Report to the Board
13 March 2008
Title: Board Membership
Report of: Director of Finance
Purpose of Report
1. To inform the Board of the appointment of Richard Armitage as an Independent
Director of the Board and progress in filling Tenant Director vacancies on the
2. The Board was informed, at its meeting on 24 January 2008, that interviews for
the outstanding vacant Independent Director position were taking place and
that a number of very strong applicants had been shortlisted.
3. There are currently two Tenant Director vacancies and the Board was also
informed, at its January meeting, of the difficulties the company was having
filling these vacancies.
4. The Board agreed that in order to try to address these difficulties
Arvinda Gohill, HQN be approached about adding this issue to her brief on
Board development that she is currently undertaking;
A time limited task group consisisting of Barbara Dennis, Peter Mole and
Stan Dawson be established to consider the issue.
Appointment of Richard Armitage
5. An interview panel, consisting of the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Board and
Chair of Human Resources Committee with advice from the Chief Executive,
interviewed seven very strong applicants on 7 and 11 February 2008 and
appointed Richard Armitage as an Independent Director of the Board, subject
to satisfactory bankruptcy checks. The Interview Panel had delegated powers
to make this appointment.
6. The interview panel was very impressed by Richard’s response to the
questions and his obvious commitment to social housing.
7. Richard is currently employed as Financial Performance Manager for
Broadacres Housing Association, Northallerton, North Yorkshire and has 18
years financial experience within NYCC, NHS and Learning and Skills Councils.
8. Richard has now received a satisfactory bankruptcy check and arrangements
are being made for the initial stage of his induction. Arrangements will then be
made for Richard’s appointment to be confirmed with Companies House.
9. Richard will be present at this meeting of the Board as an observer.
Progress appointing Tenant Directors onto the Board
10. Following the last meeting of the Board, a letter was sent to a significant
number of customers within the Borough who have previously taken part in
involvement activities or are involved in the company’s Service Improvement
Groups, notifying them that there are currently two vacancies on the Board for
Tenant Directors. To date, this specific recruitment campaign has resulted in
over 30 customers requesting an information pack.
11. Arvinda Gohill, HQN has agreed to add the issue to her brief on Board
development and has suggested supporting the company in the following ways:
Provision of a critical eye on the marketing/recruitment strategy. This
could include a telephone survey with those that expressed interest,
but did not apply.
A review of our recruitment process.
Recommendations on how we may overcome any obstacles and
provision of suggestions for strategies we could employ to attract more
tenants to the Board.
12. This would involve a maximum of an additional three days work at a cost of
£750 per day.
13. Arrangements are still to be made to set up the first meeting of the time-
limited task group.
Link to Values
14. This report relates to the company value of being honest, accountable and
transparent – delivering excellent services with integrity.
Equality and Diversity Implications
15. An overall Board membership marketing campaign has been developed to
cover all groups. Information is produced in existing company publications and
media - such as the website, tenants’ newspaper, mini news, HomeChoice,
existing mailings and local press where appropriate.
16. The Director of Finance confirms that the cost of commissioning HQN to
undertake a specific piece of work around the problems the company is having
filling Tenant Director vacancies on the Board can be met from within existing
budgets. There are no other financial implications arising from this report.
Impact on Customers
17. There was no impact on customers as a result of compiling this report.
However, a number of customers have been made specifically aware of the
current Tenant Director vacancies on the Board and can apply for positions if
they meet the requirements.
Risk Management Implications
18. Board capability and in particular an inability to fill positions on the Board has
been identified as a strategic risk with a high impact. An effective Board should
have a full composition of all three sectors (i.e. Council/Tenant/Independent).
Value for Money Implications
19. There are no value for money implications directly arising from this report.
Consultation carried out
20. No consultation was necessary when compiling the information in this report.
21. The Board is asked to
(i) note the appointment of Richard Armitage as an Independent Director of
(ii) note progress made filling Tenant Director vacancies on the Board.
Contact: Stuart Gibson, Company Administrator Tel No: (0191) 433 5308