Speakers for Gas Safety Management Conference 2014

Barry Sheerman MP
Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Huddersfield

Barry was formerly Chairman of the House of Commons Select Committee for Children, Schools and Families from 2007 and the Education and Skills Committee from 2001-2007. He currently Chairs the Skills Commission, has extensive experience in educational issues and played a key role in education policy and debates.

Barry became involved in campaigning for improved awareness of carbon monoxide after a little boy, Dominic Rodgers, was found dead in bed by his mum, Stacey Rodgers, in his constituency. He had died from carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty boiler in a house next door. At that time Barry promised Stacey that he would never give up campaigning against unnecessary deaths by carbon monoxide. He has since campaigned constantly for greater awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, the importance of getting a regular gas safety check, and of owning a carbon monoxide alarm.

Barry’s other interests include economic affairs, environmental sustainability and transport safety. Mr Sheerman is an energetic social and political entrepreneur having initiated over 30 different social enterprises over the past 20 years. He is Chairman of Policy Connect (which runs a number of policy forums and parliamentary groups), the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Transport Safety, Urban Mines (an environmental charity), The John Clare Trust and The Dominic Rogers Trust, all of which he helped to establish. Mr Sheerman is also a Visiting Professor of Social Enterprise at the University of Huddersfield.

Martin Orrill MBA MIDHEE
Head of Energy Technology and Innovation – British Gas Business Services

Martin’s current responsibility is to assist in the deployment of Energy Efficiency, Low Carbon and Renewable products within British Gas Business Services

He has worked in the Gas industry for 38 years in a range of engineering, operational, sales, marketing and business development roles. Prior to joining the New Energy and Business Services team he was National Product Manager for British Gas which helped develop a passion for Energy efficiency low carbon and renewable opportunities.

Examples of Martin’s team’s most recent projects in the low carbon space have been partnerships and investments with the UK’s first Renewable Gas project at Didcot, Semplice, Cerespower, Econergy, Baxi, vPhase and Cool Planet.

He has a keen interest in the politics of making markets and has been instrumental in for example leading the UK’s unique transition from standard efficiency to condensing gas boilers as standard by a combination of working with and lobbying key stakeholders and government.

Martin is currently:

  • A Board Director and outgoing Chairman of the National Home Improvement Council
  • An Executive member of the Micropower Council
  • An East Midlands CBi councillor
  • A member of the Governments heat pumps standards working group
  • A member of the IDHEE since1999
  • Martin received an award of “Manager of the Year” by his peers at the Gas Industry Awards at the Park Lane Hilton

TV presenter Charlie Webster to be host for AGSM Awards Dinner

Charlotte “Charlie” Webster is a former athlete turned TV sports presenter. She started competing professionally as a runner at the age of 13, specialising in 400m and 800m distances. To aid her training, she also began studying martial arts and boxing.

Spotted by a modelling scout while competing in a boxing competition, she also began working as a model for various sporting goods campaigns. At the age of 18, she attended Newcastle University, studying English Language and Linguistics. While there, she discovered a passion for writing and performing, while at the same time continuing to model and compete as an athlete.

Having graduated from university, she moved to London to further her media career, studying acting and presenting skills while working as a personal trainer, model and magician’s assistant. In 2004, she was selected out of 1,000 people to become a presenter for Real Madrid International Television in Spain. A year later, she moved to Asia to become the region’s first female presenter of live football coverage, working for ESPN.

At the start of 2008, she relocated back to the UK to begin working for Setanta Sports. She also presents live coverage of the GP2 motor racing series for ITV.

Chris Bielby MBE
President of the AGSM & Director of New Energy & Stakeholder Engagement for the Scotia Gas Networks

Chris Bielby, a past President and Fellow of the Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers (IGEM),  has spent the past 25 years tirelessly lobbying and canvassing support for gas safety issues, particularly around carbon monoxide as chairman of the Gas Industry Safety Group, Gas Safety Trust and the Gas Task Group. He was president of the Institution in 2005.

Chris started his career as a gas engineer before moving into senior managerial roles. He is now the Director of New Energy & Stakeholder Engagement for the Scotia Gas Networks (SGN), an IGEM Industrial Affiliate (IA) member. Since joining SGN Chris has assumed strategic leadership for stakeholder engagement and innovation, both of which have benefitted enormously from his expertise, enthusiasm and positivity.

Chris is the first President of the Association of Gas Safety Managers.

Claire Heyes
Joint CEO of CORGI Technical Services

Claire is Joint CEO of CORGI Technical Services and spent eight years as Group Finance Director at CORGI before the set-up of CORGI Technical Services. She has in-depth knowledge of gas safety issues as they affect senior management in a wide range of organisations and is passionate about raising awareness of these issues at all levels.

Bond Solon

Bond Solon is the UK’s leading legal training company for non-lawyers, providing training to a broad range of public and commercial organisations. Their courses help staff to work to best practice standards and be aware of the legal framework in which they operate, so that in the event of legal problems arising, the organisation will have good evidence produced within its working systems.

Bond Solon provides accredited competency-based training to investigators, expert witnesses and lay witnesses, ensuring that those who are involved in the legal system have the skills to ensure evidence gathered is robust and (if necessary) presented effectively in legal proceedings. Bond Solon trainers are solicitors, barristers who provide a unique insight into the way in which lawyers attack and undermine the way the evidence has been collected and presented.

Rob Gray – Barrister

Rob was called to the Bar in 1993 and spent 11 years working in the Criminal Justice System. Rob practised in the field of criminal litigation, appearing for both the prosecution and defence.

Rob was commissioned as a Captain in the Adjutant General’s Corps Army Legal Services. He worked firstly for HQ Legal Branch and was then transferred to a ‘special user group’ within UK Special Forces. His dual role was to formulate a training capability and to provide operational legal advice on the group’s areas of responsibility. Rob lectured extensively throughout his time with a particular emphasis on Rules of Engagement. He also acted as the group’s liaison officer on several contentious criminal court cases and coroner’s inquests. Rob has been a Bond Solon trainer for over 10 years.

Matthew Rhodes
Managing Director, Encraft

Matthew Rhodes is Managing Director of Encraft, an engineering and building physics consultancy specialising in low carbon energy systems for buildings. Encraft works extensively with social landlords, local authorities and commercial customers developing large scale retrofit schemes and supporting leading-edge energy efficiency and distributed energy projects. Matthew founded Encraft in 2003, and has grown the company to employ 15 staff and operate internationally. Before establishing Encraft Matthew worked in engineering and management roles for companies including BP, Amerada Hess and RWE.