Your Board

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under Governance - Board.

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 strategic 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:

  • Agreeing an investment programme that improved thousands of local homes
  • Agreeing a lettings standard that ensures properties are safe, secure, clean and in good condition when they are let
  • Helping to develop a choice-based lettings service, which changed the way homes are let
  • Improving HomeRepairs so that nine out of ten tenants are now happy with the service
  • The introduction of a tenant reward scheme which allowed customers to make improvements to their homes.

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.

Robert Buckley – a tenant in the Teams area, is a member of the Disabled Persons’ Housing Forum and the Involvement, HomeRepairs and Value for Money Service Improvement Groups.

He chairs the Service Improvement Group Steering Group. Robert is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Sight Service and is a former member of the Bridging Newcastle Residents Panel.

Sheila Bouitieh – 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 House of Lords and House of Commons.

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.

The fifth tenant board member position is currently vacant.

Councillor Board Members

Paul Foy – Board Chair – has been a town and local councillor in Birtley since 1992. He is currently employed as an Office Manager for a local MP and has over 20 years’ previous experience as a housing professional.

Paul is Vice-chair of Gateshead Council’s Corporate Vitality Committee, Chair of the Grants and Awards Panel and a member of the Planning, Audit and Appeals committees.

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

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.

Mick Davison OBE – is a qualified Management Accountant with experience in the private, not-for-profit and charitable sectors. He also worked in central government, with over ten years’ experience as a Senior Civil Servant.

He combined a successful career with considerable involvement in community and charitable activities and was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to the sick and disabled.

Eileen Gill – Deputy Chair of Board – 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 currently Commercial Director 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.

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.