economic Partnership, a public and private sector partnership aiming for an effective approach to economic development across the county.

As chair of Destination Chesterfield, he works hard to raise the town’s profile and attract investment and employment.

Peter is married with four grown-up children.

11. Huw Bowen

Huw Bowen has been chief executive of Chesterfield Borough Council since May 2008 following five years with High Peak Borough Council, and periods as strategic director of Community Services and deputy chief executive in Chesterfield.

He is also a member of the board of Destination Chesterfield.

Born and brought up in the small mid Wales town of Builth Wells, he qualified as an environmental health officer and holds a PhD in public health.

A keen sportsman in his younger days, Huw now enjoys watching his two sons play, and is a keen follower of the Welsh rugby team and a season ticket holder at Chesterfield Football Club.

10. Chris Marples

As Chief Executive of hi-tech printing and packaging company Inspirepac since 2008, Chris Marples has brought contracts from international giants including Unilever, PepsiCo and Kimberley Clark to Chesterfield and north Derbyshire.

Over half of the company’s 260 employees are based in the area, 130 at its Sheepbridge headquarters and more at its Dronfield site.

Inspirepac’s creative approach to packaging won them the crown at the Derbyshire Best Business Awards three years running between 2010 and 2012.

Chris Marples joined the board of D2N2 in September 2013, contributing to partnership between private and public sectors by heading up the Better Business for All initiative.

9. John Coyne

Professor John Coyne has been vice-chancellor of the University of Derby since 2004, and has led the University to a doubling of its size and seen it shortlisted for University of the Year and win Leadership Team of the Year.

He has worked extensively in business development, and consulted for a diverse range of companies, banks and institutions.

He serves on many local and national bodies including the Chamber of Commerce and Local Enterprise Partnership, and is a commissioner to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

He is also chairman and co-founder of Cfe Research and Consultancy Ltd, which specializes in the development of policy and application in enterprise, skills development, and public services.

8. Peter Richardson

Appointed chair of D2N2, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, in November 2012, Peter Richardson was already a prominent figure in the business world in the north midlands.

The former CEO of Derbyshire Building Society is also a past chair of Derbyshire Business Link and Derby Cityscape URC and of Championing Derbyshire Olympic Legacy 2012 Committee.

He is a co-director of a small family-run security company, and current chair of the Derby Renaissance Board and a member of the governing council of the University of Derby.

A keen proponent of sustainable travel, Peter used to run the seven miles to work at least once a week.

7. James Newman

James Newman, 63, is a Yorkshireman born and bred with a varied career spanning more than 35 years.

Senior roles with a large number of different industries including manufacturing, services and utilities made him an ideal choice as first chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Board, established in November 2010 and one of the largest in the UK.

He is also chairman of two public companies, senior non-executive director of two more, chairman of Finance Yorkshire, a former Master Cutler, and until his recent retirement from the role, deputy chairman of the board of governors at Sheffield Hallam University.

6. Toby Perkins
Born in the midlands in 1970, Toby Perkins has lived in Chesterfield since he was 20, and was married in the Crooked Spire church in 1996.

After several years spent working for local IT and recruitment companies, he founded and ran a sports clothing business, and was a Chesterfield Borough councillor from 2003 till he was elected Labour MP for the town in the 2010 general election, defying national trends with a 3.9% swing to Labour.

Never afraid to speak his mind, he has strong opinions about NHS, education and the effects of government austerity on ordinary people.

He has been actively involved in local campaigns, notably against the Dunston waste incinerator and an asbestos transfer station in Old Whittington.

5. Patrick McLoughlin
The Rt Hon Patrick Allen McLoughlin (56) has been a Conservative MP since 1986, first for West Derbyshire, then following boundary changes for Derbyshire Dales.

As a young man he worked in agriculture before becoming a coal miner, and proved no stranger to controversy during the 1984 miners’ strike.

After a variety of junior posts in government and opposition, and periods in the Treasury and the Whips’ office under the Coalition, he was appointed Minister of State for Transport in 2012, in the wake of more controversy, this time over rail franchises.

Protection against terrorism on the railways and the multi-billion pound HS2 project are two of his most high-profile concerns as Transport Minister.

4. Anne Western

Anne Western’s political career began as a councillor in High Peak, before she returned to her native north Derbyshire to represent Barlborough and Clowne on Derbyshire County Council.

She has been leader of the Council and Cabinet member for strategic policy and budget since Labour regained control in May 2013.

The local economy and employment are a high priority for her, especially for young people.

She remains very active on a local level, holding regular surgeries and working with schools and community groups, and is vice chair of Barlborough Parish Council and a governor at three local schools.

3. George Cowcher

Chartered town planner George Cowcher is chief executive of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce.

Previously chief executive of the North East Chamber, he now presides over the second largest organisation of its kind in England, providing training, trade advice, networking and showcasing facilities to its almost 4000 members and 8000 affiliates.

Perhaps the most notable development during his time as chief executive has been the smooth transition from EMDA, the Regional Development Agency abolished by the coalition government in 2012, to D2N2, the new Local Enterprise Partnership which continues to provide support to businesses in the region.

2. John Burrows

Councillor John Burrows is Chesterfield born and bred, and has been active in local and national politics since he was 19, working behind the scenes for the Labour Party until he was elected to Chesterfield Borough Council in 2003. He has served as leader since Labour regained control in 2011, and has overseen a time of great progress.

Councillor Burrows is also vice-chair of Destination Chesterfield, and despite austerity measures, his time in office has seen the market hall redevelopment, and the opening of the new football stadium and the Casa Hotel. The prestigious Waterside development is now under way, and plans for the new Queens Park sports centre are progressing.

Councillor Burrows is married to Lorna, and they have six grandchildren.


Peregrine Andrew Morny Cavendish succeeded his father to become 12th Duke of Devonshire in May 2004, when he was 60 years old. He has been married to the former Amanda Heywood-Lonsdale since 1967, and the couple have three children, William, Celina and Jasmine.

Bringing the extensive Chatsworth estate into the 21st century has been a major project for the couple, but they also have many other interests.

The Duchess has a keen involvement in country sports, especially gundog training and three-day event horses.

The Duke has served as the Queen’s Representative at Ascot, and as Senior Steward (i.e. chairman) of the Jockey Club, and was awarded the CBE and KCVO for services to racing.

He is also well known as a connoisseur and collector of fine art, especially modern British and contemporary art and sculpture, and serves as trustee of the Wallace Collection and Sheffield Galleries and Museum Trust, and as deputy chairman of Sotheby’s.