Co-Opted Board member specialising in HR
Walterton & Elgin Community Homes (WECH) is a successful resident controlled housing association in Westminster. It emerged from the struggle of residents against the sale of their homes to private developers. It is now a beacon of how resident control can, not only revitalise the physical environment of run-down estates, but also create sustainable and inclusive communities from the bottom up.
The important lesson that WECH has learned is that the increased participation of residents in determining the delivery of services is essential to the provision of high quality and responsive services. WECH is fully committed to working in an inclusive way to try to respond to the expressed wishes of our residents wherever possible.
We believe that by working in partnership with our residents and other stakeholders in our community we have been able to improve the quality of our homes, the quality of the lives of our residents and have contributed to an improvement in the overall quality of the environment in which are homes exist.
WECH owns the freehold of 632 homes of which 456 are used for general needs lettings and managed by WECH and 37 managed by others. 139 are on long residential leases.
The values and objectives of WECH are for the benefit of the community:
- to maintain the quality of housing accommodation refurbished or built by WECH on the Walterton and Elgin Estates through a professional and effective repair service;
- to provide a professional property management service to residents from a local office;
- to provide accommodation of high quality for letting to local and other people in housing need by continuing with a programme of conversion and improvement of houses on the Walterton Estate;
- to maintain rents charged to WECH's tenants at levels affordable by people in low-paid employment;
- to ensure that the governance of WECH remains in the control of its residents;
- to foster and maintain a sense of community in WECH's area of operation; and
- to promote equal opportunities in access to housing, access to services and the employment of staff.
The Board and officers
The Board is composed of up to 14 elected members and up to 6 co-opted members who are experts appointed by the Board. Co-opted members hold office for one year, but may offer themselves for re-co-option.
All members of WECH are eligible to stand for election to the Board. Voting takes place at WECH's annual general meeting and all the members are entitled to vote. One third of the elected Board members must stand down each year, but may stand for re-election.
Tenants or leaseholders who are Board members hold their tenancies and leases on normal terms, and are not permitted to use their position as Board members to their personal advantage.
Statement of the qualities required by the Board of its members
The Board expects its elected members collectively to constitute a reasonable cross-section by location, tenure, gender and ethnicity of residents in WECH's properties. Board members are expected individually:
- to act as Board members in the interests of the whole WECH community;
- to participate positively in discussion of issues put to the Board for decision;
- to apply their experience (where appropriate) as WECH residents and their individual life and work related skills and experience to their participation as Board members;
- to attend Board meetings regularly;
- to uphold the decisions of the Board.
To operate effectively, the Board requires specific skills in housing management, finance, housing development, building maintenance, human resources and housing policy. The Board expects its elected members to have regard to the need for these skills in co-opting experts to serve on the Board.
Following a comprehensive residents' survey which found overwhelming support for it, the Elgin Estate improvement scheme is underway and will result in the building of 43 new flats, a new and larger community centre, nursery and offices. The Board has entered into a contract with Pavehall Plc for the building work. The total cost of the scheme is expected to be about £18m. This scheme will take advantage of the capacity on the estate to provide additional homes for rent. WECH expects the surplus generated by renting the flats to be used in repayment of the £9m loan raised to pay for the scheme. WECH is using about £2m from its own resources and about £7m from Westminster City Council and the GLA by way of grant.
WECH’s website: www.wech.co.uk
We are looking for an HR specialist to join the Board as a Co-opted Board member. The Board manages the business and exercises all of the powers of the company. The Role is to:
- hold to account the staff and the senior management team;
- provide strategic leadership, guidance and oversight;
- ensure sound stewardship and a culture of high performance;
The successful candidate will be expected to join the Staff Committee and be its Chair.
Nine Board meetings per year starting at 6pm and lasting two to three hours and four Staff Committee meetings per year starting at 7pm and lasting one to two hours. All these meetings take place on a Wednesday. In addition, once a year there will be an away-day from 9am to about 3pm on a Saturday. All meetings take place at 416 Harrow Road, London, W9 2HX, although it is possible that the away-day will occasionally be elsewhere in London.
If you are interested in applying, please send your CV and covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for applications is 31 January 2019.