Our Board of Non-executive Directors
The role of our non-executive directors
The Board has ultimate responsibility and control of the Group’s corporate governance and financial regulation arrangements and affairs. Its central role is to lead, direct, control, scrutinise and evaluate First Choice Homes Oldham. This includes determining strategic direction and policies, establishing and overseeing control and risk management frameworks, satisfying itself on the integrity of financial information and ensuring that First Choice Homes Oldham achieves its aims and objectives.
Ged Lucas - Board Chair and Member of New Living Homes Limited
I am proud to be the Chair of First Choice Homes Oldham, a position I have held since September 2016. However, I started working in housing in 1975 and was a Director of Housing for three Local Authorities. I finished my local government career as a Deputy Chief Executive, responsible for a wide range of areas including housing, regeneration, environment, planning, economic and community development. I was also closely involved in the development of Greater Manchester Devolution. I then went on to become an independent consultant and interim manager and prior to being with First Choice Homes Oldham, I was a Non-Executive Director with Trafford Housing Trust for four and a half years.
I have also spent three years as a nationally elected member of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), council and chaired the policy board. I am a past fellow of the Institute of Housing and I have worked with a range of national government departments and policy organisations.
I was brought up on a ‘social housing’ estate in Liverpool, although it wasn’t called that at the time. I am a great believer in people being helped - or allowed - to reach their own potential and the importance of dealing with people as they are, not where they come from.
Carl Brazier, BSc (Hons), PG Dip - Chair of Audit and Risk and Member of Investment and Development Committee
I was appointed as a Non-Executive Director in October 2015 and I am also a member of the Audit and Risk and Investment and Development Committee.
I am the Director of Housing and Customer Services at the City of Stoke-on-Trent Council where I am responsible for the management of 18,500 homes and Customer Services such as IT, Libraries, Museums, Culture, Local Centres and the Council Contact Centre. A key role I am leading on is housing growth across the city through a unique housing offer of various forms of development and regeneration, with support from Homes England, The Ministry of Housing Communities Local Government (MHCLG), developers and financial institutions.
I led on forming the council’s development and repairs companies – Fortior Homes and Unitas respectively. Stoke on Trent Council has also been awarded Housing Zone Status by the government and became the first council to be assessed by the Housing and Finance Institute as Housing Business Ready.
I also sit on the Local Government Association Housing Officer Finance Group, the MHCLG Housing Technical Group, HFI Housing Accelerators' Forum and was also an Expert Advisor for the Government’s Elphicke / House Report.
I have been listed two years in a row in Inside Housing's “Who's Who” in Local Authority Housing Development. I am a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and I have extensive experience which allows me to play an active role in First Choice Homes Oldham's delivery.
John Carleton - Chair of Investment and Development Committee and Chair of New Living Homes Limited
I was appointed as a Non-Executive Director on 21st September 2017.
I currently Chair the Investment and Development Committee and Chair of First Choice Homes Oldham's subsidiary company, New Living Homes Limited.
I am the Executive Director for Property Investment at Orbit Housing Group having specific responsibility for all property and investment activity. This includes leading the Orbit Homes teams, which act as the market housing, affordable housing and regeneration delivery arm of the Orbit Group.
My responsibilities extend to leading the Strategic Asset Management function of Orbit’s 40,000 home portfolio, involving all major planned investment programmes and any strategic disposal activity.
Hilda Kaponda FCCA, BEng (Hons), MBA - Chair of Governance and Remuneration Committee
I was appointed as a Non-Executive Director in June 2016 and I Chair the Governance and Remuneration Committee.
I am a qualified accountant with over 20 years' experience in social housing finance and I have my own consultancy company. My previous roles include Executive Director of Finance at Equity Housing Group, working as a Lead Regulator at The Housing Corporation, Group Finance Manager at Harvest Housing Group and Director of Finance and ICT at Eastlands Partnership Homes.
