Our Members

The Rt Hon the Lord Shuttleworth KG, KCVO, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire

Lord Shuttleworth has been Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire since 1997. He succeeded Sir Thomas Dunne as Chairman of the Association of Lord-Lieutenants in 2008.

Lord Shuttleworth was educated at Eton College and qualified as a chartered surveyor in 1970. He then worked in the City of London in private practice, specialising in commercial valuations, compulsory purchase and some town planning, before returning to Lancashire in 1977. He continued his career as a chartered surveyor in Preston until his retirement from professional practice in 1993.

In 1979, Lord Shuttleworth was appointed as a director of the Burnley Building Society. He also served as a director for the National and Provincial Building Society, becoming a Chairman in 1993. He went on to become the Deputy Chairman of Abbey National plc and served as a Director for ten years until its acquisition by Santander. He has been Chairman of the Santander UK Group Pension Scheme Trustee Company since 2005.

Lord Shuttleworth was a member of the House of Lords from 1975-1999 and, in the 2011 New Year Honours List, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. He also served as the Chairman of the Rural Development Commission, the government agency responsible for the economic wellbeing of rural areas, from 1990-1997. In 1997, he was appointed to the council of The Duchy of Lancaster, serving as Chairman from 2005 until he retired in 2014.

Appointed: January 2018

Rt Hon. Jack Straw

The Rt Hon. Jack Straw has enjoyed an esteemed political career and has close ties with Blackburn, where Star was initially founded, having served as the town’s MP for over 35 years.

Jack qualified as a barrister in the early 1970s, practicing criminal law for 2 years before he made the transition to politics. He initially served as a member of the Shadow Cabinet, where he was appointed to a number of high-profile roles, including the Opposition Spokesman on Education, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, and Shadow Home Secretary.

When the Labour Party came in to power in 1997 under the leadership of Tony Blair, Jack was already well-versed in the roles and responsibilities of being Home Secretary, and was the natural choice to take up the mantle. During his four years in office, he oversaw the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act and the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into British law.

In 2001, Jack was appointed to the role of Foreign Secretary, a role he held until 2006. He played a leading role in shaping foreign policy and facilitating international relations.

Jack continued to play a pivotal role in the Labour Party, becoming Leader of the House of Commons from 2006-2007, and then Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice from 2007 to 2010. He was the first Lord Chancellor since the 16th century to serve in the role whilst a member of the House of Commons.

Jack retired from front-bench politics in 2010, but remains a staunch believer in the transformative power of education and an influential advocate for young people. He is a Visiting Professor at the University College London School of Public Policy, the Governor of Blackburn College and, from May 2015, has been Chairman of the Blackburn Youth Zone.

Appointed: December 2016

Martin Ainscough CBE, DL

Martin grew Ainscough Crane Hire into the UK’s largest and most successful crane business, prior to its sale in 2007. He is chairman of the Ainscough Group of Companies which invests in and owns a wide range of business interests including property investment, finance and private equity companies.

Throughout his business life, he has been particularly active in the charitable and local community fields, setting in chain a number of projects. Since retiring from the crane business, he has applied his time and resources with aplomb, significantly increasing the tempo, scale and depth of his charitable activities.

His interest in promoting youth goes beyond traditional avenues of support and he was the principal driving force in proposing, designing, building and operating the Wigan Youth Zone. He contributed £3.8 million to spearhead the Youth Zone’s development and currently chairs the board of directors. This facility has provided a significant lifeline to thousands of children and young people in the Wigan Borough area, generating a safe environment in which to socialise, undertake vocational development, participate in sport and interact with qualified youth organisers.

Martin is also a business ambassador of University Technical College, Wigan, a teaching and educational facility which provides vocational training courses, with a particular focus on the renewable energy and food manufacturing industries. Working in close cooperation with the concept’s founder, Lord Baker, Martin has overseen the transformation of the former Rushton Warehouse in Wigan Town Centre into a state-of-the-art academic facility, focussing on the need to prepare young people for meaningful and sustainable employment.

Martin has also supported the City of the Angels Foundation for a number of years. This project is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil and is run by a Catholic priest, Father Pat Clarke. This charity helps the street children of Sao Paulo get off the streets and into a safe and caring environment.

Appointed: June 2018

Kamruddin Kothia (Chair)

With a strong background in telecommunications, Kam established eBusiness UK Ltd in 1998 to supply e-commerce, e-marketing and website design solutions to SMEs in the North West. eBusiness UK is now renowned as one of Lancashire’s premier digital agencies. It specialises in helping businesses generate great investment returns from their online channels. With over a dozen years of frontline digital experience, eBusiness UK has delivered over 300 online solutions and won numerous awards along the way.

