Board members

Alan Beswick

Society Secretary

A board member since 2018, and resident of Headingley since 1980, Alan has shared the delight of many other Headingley residents in the success of HEART and other HDT initiatives.  Having worked in the transport planning sector for over 30 years he provided pro-bono advice to groups such as the Headingley Network Transport Group and the Ash Road Area Residents Association, designing the traffic management schemes now in place around Chapel Street and  surrounding Headingley Mount. He is a firm believer in the importance of developing sustainable local communities if we are to achieve attractive, liveable cities designed for people and not for cars.

In addition to his Society Secretary role he looks after HDT’s social media and is involved in the Headingley Homes and Graffiti Group initiatives.

Alan Beswick

Hazel Dimsdale


Hazel brought up her family in the Headingley area. Since taking early retirement from her career in HMRC she has been a HEART volunteer and has now joined HDT board as Treasurer and is a member of its Finance Committee. She was Treasurer of the After-School club as well as the PTA when her son went to Headingley Primary school in the 1990s. She also attended the school in the 1960s (when it was known as Bennett Road school) and has fond memories of the building and is pleased that it has been put to good use within the community as HEART.

Hazel Dimsdale

John Hall

It is 50 years since John first arrived in Leeds from Bolton to go to university. Three years ago he returned to live here and discovered the work of HDT and the evolving community in Headingley. He joined the board of HDT in 2019.

John has always made efforts to be directly involved in his local community. In 2005 he helped set up a wireless broadband network for Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, a not for profit organisation, run by volunteers in which he is still involved and chair’s its board. He was also a board member of the Swaledale Festival from 2002 – 14 and has since put his career as a film maker and web designer to good use on behalf of HDT.

John would like to help ensure that HDT works inclusively for the whole of the community. He is keen to help develop local partnerships and collective enterprise to deliver our projects and believes the recent HIF funding will allow us to provide further schemes.

John Hall

Isobel Mills


Most of Isobel’s career as a Civil Servant was spent delivering economic regeneration programmes at European, national and local level, which included trying to convince Whitehall that policies made in SW1 did not always (if ever) fit neatly with the needs of Yorkshire neighbourhoods.  In retirement she is, amongst other things, the Chair of the Leeds Credit Union, Chair of the Leeds Citizens Advice Bureau and a Director of the Key Fund. 

As a long term Headingley resident she has taken great pleasure and pride in watching HDT and HEART blossom and looks forward to playing a far more active part in future developments.

Isobel Mills

Ed Manley

In his day job, Ed is a professor of urban geography at the University of Leeds, where he spends a lot of time talking about making cities better places to live. His membership on the board of HDT allows him to put his money where his mouth is, and work more actively to improve our local neighbourhood, and meet HDT’s collective ideals of cooperation and collaboration. 

Ed is a passionate urbanite, but particularly interested in promoting walkable streets, inclusive, diverse neighbourhoods, and vibrant town centres. He is a recent arrival to Headingley, where he is bringing up a young family – but spent two years here in the 2000s as a student, during which he managed to move between five houses – so he has plenty of experience of the area!

Claude Saint-Arroman

Claude moved to Headingley with her family three years ago and was taken by its vibrant atmosphere and diversity. She is a professional architect and academic, with a special interest in the way communities form and work together. 

Claude joined the HDT graffiti group and the Zero Carbon Headingley steering group a year before joining the board of HDT in 2020. She is most active in areas where urban statutory policies and the nature of everyday life need reconciliation. This includes planning, together with urban interventions that give priority to pedestrians and cyclists, with particular focus on the way we relate to nature and the vast agendas of sustainability (including waste management and green infrastructures). She believes that pedestrian accessibility enhances caring and fosters an experience of belonging to the area. She is also developing a keen interest in gardening and is currently experimenting with combining landscape features and utilitarian crops under the shade of existing trees.

Claude Saint-Arroman

John Chandler

I left London and came to live in Headingley in 1989 and have since had the pleasure of watching this community, as represented by the Development Trust, grow and develop under the careful guidance of previous directors. All I have done so far is invest in their abilities and skills and watch the results of their decisions over many years, have such a positive impact in and around Headingley (HEART, The Greengrocer, the Farmer’s Market, etc).

Given that I retired in March 2022 I now have the time available to take a more active role in the HDT decision-making processes, organization and structures that help to ensure that Headingley remains such a good place to live.

My training and career as an accountant with financial applications and finance systems allows me to understand how good financial practice can be used to provide perspective to any organization.

Numbers are important in the analysis of performance and can be used to provide historic results and also to support decision-making and forward predictions.

Archie Wright-Beattie

A lifelong resident of Headingley and recent graduate in Politics and Social Policy at The University of Leeds, I have always appreciated Headingley’s multifaceted nature and the vibrancy of the community. Yet, it was not until undertaking my degree I realised the positive contribution and legacy such an area can have. With a keen interest in cycling, reimaging the urban environment and community cohesion I now plan to undertake a Masters Degree in Town Planning. By doing this I hope to help continue the championing of these ideas within our locality, as well as further afield. 

Headingley is a warm and welcoming place, allowing residents and visitors to form fond memories and meaningful relationships within it. This is a crucial aspect of Headingley’s unique nature and what motivated me to join HDT. The area’s diverse, collaborative and sociable nature has helped shape my perceptions of what a community can and should be, including much of the work carried out by HDT. This positive contribution towards the locality and wider society is something I greatly admire and look forward to being part of. 

Join Us !

We are always looking for new board members, and if you think you might like to join us that would be great. There’s a brief account of what it might be like here – The HDT Board Experience