Previously I was on the Board of Mosscare Housing, Stockport Homes and Parkway Green Housing Trust, and was the Chair of Audit and Risk at both Stockport Homes and Parkway Green. I am currently a Board Member and Chair of Audit at Arawak Walton Housing Association.
I am involved with various community groups in Manchester. I have extensive experience and expertise in strategic management, business systems, group structures, project and finance management, audit processes and governance. In addition to my accountancy qualification I also have an MBA in Finance from Manchester Business School.
I am a mentor with One Million Mentors, currently mentoring students at Manchester Metropoliton University as part of their Ment2Be programme. My diverse skills and experience enable me to provide added value, support and contributions towards the delivery of First Choice Homes Oldham strategic objectives.
Philip Pearson, ACA - Member of Audit and Risk Committee
I was appointed as a Non-Executive Director in September 2015. I am a Member of the Audit and Risk Committee and have previously been a member of the Development Committee and the Chair of New Living Homes Limited.
Among other business interests, I am the Senior Finance Business Partner at Joseph Rowntree Foundation. This incorporates the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust which looks after 3,000+ socially rented portfolios in North Yorkshire and beyond.
I have over 25 years' experience in financial management and accounting both in practice and at all sizes of private enterprises. My areas of interest are finance and audit and risk management.
I assisted with the design and set up of the Development Committee management information and development of graphical board financial papers, to ensure all Non-Executive Directors can understand and contribute.
I am a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Amanda Harris, BA (Hons) Law, MBA - Member of Governance and Remuneration Committee
I was appointed as a Non-Executive Director in October 2018. I am a governance and legal specialist and a qualified solicitor with over 20 years' experience in the public and housing sectors. I now have my own consultancy and bring to the Board significant knowledge of governance, corporate management, strategic planning and regulatory compliance.
I have had a diverse and wide range of roles including Director of Business Assurance and Company Secretary at First Ark with responsibility for robust governance, company secretariat, performance management, business assurance and risk management services, Head of Investment and Infrastructure at Sefton MBC leading strategic housing, highways and transport, asset management and building services, and also as Assistant Director Safer and Stronger Communities tackling crime and disorder, ASB, domestic violence, and community cohesion. I am a strong advocate of partnership working and have developed and chaired partnerships such as the Sefton Safer and Stronger Communities Partnership, the Liverpool City Region Safer Healthier Communities Board, and New Deal for Heywood.
Throughout my career I have been involved with services and partnerships which have at their core the aim of enabling and supporting people and communities to be their best. I am excited to be part of an organisation that has a strong customer focus, believes in social responsibility and is enabling environments that allow communities to thrive.
Mumtaz Ali, BSc (Hons), ACCA, FCCA - Member of Audit and Risk Committee
I was appointed as a Co-optee in September 2015 and as a Non-Executive Director in November 2015. In my position as a Non-Executive Director, I am keen on helping First Choice Homes Oldham to continue to provide a high-quality housing services to the residents of Oldham. I am also a member of the Audit and Risk Committee.
I have lived in Rossendale, Lancashire for over 40 years. I graduated from Salford University in 1994 and qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant in 2001.
I have a BSc (Hons) Economics Qualified ACCA in 2001 and Awarded FCCA in 2006.
I have over 20 years' experience of working in Finance especially in the Public Sector, having worked in the NHS, Probation Services, Education and Housing.
Jean Mira - Member of Audit and Risk Committee and Governance and Remuneration Committee
My appointment as a Non-Executive Director commenced on 1 October 2018. I have lived in Oldham all my life in Social Housing and I understand the need for good housing and the positive change it can make to people’s lives.
I currently work for Bury Council Communities and Wellbeing Department dealing with Recruitment and HR. My previous position was with the Street Lighting Department of Bury Council where I was part of a £4m LED street lighting replacement programme as well as supervising contractors, ordering materials and invoicing. I have also worked in the Housing, Governance and Strategy Section dealing with all aspects of Housing Governance, policy and housing allocations.
