Our Board sets the strategic direction of the business.
Meet our Board
Our board is made up of six independent members, two members nominated by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and three tenant Board members.
Tenants: We Need You
What do you think Tai Calon could do to improve its services?
What do you think about building new homes, or even improving existing ones to make them more energy efficient?
Would you like to develop new skills, make a great career move and earn a salary?
If you have answers to these questions – or have some questions of your own, we’d like to see you join our Board.
We welcome applicants from all areas of life, especially people with an independent mind.
Customer service is the most important part of our business and understanding the services we provide from a tenant perspective is vital.
You will also need:
- A keen eye for how our services are run;
- a strategic view on whether they provide good value for money; and
- a solid understanding of what issues are most important to tenants
- around 7 hours on average each month to prepare for and attend meetings, and training, and;
- a clear rent account.
In return we will offer you £5,000 per year salary; training and support to grow as a Board Member and give you the chance to give something back to your community.
Some important things to note:
- You should be aware that salary may affect any state benefits that you receive – you will need to confirm this with the Department of Work & Pensions.
- The successful candidate will need to become a share member. You will not need to be a share member to apply
- You will need to attend our 2-hour ‘Becoming A Board Member’ training course this summer – please let us know if you want to attend by midday on Friday 18 June 2021.
- The closing date for applications is mid-July 2021
- Shortlisting will take place by end July 2021
- Shortlisted applicants will need to be assessed against our skills requirements and take part in a short telephone call with our CEO, Howard Toplis who will explain about the role.
- Candidates will be selected by tenant vote in August 2021.
- We can only accept applications from tenants with a clear rent account.
To book your place on the ‘Becoming A Board Member’ course please contact Emma Assender, Governance Manager via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Becoming A Board Member training – July 2021
This 2 hour session will tell you all the basics about being a Board member:
- Where the Board fits within Tai Calon
- What it’s required to do for Welsh Government
- What the role of the tenant Board member is (and what it isn’t)
- What we need from tenants: their insight and viewpoint
- Time commitments
- A chance to chat about your skills and experience
- Time to chat with some of our Board members
- You won’t be expected to continue if you decide that being a Board member isn’t for you, but anyone interested will need to attend this course first.
Board members at Tai Calon Community Housing share responsibility for:
- Setting strategic objectives and agreeing the plans to achieve those objectives
- Approving the budget and accounts
- Monitoring performance against agreed plans and budgets; and
- Making sure that the affairs of the organisation are conducted in a proper manner (governance).
Our Board Members are governed by the Rules of the organisation.
Board meeting dates for 2021/22
(All meetings are on a Monday and start at 5pm).
- 8 February 2021
- 29 March 2021
- 10 May 2021
- 21 June 2021
- 26 July 2021
- 20 September 2021
- 1 November 2021
- 13 December 2021
- 7 February 2022
- 28 March 2022
If you would like to attend a meeting please contact Emma Assender, Governance Manager on 01495 294816.
Professor Sir Adrian Webb Chair
Born in Newport, Adrian has had an academic career spanning 25 years publishing many books and research articles. Throughout his career he has held numerous advisory positions in local and central government. His senior positions have included Deputy Chancellor of Loughborough University and Vice-Chancellor of Glamorgan University.
Adrian has held many roles in Welsh public life including chair’s roles in local and national government, and in the third sector. He is currently a member of the UK Board of the Big Lottery Fund and the Chair in Wales and Chair of the Education and Pastoral Committee and a board level trustee of Atlantic College.
Adrian has an affinity with the communities of Blaenau Gwent, having spent part of his early life in the area. This has fostered a strong commitment to enhance the well-being of the tenants and communities we serve.
Katherine Howells Vice-Chair of Board and Chair of Operations Committee
Katherine has worked in the social housing sector for 15 years. Her most recent role was at a housing association which provided housing for adults with a learning disability & other complex needs.
Her experience includes housing management, tenant participation, equality & diversity & tenant satisfaction. She has also worked in project management, dealing with allocations, homelessness and housing advice for a large Welsh local authority.
She has a BA (Hons) degree in English Literature, an MSc in Housing and is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.
Mike has recently retired as Director of Development at Sanctuary Housing, where he was responsible for delivering new homes across England. Prior to this he was the Director of Development and Assets at United Welsh Housing Association.
He has 24 years experience in residential development and asset management and maintenance. He is a former Board member of Charter Housing and was an Accredited Inspector with the Audit Commission (Wales).
Ian was previously a Housing Association Group Chief Executive for over 20 years.
He has extensive knowledge and experience of community services and social housing.
He qualified as a Chartered Surveyor before holding a number of senior executive positions in the public sector and housing associations.
Gemma is our newest tenant Board member, joining the Board in September 2020. A resident of Tynewydd her entire life, she has been a tenant of both Blaenau Gwent CBC and Tai Calon.
Gemma is an active volunteer within her community as school governor at her child’s school Bryn Bach Primary school as well as volunteering at Nantybwch and Waundeg community flats who are a voluntary, community organisation providing support to neighbours all year around. This summer the group worked hard delivering food parcels and other essentials to vulnerable people and all families who need support.
Gemma is keen and motivated to play an active part as a Tai Calon board member, and aims to strive for a better community and access to better facilities for all.
Andrea is a known and trusted resident of Newtown, Ebbw Vale and has been on the Tenants and Residents Association for four years.
She runs a number of clubs out of her local community centre. This work has impacted significantly on her local community and the area, and gives her an insight into the wants and needs of her community.
She worked with Tai Calon to develop a neighbourhood green space for Newtown to enjoy.
Malcolm is a Blaenau Gwent County Borough councillor who has previously worked for British Telecom.
Malcolm joined the board in 2017 following his nomination by the local authority
Chris has recently retired after 45 years with Arup, a global firm. He was a Director at Arup for twenty years and for the past ten years he was Arup’s global buildings retrofit leader.
He has been a Board Member of Charter Homes and the Gwent Young People’s Theatre. He is currently the Chair of the Welsh Government Advisory Group on the decarbonisation of existing housing.
Kelly has over 20 years senior management strategic and executive experience in regeneration, housing and Welfare to Work, within the voluntary, private & public sectors working in the most deprived communities within Wales.
She is passionate about making a social difference & her professional career has been in roles that have either allowed her to support families in need or to actively stimulate wider social change to maximise the positive impact on communities.
Neil is a chartered accountant and director at South Wales firm, Harries Watkins and Jones. Neil gives business, accounting and tax advice to SMEs and in addition undertakes company audits.
Neil is passionate about social housing and is the former Board Chair of Valleys to Coast in Bridgend. Valleys to Coast was the first housing association in Wales to be formed by the Large Scale Transfer of homes from a Local Authority. He joined the Board in July 2018.
Ross has a strong background in strategic leadership and has delivered organisational transformation utilising current technologies in a number of industries.
Ross is pleased to be on the board, as housing associations are at the forefront of public service delivery in the UK, providing, as they do, safe, clean and supportive accommodation.
He joined the board in July 2018.
Gareth joined the Board from April 2020 and represents Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council. He is Councillor for the Rassau ward. Having recently retired from working in the charitable sector, Gareth brings wide knowledge of support services to the people of Blaenau Gwent.