Our team

The Senior Management team at ALCS consists of:
Profile picture of Barbara Hayes

Barbara started her career in direct marketing. Having spent seven years in the US designing and marketing properties, she returned to the UK to work within the International Department of a major multinational HR consultancy.

Barbara joined the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society in January 2004 where she focussed initially on HR. She then took over responsibility for Communications and Membership, looking at ways in which ALCS raises its profile amongst the membership, potential members and the public in general and devising successful marketing and membership recruitment strategies.

She has also been involved with the work of the All Party Writers Group, seeking opportunities to bring issues regarding writers to the attention of the appropriate parliamentarians.

Barbara represented ALCS for a number of years on the Board of The Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) or Société des Auteurs Audiovisuels. In November 2015 Barbara became Chair of the SAA.

In 2016 Barbara became Chair of PLR International.

Barbara Hayes
Executive Director and Chief Executive
Profile picture of Alison Baxter

Alison joined ALCS in 2000 as a ‘royalties administrator’, took the role of membership secretary shortly afterwards, and moved into the communications department in 2004. In 2014 she became Head of Communications at ALCS.

Alison has a CIM marketing diploma, is a qualified project manager and has a background in visual arts. Her team at ALCS have overseen the development of several websites, organised more than 18 AGM’s around the country (and more recently online) and sent several million copies of ALCS News to members via email.

She’s been asking members to give ALCS their email addresses for the last 20 years and hasn’t given up yet.

Her spare time is mainly devoted to chasing her two children and a wayward dog around the park.

Alison Baxter
Head of Communications
Profile picture of Richard Combes

Richard joined the ALCS legal team in 2002, having previously worked in private practice, and became Head of Rights and Licensing in 2007.

His work at ALCS focuses on the development of collective rights and licensing schemes in the UK and internationally, aimed at providing writers with fair remuneration for the re-use of their work. This role involves a significant degree of partnership and collaboration with other UK writers’ organisations and licensing bodies as well as authors’ societies and collecting agencies around the world.

Richard’s department is also responsible for engaging with UK and EU policy on copyright and authors’ rights – an area of growing prominence on the political agenda – by drafting responses to government consultations, preparing Ministerial briefings and setting the agenda for the All Party Writers’ Group.

Richard represents ALCS on the Boards of the British Copyright Council and the Educational Recording Agency, of which he is currently Vice-Chair.

Richard Combes
Head of Rights and Licensing and Deputy Chief Executive
Profile picture of Mark Bispham

Mark is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and a graduate of the University of Kent. He joined ALCS in 2015 and is also a non-executive director of Ignite Film Fans.

After many years in retail and FMCG (latterly as UK Finance Director at Fosters), Mark spent the next thirteen years business partnering the owners of complex, fast-growing, entrepreneurial SME and start-up businesses in media and multi-site hospitality.

In April 2017, he became Group Chief Financial Officer for both ALCS and the Copyright Licensing Agency.

Mark Bispham
Chief Financial Officer
Profile picture of Colette Scourse

Colette joined ALCS in 2003 as Broadcast Media Manager. She subsequently took over the management of the then newly expanded Membership Services and Recruitment team. Having spent the last 15 years building the membership up to 100,000, in 2019 she became Head of Membership Services and Operations.

She looks after the customer services and membership recruitment departments as well as the published and audiovisual teams of the Operations department. Her aim is to maximise the income that writers receive from ALCS whilst providing them with a top notch customer services experience.

Colette’s previous roles include working for a management consultancy specialising in change management and internal communications where she headed up a team of project coordinators. She also spent a number of years living overseas in France, Finland and Portugal teaching English as a foreign language.

Colette lives in South London with her husband, two children and their dog.

Colette Scourse
Head of Membership Services & Operations
Profile picture of Robert Yarwood

Rob joined ALCS in 2006 as Membership Services Coordinator after flirting with a career as a publican and then a civil servant.

After growing the data analysis capability within the Member facing team, Rob switched focus to IT in 2013 to manage the ongoing support and development of the bespoke business systems used by ALCS to manage it’s member relationships, works repertoires, and our royalty collection, allocation and distribution processes.

Rob is passionate about harnessing the power of technology to benefit the non-profit sector, and more directly to deliver an easy to use and efficient, data-enabled service to ALCS Members. After delivering development and digital transformation projects over the last ten years Rob is now responsible for setting the overall technology strategy in alignment with business goals.

Robert Yarwood
Head of Technology
The ALCS Board consists of:
Profile picture of Tom Chatfield

Dr Tom Chatfield is a British author, broadcaster and tech philosopher.

Tom’s non-fiction books exploring digital culture, including How To Thrive in the Digital Age (Pan Macmillan) and Live This Book! (Penguin), have appeared in over thirty languages. His bestselling critical thinking textbooks, including Critical Thinking and How to Think (SAGE), are used in schools and universities across the world. His debut novel, This is Gomorrah (Hodder), was a Sunday Times thriller of the month, shortlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger, and won France’s 2020 Prix Douglas Kennedy for the year’s best foreign thriller. A member of the British Library Advisory Council, Tom writes, lectures and consults internationally, with a special interest in critical thinking, Artificial Intelligence and tech ethics.

Tom Chatfield
Profile picture of Helen Blakeman

Helen is a BAFTA and International Emmy Award winning writer, both of which she received for her TV screenplay adaptation of ‘Dustbin Baby’ (BBC/Kindle Entertainment) starring Juliet Stevenson, David Haig and Dakota Blue Richards. She wrote the much acclaimed and controversial film ‘Pleasureland’ for Kudos/Channel 4 (BAFTA, RTS nomination) and has scripted numerous episodes of ‘Hollyoaks’ (Lime Pictures/C4). Helen has also written for the much-loved series, ‘Call the Midwife’.