Previous to working for Bury Council, I worked as General Manager/Technical Director in the private sector. My responsibilities were for the general day to day running of companies including HR, recruitment, accounts and buildings.
I have a BTEC Level 3 in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Certificate Legal Studies (Open), Certificate Humanities (Open) and a NCFE in Business Administration and many more gained over 40 years of employment and a huge amount of experience in management and HR.
Ronnie Clawson BSc (Hons), CIPD - Member of Audit and Risk Committee
I was appointed as a Non-Executive Director on 1 October 2018 and am also a member of the Audit Committee.
I bring over 20 years’ experience as an Executive and Non-Executive Director in the social housing and charitable sectors, having served as a senior manager and Board Member of various housing organisations over that period. I was also for many years a trustee of a pension scheme with a fund of over £100m and was Vice Chair of a charity supporting young, vulnerable people at risk of homelessness in London.
I now have my own company providing interim executive and consultancy support to housing organisations and most recently worked with the Boards and Chief Executives of the Anchor Trust and Hanover Housing.
Before this I was the Executive Director of Corporate Services for the Riverside Group and for the Peabody Trust, two of the largest social housing providers in the country. I led the IT, HR, Governance, Procurement, Communications and Marketing and Customer Service functions of those organisations.
Before working in housing I was Head of Employee Relations and Equality and Diversity in the Crown Prosecution Service. I have a degree in Economics and Psychology and a post-graduate professional qualification in Personnel and Development.
I bring a range of skills, leadership and strategic management experience to the role of Board member at FCHO with particular expertise in transformation and change management, mergers and acquisitions, human resources, service improvement, procurement, governance and compliance.
Ron Smith - Member of Investment and Development Committee
I was appointed as a co-optee to the Board on 1st October 2018 and appointed as a Non-Executive Director on 7th August 2019.
I have lived and worked in Oldham all my life, I have recently retired as a Nurse having worked in NHS for 40 years.
I have been a tenant for over 25 years and I have a really good understanding of local issues.
My role on the Board will be to provide a unique tenant insight into how First Choice Homes Oldham can change lives in Oldham and our communities for the better.
I have been involved in a number of tenant groups including Barker Street Tenants Group, First Estate Agreement with First Choice Homes Oldham and other partners, local and sounding boards, Repairs and Aids and Adaptations groups and more recently the First Choice Homes Oldham Customer Congress.
I firmly believe that customers should receive a high quality service from First Choice Homes Oldham and the Board should ensure that First Choice Homes Oldham continues to be an excellent housing provider.
Barbara Brownridge BA (Hons), Dip TP - Member of Investment and Development Committee
I was appointed as a Non-Executive Director in April 2019. I was previously appointed to the Board in May 2011 and was Chair of the Governance and Remuneration Committee and was a member of the Audit and Risk Committee from 2013 to 2015. I left the FCHO Board in April 2018 due to a change in the administrative leadership team at OMBC.
I became a Councillor for Chadderton North Ward in 2010 having been involved in local politics for over 30 years. I moved to Oldham in 1972 and I am committed to making Oldham the best place it can be and to provide homes across all tenures.
In my professional life, I worked in the development industry and have a particular interest in housing and have been chosen to sit of the FCHO Board as a result of that experience.
Clare Doyle, BA (Hons) MRICS - Co-optee Member of Investment and Development Committee and Board Member of New Living Homes Limited
I was appointed as a Non-Executive Director in June 2016 up to February 2017. I was subsequently appointed as a co-optee member of the First Choice Homes Oldham Development Committee and as a Non-Executive Director of New Living Homes Limited Board since its start in 2016.
I am the Director of Strategy and Business Development at Perito Property Limited who are a Surveying and Property Consultancy who provide advice on affordable housing development and asset management.
I am a Chartered Surveyor with significant housing and property experience and have spent over 25 years working for in the housing and property fields for local authorities, housing associations and in the commercial sector.
I am a member of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) and I am one of their Licensed Assessors.
My specific experience lies in the areas of property development, asset management, maintenance and regeneration.