Kam is currently the Chair of Star Academies’ Board of Trustees and Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire. His previous commitments have included being a Director of Business Link, Vice Chairman and Director of the Asian Business Federation and a Director of the East Lancashire Partnership. Kam was also a founding member and Chair of the North West Development Agency’s North West Ethnic Minority Business Forum, and also played an integral role in establishing the Department for Trade and Industry’s Ministerial Ethnic Minority Business Forum.

Appointed: August 2010

Harry Catherall

Harry was appointed as Chief Executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council in September 2012. An accountant by profession, Harry’s career in local government spans more than three decades. He started as a 16-year-old modern apprentice at Tameside Council and then subsequently left to join the Audit Commission, before moving to Stockport and becoming a Head of Service. He joined Blackburn with Darwen Council in 1997 as it prepared for unitary status, moving from social services to become a member of the Corporate Management Team, where he served as Deputy Chief Executive before his promotion to CEO.

Harry has been responsible for delivering nationally-recognised health integration, including pioneering a free leisure initiative, and he also managed the multi-million pound Building Schools for the Future programme. He oversaw the Council’s initial transformation and downsizing programme, responding creatively to a £40m reduction in funding. His vision is to see significant progress in outcomes for children, young people and the local community, and he believes a quality infrastructure is instrumental to having a positive impact for residents of the Borough, including a higher standard of education, increased income levels, better standards of health and more job opportunities.

Appointed: June 2014

Faruk Dasu

Faruk has worked in Further Education and in the private sector. He has been involved in the pharmaceutical industry for several years, working for multinational companies including Daichi Sankyo, Sanofi Aventis and Novonordisk in various sales, marketing and training positions. He is currently employed as a key account manager for a Spanish-based pharmaceutical company called Almirall. Earlier in his career, he operated as a degree-level Curriculum Manager and Departmental Head in the Further Education sector.

Faruk has chaired a number of school Governing Bodies and is currently the Chair of Governors at the Olive School, Blackburn.

Appointed: August 2010

Mohamed Isap

Mo Is Group Strategy Director at Hobs PLC. With over 30 operations across the UK, Hobs are the country’s largest provider of 3D technology. As part of the Group Board, Mo leads the development of business strategy and innovation across a global market including new ventures, acquisition and market development. Mo established MPG in 1997, and it rapidly grew into the North West’s largest independent digital print company, listed in the Financial Times 100 fast-track companies. The business was sold in 2013. Mo has also founded Business Plus and Create Plus as Social Enterprises, harnessing the talents of the business community to serve charitable causes.

Mo is a trained Accountant, has an MBA, and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management.

Mo is Chair of Blackburn with Darwen’s Local Strategic Partnership, the town’s largest and most influential partnership body, which is made up of representatives from the public sector, local business and the faith, community and voluntary sector. Mo has previously been a non-executive Director of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and, for six years, served on the Department for Trade and Industry’s Ethnic Minority Business Forum. He was instrumental in bringing a significant amount of national funding into the region to support business and entrepreneurship. He has been on the Corporation Board at Blackburn College for 6 years and was the Chair of Governors at Wensley Fold Church of England School for 8 years. He is currently the Chair of Governors for Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School.

Appointed: August 2010

Sir Michael Wilshaw

With an unwavering commitment to improving standards in education, Sir Michael is best known for his role as Ofsted’s Chief Inspector.

Prior to being appointed by Ofsted, Sir Michael was a successful head teacher of a number of schools in Inner London. He became particularly well known for Mossbourne Academy in Hackney, East London, where he transformed one of the poorest performing schools in Britain into one of the highest performing. In 2000 he was knighted by the Queen for Services to Education.

Between 2007 and 2012, whilst still executive principal of Mossbourne Academy, Sir Michael was appointed as Director of Education at Ark, a large multi-academy trust.

In January 2012 he took up a five-year term of office as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools, Children’s Services and Skills, responsible for all of Ofsted’s inspection and regulatory work in England, using the full range of inspection findings to report on the quality of education and care both locally and nationally.

As a result of introducing more demanding inspection frameworks during his tenure, Sir Michael was pleased to report that nearly two million more children and young people were being educated in good and outstanding schools at the end of his term in office than when he took up his position in 2012.

He is currently Professor of Education at St Mary’s University, and Senior Adviser to the GEMS International Schools Group.

Appointed: April 2019

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