We want your views on changes we are proposing to the makeup of our Board.
We currently have a board of 12, made up of 4 independent members, 4 resident members, 2 local authority nominees and 2 co-opted members.
Recently there have been problems with some housing associations getting into trouble because their Boards do not have the skills to manage multi million pound businesses. As a result we have to comply with more stringent governance requirements. Board members must now be appointed on the basis of their particular skill and overall board size is getting smaller.
In order to be best placed to protect our business, we are proposing a Board of 9 members, where everyone is appointed for a skill rather than because they are a B3Living resident or local authority nominee.
We want to consult with you, our residents, as this is a major change to our constitution. It will mean that we no longer have 4 places on the Board just for residents – although we hope that residents with the right skills will still apply when vacancies arise and indeed we have identified that among the skills required will be knowledge of the local community and/or being or having been a social housing tenant. We hope to achieve the move to 9 members and a more strategic Board by September 2017.
If we do not make these changes, we run the risk of our governance rating being downgraded by the Homes and Communities Agency, the Government body set up to regulate our business. This could have serious consequences in the future; for example if we wanted to borrow more money. There is also a chance that we would be made to merge with another association, which would mean less of a local presence for residents; the very thing we are determined to protect.
Stewart Heath, a member of the B3Living Board, said: “I think this is a very positive move forward for B3Living and it is important that the Board has the right set of skills. By appointing on a skills basis we should be able to deal with any issues we’re faced with in the future. I would strongly advise that residents apply to become members on the Board and for them to remember that they will be treated as equals.”
Our Board is putting forward these changes, which are supported by Broxbourne Borough Council. Please let us have your views by Friday 28th August 2015 – contact Sue Scanlan at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 01992 453 790.