WSCLT Steering Group Members

Last updated December 2019.

Maureen Smith

Maureen Smith - Chair

Along with other volunteers, Maureen helped to found WSCLT with a grant from Forum 21, a group working for a low carbon West Somerset of which she is a board member. Maureen spent most of her school years in Bristol and Somerset. She and Chris have 2 children and 2 grandsons. After retiring they moved to Minehead and Maureen continued her environmental and political activities. She was district councillor for Minehead South from 2011 to 2015 and a Minehead town councillor for the same ward until 2019

Maureen was an occupational therapist with the NHS and Social Services, work which included adapting homes for people with disabilities. She believes “ An appropriate , affordable home is an essential basis of life for everyone. People and families cannot be active, independent members of their community unless this need is met. Community Land Trusts are one way to meet this need in a sustainable, long term manner and WSCLT intend to do so.”

Telephone: 07802 247761, ​Email:

Hester Watson

My name is Hester Watson and I have lived in Carhampton with my family for the past 30 years. I have been working as a community worker and support worker for people who need on-going help with their problems and a lot of this has involved housing issues. I started as a secretary in a housing association, then legal assistant in a law centre and worker in a womens aid refuge. I co-authored a book for the national womens aid federation called "making the break": options for women escaping domestic violence. When my children were young I moved from London to Somerset and I returned to work at the West Somerset Advice Bureau when they went to school. I started as a general adviser, specialising in debt and financial case work, and then became an advocate, representing people in tribunals and courts. I am now partially retired, involved with various community organisations and providing information on energy efficiency and fuel poverty at the Energy Saving Centre in Minehead and doing home visits for the Forum 21 energy team.

Telephone: 01643 821768, Email:

Elinor Harbridge

Elinor Harbridge joined WSCLT motivated by a lifelong commitment to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged people to live fulfilling lives in their own homes.

After a career in senior editorial positions with major international publishers, she launched her own small publishing company producing two magazines – in speech and language therapy and learning disabilities. The latter campaigns for people with learning disabilities to enjoy ordinary lives in the community and, following Elinor’s retirement in 2017, continues under the management of a dedicated charity.

Since moving to Somerset in 1996, Elinor developed an interest in environmental issues, producing a quarterly newsletter for Forum 21 for five years.

Elinor believes the values espoused by WSCLT combined with those of Forum 21 should underpin policies to meet local housing needs in a sustainable way.

Tel. 01643 822513, Email:

Jon Freeman

Jon is a retired electronics design engineer, now engaged in engineering research and publication of articles on related subjects. From 2007 to 2015 he was a West Somerset district councillor and board member of Exmoor National Park Authority.


Julie Harvey-Smith

Julie has lived in West Somerset for over a decade having retired from her career with the Post Office. Her interest in housing is a part of her wider belief in fighting for social justice in a society that works for the many, not just the few.