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Our Board

Sam Matthews, Chairman

Sam studied architecture and then town planning in Manchester and Glasgow before starting work with Liverpool City Council in 1970. He moved to Derbyshire with his family in the 1980s and became director of technical services at Erewash Borough Council. On retiring, he pursued his interest in environmental and regeneration issues and joined the Board of Groundwork Erewash Valley which he later chaired. Sam trained as a generalist adviser with the Citizens’ Advice Bureau which gave him the opportunity to join the Board of Peak District Rural Housing Association (PDRHA). He and his wife, Sue, have three grown-up children and two, soon to be three, grandchildren. His interests include sport, walking and the arts.

Barry Foster

Barry was the principal of Hope Valley Community College for 15 years and on retirement launched and chaired the Peak District Deprivation Forum, raising awareness of problems faced by people living in rural areas and trying to find solutions. He joined Peak District Rural’s Board as he was concerned about the problems less well off people faced in finding affordable housing close to their roots. He was vice-chair of Derbyshire Housing Aid and chairs the voluntary group that publishes the Wirksworth community paper.


Colin Nicol

A qualified chartered accountant, Colin worked for a small firm of management consultants before becoming financial director of an engineering company in Chesterfield. After a management buy-out in 1987, the company was sold in 1995 but he remained as financial director until his retirement in 2001.  He joined Peak District Rural in 2005 when the association was building two affordable houses in his home village, Over Haddon, where he is a parish councillor. Colin enjoys golf, travel and charity work.

 Anne Croasdell

 Anne studied at the Laban Art of Movement Centre and after a brief spell teaching, worked with the young unemployed in SW Coventry. After 12yrs as a Youth and Community worker she moved to the Peak District becoming a Parish Councillor and started the long battle for affordable housing in the village. More recently Anne has spent the last 9yrs. leading the village playgroup but has given that up in favour of starting an OU degree in Social Sciences.   She is currently secretary of the Youlgrave Community Land Trust, formed to carry forward the Youlgrave Village Plan.

Heather Clifton Smith

Now retired, Heather spent 25 years managing Mid-Derbyshire Citizens’ Advice Bureau and therefore has experience of dealing with the problems people face day to day.   Heather believes that the work of PDRHA is essential and a very effective way of ensuring that social housing is available now and in the future.  Heather also chairs a local charity that runs a workshop for disabled people. She enjoys walking and sailing, especially when the sun shines.

Jason Hails
A former policeman serving throughout Derbyshire, Jason has lived in the county and North Staffordshire since he was 13. He has been a councillor with Staffordshire Moorlands District Council since 1999.  Jason is chair of Hollinsclough Parish Action Group and chair of governors at the local primary school. A parish councillor, he joined Peak District Rural in 2008 and supports affordable housing in rural areas believing it helps provide vibrant communities. His interests include geology, making model steam engines and reading. 

John Pritchard

John has been a councillor at High Peak Borough Council since 1971 and chairs the audit and regulatory committee. He is a member of Whaley Bridge Town Council and chairs the town’s Amenity Society. He wants to increase the supply of affordable homes for people unable to afford 'market' homes to regenerate the local economies. His hobbies include walking, gardening and watching football and cricket. John is a Freeman of the City of Oxford and an Honorary Townsman of Whaley Bridge.

Malcolm Roper

A retired civil servant, Malcolm has lived in the Peak District on and off since 1975. He takes an active interest in village affairs and, among other things, is a parish councillor and trustee of his local village hall. Following a controversial planning application for affordable homes in Baslow, he became involved in planning issues and has followed developments in both local and central Government policy ever since. He enjoys the arts and walking in the area.

Ian Fullilove

Ian works as a Policy Planner for the Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA).

After qualifying, he first worked as a Minerals Enforcement Planner before moving into practical environmental work with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV).  After 18 months voluntary work for BTCV and the National Trust in Leeds and West Cumbria he managed a community environmental project in Hull and a countrywide environmental project in Leicestershire (both for BTCV).

Ian moved to the Peak District in 1997 and worked freelance as a drystone waller and general landscape contractor before joining the PDNPA as a Village Planner in 2001.

Ian is married and lives in Bradwell.  His interests include hiking, cycling, trekking abroad, playing cricket, watching theatre and live music and dancing a variety of styles.

Wendy Bullar

Wendy works on a freelance basis and has many years' experience in community arts and community development; helping local groups to achieve their goals and supporting them in finding the necessary funding.  Within Peak District Rural, Wendy aim to encourage residents’ involvement in all aspects of the organisation. She is active in village projects to mitigate climate change and is involved in local village life, enjoying walking the nearby hills with her dog. Wendy also keeps cattle and hens.

Peak District Rural Housing Association
Registered Office:
First Floor, Cromford Mill, Mill Road, Cromford, Derbyshire, DE4 3RQ

Tel: 01629 826040 Fax: 01629 826468

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