The East of England Rural Forum (EERF)

Together with the Forum Chair and Vice-Chairs the following members sit on the Forum’s Steering Group

Martin Collison
Martin works as a rural and agricultural policy consultant and runs his own business, Collison and Associates Limited. His work brings him into contact with a range of clients across government, business and community sectors with most of his work now focused on rural development.

He was an academic for 16 years specialising in rural policy and international trade, and still lectures part time on food markets, policy and leadership as well as supporting a number of universities with research projects on agricultural, rural and sustainable development.

In addition to rural consultancy he has business experience as a business owner/director in the farming, education and horticultural import sectors. Martin chairs the East of England Rural Forum’s Learning and Skills sub group, and is a member of the region’s Sustainable Farming and Food Industry Group, the East of England Migrant Worker Steering Group and Fens Adventurers RDPE Local Action Group.


Kate Belinis
Kate is the Chief Executive of Hertfordshire Rural Community Council and also the Chair of Hertfordshire Rural Forum.

Kate is passionate about supporting and developing communities through the work of her rural team and specialists in transport, training, village halls advice and community led planning.  Kate also chairs the Herts Strategic Engagement Task Group which aligns itself to the work of the county wide Local Strategic Partnership.  Her other interests are social enterprise training; infrastructure support to Black and Minority Ethnic communities and advocate for rural affairs as a partner in several local strategic partnerships!

Her regional activities are Board member of Rural Action East and Chair of MENTER (Minority Ethnic Network in The Eastern Region).


Frances Bedding
Frances is the External Funding Manager for Suffolk County Council and has worked in Suffolk and Norfolk for the last 12 years – before that she worked in Hertfordshire and LB of Greenwich on town planning issues and economic development.  She has worked on European, economic development and community projects since coming to Suffolk and she has a particular interest in rural development.  Frances has been a member of the East of England Rural Forum since 2006.  She is currently working on embedding the EEDA Economic Participation Programme within Suffolk CC which was transferred to the authority in April 2008.