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Governance and Board

The Chilmington Management Organisation structure (phase 1) provides a strong and responsible organisation to safeguard its assets and finances. Additionally, this provides the ability to own and manage the public land and built facilities, respond to local community needs, and build a sense of community among the local residents, partners, service users and visitors.


The board of trustee directors make the strategic decisions required for the CMO to carry out its work and to provide the overview and scrutiny of its operations, ensuring the company is financially sound and secure.

In Phase One, the Board of Trustee Directors will be made up from the following organisations with one representative each, except the developers who are entitled to appoint up to five directors. Directors are also nominated by other bodies/interest groups and it is comprised as:

  • Developers (5 Votes)
  • Local Authorities (2 Votes)
  • Voluntary Sector (1 Vote)
  • Housing Association (1 Vote)*
  • Residents (1 Vote)

Note: *appointments to follow

With one resident trustee appointed thus far, as the development progresses, a further three resident trustees will be appointed and by the end of the development, the resident trustees will replace the developer trustees.

All Directors must act in the best interests of the charity regardless of how they are appointed to the Board. See diagram above.


The Board may allow an individual to attend Board meetings, Committee meetings or Working Parties as an Observer. A representative of Great Chart with Singleton Parish Council, and a representative of tenants of properties in the development, may attend as of right. Other people may attend as Observers if the Board allows them to do so.

Observers do not have any voting rights at CMO board meetings.


Membership gives the right to vote on proposed changes and recommendations at the CMO’s annual general meetings (AGMs). Members must be either a Director Trustee or a resident within the area of benefit to vote at an AGM. Membership is defined as one vote per household.

For full details on membership, please see our membership section.


(Chair) Ben Lockwood, Nominated by Ashford Borough Council

Ben grew up in the Countryside surrounding Ashford, learning to swim in the Stour centre and attending the old market. After Studying for a degree in History at the University of Sheffield he started a career as an accountant for the Kent Fire Brigade. In 2002 he joined Ashford Borough Council and has fulfilled a number of roles and is currently the Director of Finance and Economy. With his Parents regularly visiting the town he receives regular feedback from demanding customers, making sure the Council continues to strive to deliver for its residents. In his current role he became the corporate lead for the Chilmington project which includes the establishment of the CMO. Ben says: “I have really enjoyed taking on this project, it’s an opportunity I never thought I would have when I started my career. It’s taught me new skills and given me the opportunity to get involved in quality place making for the development. It has allowed me to get involved in the creation of a unique stewardship model that will care for this new community for years to come.” Ben lives in Boughton-Under-Blean with his young family, and has a passion for cycling and the environment and a fear of Chickens.

Alison Breese, Nominated to represent the Voluntary Sector

Alison was born in the Medway Towns and lived there until 1993 when she moved to Kingsnorth in Ashford. Alison went to Nottingham University and studied Social Administration. Her first job was working for the Church Commissioners for England managing their Octavia Hill portfolio of properties around South London and during this period studied for her Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) qualification. In 1987 she worked for Gillingham Borough Council working on the development of the Local Plan and providing additional affordable housing in partnership with housing associations and private landlords. She moved to Rochester City Council in 1989. During this period, Alison was a founding member of the Kent Housing Partnership which undertook a volume procurement scheme across Kent, match funded by the Housing Corporation to improve value for money in development. After the formation of Medway Council, she took on the role of Assistant Director of Community and Environmental Services and her portfolio included the former Gillingham Council housing stock, Environmental Health, Registration Services, Bereavement Services, Homelessness, Housing Strategy and development and Supported Housing commissioning, an eclectic mix. In 2006 Alison became the director of Operations for Gallions Housing Association and managed all the front-line services in the former new town of Thamesmead in South London. Since retiring she has chaired Kingsnorth Parish Council and is a board member for Golding Homes in Maidstone.

Simon Banfield, Nominated by BDW

Simon brings to the CMO the benefit of nearly 20 years of financial management experience within the house building industry. An economics graduate, he qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand (now part of PricewaterhouseCoopers). After further qualifying as an Insolvency Practitioner he spent several years in Kenya carrying out investigations and receiverships for national and international lending institutions.   Since then he has held Finance Director roles in the fashion industry and with 3 of the UK’s major house builders. He has been at Barratt Developments for the last 5 years, where his relevant experience includes the logistical and legal set up of estate and block management companies on complex multi-tenure developments.   Simon is a keen road cyclist and a recent convert to motorbikes, which means he can at last keep up with his partner on her Triumph Bonneville.

Cllr Neil Shorter, Nominated by Ashford Borough Council

Bio pending.

Steven Bartlett, the first resident director nominated by the CMO Board

Originally from Essex, Steve has lived in Ashford for over 30 years and moved to Chilmington last September. With a degree in Business Studies, Steve spent most of his career in insurance, including 17 years as a Lloyd’s Broker. Community service has always been part of Steve’s life, starting at the age of 16 as a Cub Scout leader. More recently he was a Governor at Willesborough Infant and Junior Schools, and then went on to be the Finance Governor at The Norton Knatchbull School. Since retiring Steve has been able to take up new voluntary roles, working for Barnardos and Kent Police. He is married, with two grown up children, and enjoys photography, gardening and researching his family tree.



The next CMO Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 6th July 2022.
Full information available on the event page