Issue - meetings
Appointment of Directors to North East Wales (NEW) Homes Board
As detailed in the recommendation.
The Chief Officer (Housing and Assets) introduced the report and explained that approval was sought for the appointment of three independent Directors to the North East Wales (NEW) Homes Board.
A recruitment exercise had been undertaken by NEW Homes during January and February 2020. There had been eight applicants in total, which were subsequently shortlisted to four, three of which accepted the invitation to attend an interview.
Following the interviews, the following candidates had been offered positions on the Board, subject to Cabinet approval:
· Geoff Davies – Lead Officer, Community Housing, Denbighshire County Council;
· Richard Weigh – Chief Finance Officer / S.151 Officer, Craven District Council; and
· Simon Finlay – Development Director, Macbryde Homes.
Collectively, all of the successful applicants, who were locally based, would bring considerable strategic and operational expertise and experience in key areas identified at the Away Day, including:
· Housing management;
· Asset management;
· Resident engagement;
· Project management;
· Pre-construction residential development and procurement;
· Delivery of housing programmes;
· Local government strategic leadership; and
· Delivery of the Council’s medium and long-term financial strategy; development of commercial ventures within a local government environment, including the development of shared ownership housing schemes.
The Chief Officer (Governance) explained that Simon Finlay was employed by a housing developer, Macbryde Homes that worked with NEW Homes. During the recruitment process it had been confirmed that there was no conflict of interest with the two roles. The Chief Officer (Housing and Assets) confirmed that when Macbryde Homes had any future dealings with NEW Homes, the work would be undertaken by a different department. The Housing Programmes Manager confirmed who he dealt with at Macbryde Homes following the appointment of Simon Finlay. He also explained that the arrangement would be monitored which Mr. Finlay was aware of.
Councillor Ian Dunbar, as Chair of the Community and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee, had submitted the following observations:
‘Could I please ask:-
- As the intended members are Officers of County Councils and one a Development Director, are they in the position of House Building in their County working in the same capacity as FCC in building homes, as section 8.00 of the report seems to contradict this in terms of appointing Independent Directors; and
- And are we lacking something in the make-up of our board as we seem to be the front runners when it comes to building New Homes.
I fully endorse the appointment of the three named individuals, as shown in section 1.04 of the report and feel that their expertise will help, and fully endorse the Cabinet Member Cllr Dave Hughes in individual decision making’.
It was acknowledged that the points raised by Councillor Dunbar had been addressed during the presentation of the report.
Councillor Hughes, as Cabinet Member for Housing, supported the recommendation.
That the appointment of three new independent Directors as Board Members for North East Wales Homes be approved.