The Trust welcomes its new CEO

We are delighted to welcome Deborah Fox to the Trust as the new Chief Executive Officer leading the organisation into its 140th year.

Deborah has come from 15 years in public service and is looking forward to playing a strong role in this new era of the Trust's story. Having lived in West Malvern during an appointment with the West Midlands Combined Authority and having visited regularly over the last 15 years, Deborah is no newcomer to the Malvern Hills.

Deborah said "I feel honoured to lead the care for this special place and its conservation. I acknowledge the ongoing contribution of levy payers and visitors to its upkeep.  The Trust has a big task of being a good neighbour to residents of thousands of properties. Having been a regular visitor, I'm aware the Malvern Hills and Commons support many people's livelihoods too, in creative and land-based industries."

Deborah joins the Trust at a crucial point in the Trust's journey towards modernising the organisation.  The Trust were first formed by an Act of Parliament in 1884 to protect the Malvern Hills and Commons.  140 years, and four Acts later, the charity is still working to conserve and care for this much-loved landscape for people and wildlife.

The Trust have marked the occasion of their 140-year anniversary with a display along Church Walk near Waitrose in Great Malvern. This exhibition features some of the work, achievements and history of the Trust looking back over the last 140 years and looking towards what the future may bring.  The exhibition will be on display until the 25th March.

Deborah said "Looking towards the next 140 years, it is clear the Victorian foundations are unfit for the modern world.  So, the Trust is putting forward proposals for a new Act of Parliament to bring the charity into the 21st century and ensure it can continue its vital work.

"We will be holding a full public consultation over the new Act in the summer and I'm looking forward to meeting local residents including young people, visitors, business and stakeholders to discuss these essential changes."

These proposals are the culmination of 10 years consideration, including a public consultation in 2019, and will also address the electoral boundary changes of 2023. The charitable objects, duties and responsibilities of the Trust will remain, but the new Act will update the governance to enable the charity to operate in the modern world. Levy payers will still be able to elect Trustees to the Board and the overall levy-paying area will not change.

Since the departure of Duncan Bridges in December, interim CEO Helen Stace has been providing stability and support for the organisation.  Helen will also be leading a handover to give Deborah the best start in their role and ensure continuity within the organisation. The Trust would like to thank Helen for all her support over the last three months and wish hear all the very best in future endeavours.

Photo: Helen Stace (left) and Deborah Fox (right)