Neil McInroy and Ruth Welford to join the RBH Board

Date published: 13 June 2021

Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) tenant and employee representatives have chosen Neil McInroy and Ruth Welford to join the RBH board as two of the six non-executive directors.

Neil will join the RBH board immediately and Ruth will join when current board member Luen Thompson retires at the RBH annual members' meeting in September.

As a mutual housing society, RBH board members are chosen and appointed by the elected tenants and employees who make up the RBH representative body. Candidates were interviewed by a panel of tenants and employees, supported by the chair of the board, Alison Tumilty, and chaired by risk and insurance co-ordinator Jonathan Wenn, an employee representative.

Jonathan said: "I was really proud to hear from all the candidates about how our mutual model was a key motivation for their application. Our panel was the embodiment of our mutual approach - tenant and employee members working together with the chair of the board and our colleagues to make sure that we appointed new board members who are the best fit for RBH. As representatives we are excited to welcome two new board members who share both our values and our commitment to RBH tenants, employees, and communities."

Ruth brings her 25 years of experience working with and leading partnerships across Greater Manchester to RBH. She works for Barnardo's as assistant director for children's services, leading in a team covering the whole of the North of England and helping to transform the lives of children, young people, parents, and carers across the region.

Neil has been the Chief Executive of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) since 2003. From July, he will be joining a USA based organisation, The Democracy Collaborative, as a senior fellow for the global advancement of community wealth building. He advises the Scottish government on the same topic. Last year, he worked with the National Housing Federation to co-author a toolkit to help housing associations remain at the heart of the communities they serve.

Ruth Welford said: "I am delighted to be appointed as a non-executive director with RBH. I look forward to working alongside tenants and employees as part of the board, driving forward  together with an inclusive, ambitious strategy for Rochdale."

Neil McInroy said:“I am excited and thrilled to be joining the RBH board. I have known of RBH since its inception, and I have always been impressed by its work and its governance model that truly embeds employees and tenants into its thinking and operation. In a time of great challenges for all, the provision of social housing by organisations which consider wider wellbeing of local communities is essential. With fellow board members and representatives, I hope I can do my bit to maintain and grow an excellent organisation, with fulfilled employees and thriving communities.”

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