The Gateshead Housing Company’s Board is made up of five local tenants (representing all of the borough), five councillors and five independent members.
Board meetings, which are open to the public, are held bi-monthly.
Agendas and papers for all meetings are available to download. For further information about the company’s Board or meetings, contact the Governance and Risk Lead.
The Board’s primary role is to set the future direction of the company, including agreeing the corporate plan with Gateshead Council and establishing policies and procedures to achieve that plan.
Since 2004, members of the Board have been influential in decisions which have changed the lives of thousands of tenants and leaseholders including:
- the transfer of over 100 employees from the Council to housing support services and sheltered;
- bringing the repairs and maintenance contract in house and transfer of 400 employees from Mears and the Council
- agreeing a 5-year Corporate Plan for 2018-23
Tenant Board Members
Elizabeth Bird – a tenant from Windy Nook who has lived in Gateshead for over 30 years. She previously lived in Wrekenton and Harlow Green before moving to her current sheltered accommodation.
Elizabeth has been involved in a wide range of housing company activities. She has previously been a member of the Customer Scrutiny Panel and is currently a member of the ASB Service Improvement Group and the Complaints Panel.
Sheila Bouitieh – Deputy Chair of Board – has been a tenant since April 2000. She has previously been involved with the Customer Scrutiny Panel and is currently a member of the Involvement Service Improvement Group and Complaints Panel.
She is an experienced lawyer, having worked on many claims cases here and in London. Through her previous roles she has organised conferences in the Houses of Parliament.
Alan Guest – has lived in a Council property all his life and been a Gateshead tenant since 2011. Alan was a member of the Customer Scrutiny Panel until his appointment to the Board and is a volunteer champion with Healthwatch Gateshead.
Alan is an Expert by Experience where he accompanies Care Quality Commission inspectors in helping them compile reports on the standard of care provision. He is also the Secretary of the Sunniside and District History Society.
Helen Hall – has been a tenant since August 1998 and was previously a member of the Customer Scrutiny Panel.
Helen has extensive experience of the voluntary sectors with children’s, cancer and older persons’ charities, including time as the district chairperson for the NSPCC.
She has also had several articles and stories published in a variety of different newspapers and magazines.
Ian McKenzie – has been a Gateshead tenant for the last ten years. Ian was a member of the Customer Scrutiny Panel until his appointment to the Board and is also a member of Multi-storey Service Improvement Group.
He was the co-founder of a teenagers group who did various commitments in the community, including repair church windows and present parcels to the elderly at Christmas. Ian also previously worked as a Personal Assistant and Administrator for an interpreting company.
Councillor Board Members
Cllr John Adams – is the Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing. He was elected to the Council in 2014 as member for Saltwell ward. He also works as a special needs teacher in North Tyneside teaching children on the autistic spectrum who also have learning difficulties.
Brenda Clelland – was first elected to Gateshead Council in May 2010 and was re-elected once more in 2016, representing the Dunston and Teams ward. She’s lived in Gateshead for over 40 years and, prior to her election as a councillor, ran the constituency office for the local MP.
Michael Hood – has been a Gateshead councillor since 2008 and a member of Lamesley Parish Council since 2010. Michael served as Mayor of Gateshead in 2010/11 and is current the Vice-Chair of Planning Committee at Gateshead Council.
Leigh Kirton – has represented the Deckham ward since May 2016, having lived in Gateshead all of her life. She has been a member of the Labour Party since 2010 and currently works for Gateshead MP Ian Mearns.
Cllr Jim Turnbull – has been a councillor since 1982 for the Windy Nook and Whitehills ward. Housing is his main interest in the council, having been vice chairman of the Housing Committee for 15 years.
Independent Board Members
Jim Coulter – Chair of Board – had a long career in social housing culminating in 17 years as Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation.
Since leaving the NHF he has been a non-executive Board Member of a number of national and local public bodies, including as Chair of Bridging NewcastleGateshead, the housing market renewal partnership between the two Councils.
Jim was Chair of Byker Community Trust for six years and has also been involved with a number of charities and voluntary organisations concerned with homelessness, social care and child poverty. He also volunteers at his local foodbank.
Joanne Carr – is currently a County Councillor for Burnopfield and Dipton, and she chairs Dipton Community Partnership. Joanne is particularly interested in environmental issues and strongly supports the protection of the Derwent Valley.
Joanne, also previously Business Development Manager at New College Durham, brings not only her business development expertise to the company, but also an extensive knowledge of energy-saving initiatives for local residents.
George Clark – was previously Chief Internal Auditor and Head of Risk Management and Insurance for Newcastle City Council, and prior to his forced retirement worked for the Audit Commission as an Inspector and Performance Specialist.
He is our current chair of Audit Committee, bringing his considerable expertise and knowledge to the role, ensuring the company is meeting its risk management and control responsibilities.
Eileen Gill – was previously Group Director of Corporate Services for Karbon Homes (then the Isos Group) for six years.
Prior to that, Eileen had extensive experience in housing management, repairs, maintenance, care and support services as Operations Director for Enterprise 5 Housing Association and as an Area Housing Manager for Newcastle City Council.
She was also a Senior Lecturer in housing policy and management at Northumbria University and has served on the Board of South of Tyne and Wear Community Health Services.
Tracy Harrison – is the Chief Executive of the Northern Housing Consortium.
As well as working at the consortium, which represents the views of housing organisations in the North of England, Tracy has sales, marketing and product development experience in the private sector and social housing.
She is also a trustee of Age UK North Tyneside.
Alison Stanners – has been a Director at Big Jigsaw Ltd since 2010 and was Managing Director of NomadE5 Housing Association from 2007-2010. She has worked in socially focussed businesses for more than 30 years and housing has always been at the heart of that work. Most recently Alison has been working with housing organisations who are engaging with the Regulator, for In Depth Assessments, to become registered, and to undertake assessments of regulatory compliance. The committee also recommended that Alison replace Joanne Carr as an independent director when Joanne steps down at the AGM in September.
Thomas Sutton – has been Customer Services Strategic Lead at Incommunities Bradford since December 2018. He is a committed social housing professional who has received national recognition for his strong leadership. He was originally from Gateshead and has recently returned to the area after a decade away.
Meetings and minutes
Board meetings, which are open to the public, are held bi-monthly. For further information about the company’s Board or meetings, email the Governance and Risk Lead or call 0191 433 5308.