Helen began her career in theatre writing the award-winning plays – ‘Caravan’, ‘Normal’ and ‘The Morris’.

For TV, Helen is also the creator, lead writer and associate producer of the BAFTA nominated CBBC series ‘Hetty Feather’, based on the best-selling children’s novel by Jacqueline Wilson – which ran for six series.

Helen is currently writing for animation with Xilam Animation, Paris, as well as developing her own projects.

Helen is the former chair of the Children’s BAFTA committee and a trustee of the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres.

Helen joined ALCS as a Board Member in December 2021.

Helen Blakeman
Non-Executive Director
Profile picture of Kit Fan

Kit Fan is a poet, novelist and critic. His most recent poetry collection is The Ink Cloud Reader (2023).

His second collection As Slow As Possible (2018) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and The Irish Times Book of the Year.  His first collection Paper Scissors Stone (2011) won the Hong Kong University International Poetry Prize.  He was shortlisted twice for the Guardian 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize, and a winner of Northern Writers Awards for Poetry and Fiction, Times Stephen Spender Poetry Translation Prize, and POETRY’s Editors Prize for Reviewing. His debut novel is Diamond Hill (2021). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2022.

Kit Fan
Non-Executive Director
Profile picture of Maggie Gee

Maggie Gee OBE enjoyed serving writers on the ALCS Board of Directors between 2015 and 2021, and is happy to be back in 2022. Writing is a tough business and she has always thought writers are stronger when united.

She is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and has also served on the PLR Committee, the Society of Authors’ Management Committee, and the Council of the Royal Society of Literature where she was the first woman Chair and is now a Vice-President.

She has published 17 books, including The Ice People, My Cleaner, The White Family, shortlisted for the Women’s Prize (new edition with introduction by Bernardine Evaristo, 2022), My Animal Life, a writer’s memoir, Virginia Woolf in Manhattan, Blood, a satire on Brexit Britain that was on the Sunday Times’s ‘Best Literary Novels 2019’ and ‘Best Summer Reading 2019’ lists, and most recently The Red Children (2022), a fable about global warming, migration, love and the secret life of birds and animals.

She has been translated into 15 languages.

Maggie Gee
Non-Executive Director
Profile picture of Joanne Harris

Joanne Harris is the author of 19 novels, including Chocolat, as well as scripts, libretti, short story collections and cookbooks.

Her work has been published in over 50 countries and has collected a number of British and international honours and awards. She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was granted an MBE by the Queen. She has been a judge of numerous prizes, including the Orange, the Whitbread, the Desmond Elliot, the Betty Trask and the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science. An ex-teacher turned professional author, she is also currently Chair of the Society of Authors.

Joanne Harris
Non-Executive Director
Profile picture of James McConnachie

James McConnachie is a writer and journalist.

He wrote a critically acclaimed study of the Kamasutra, The Book of Love, and is the author of numerous Rough Guides, from Paris and Nepal to Conspiracy Theories and Sex. He is a Sunday Times critic, the editor of The Author (the quarterly journal of the Society of Authors) and, much to his surprise, an agony uncle for the Metro newspaper. He is currently working on a book about the Himalayas, due to be published by Bloomsbury.

James McConnachie
Non-Executive Director
Profile picture of Okechukwu Nzelu

Okechukwu Nzelu is a Manchester-based writer.

In 2015 he was the recipient of a Northern Writers’ Award from New Writing North. In 2020 his debut novel, The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney (Dialogue Books/Little,Brown), won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize, and the Polari First Book Prize.

His second novel, Here Again Now, will be published by Dialogue Books in March 2022. He is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Lancaster University.

Photo credit: Martin Glackin

Okechukwu Nzelu
Non-Executive Director
Profile picture of Di Redmond

Di Redmond has written scripts for most of the major broadcasters – Nickelodeon, CBBC, Cbeebies, ITV, CITV, Aardman TV, Channel 4 and Siriol TV Wales, in Europe she’s been commissioned by the Disney Channel, ZDF, KIKA Germany, Universal TFI France, Content Film and TV Finland, KETNET Belgium and RSK Norway, in North America she’s written for HIT NYC, the Jim Henson Company and CBC Canada.

Apart from film and television she’s worked for BBC Radio, nationally and locally, and published over 100 books with most of the major publishing houses. She’s written for the stage, has been a successful ghost writer and her on-going work Bomb Girls (a WW2 Saga series commissioned by Penguin) is rated on Amazon’s top 100 bestseller list. Di’s passion for campaigning on behalf of her fellow writers has led her to work with the All Party Writers’ Group in Parliament and the Society for Audiovisual Writers (SAA) in Europe.

Di Redmond
Non-Executive Director
Profile picture of Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas is the author of seventeen historical thrillers and adventure novels, mainly under his pen-name Tom Harper. First published in 2003, his books have since been translated into over 20 languages worldwide and featured on bestseller lists in the UK and abroad.

His books include Lost Temple, The Orpheus Descent and Black River. Recently, he has also collaborated with the South African adventure writer Wilbur Smith to continue Smith’s record-breaking Courtney series.

Edwin is a former Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Harrogate History Festival, and a director of the Historical Writers’ Association. He lives in York with his wife and two sons.

Edwin Thomas
Non-Executive Director