Housing Ombudsman appoints new advisory board | News

Housing Ombudsman appoints new advisory board

The Housing Ombudsman has appointed a new advisory board, which it says will bring an independent and external perspective to the service to help to drive forward its plans.

Taking effect from 1 October, the board will replace the Panel of Advisors that was created in 2018 for a three-year term. Members of the revised group have been recruited based on their range of specialist skills, knowledge, and experience. Their role is to provide support and advice and to assist the Ombudsman in leadership, good governance and the development of the organisation. 

At the same time, Tim Leslie becomes chair of the Ombudsman’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC), replacing Sue Harvey who has reached the end of her tenure as chair. 

The Board will be chaired by the Ombudsman and includes the Chief Operating Officer and two members of ARAC as well as four newly recruited external members. They are:

  • Gill Bull, who was previously at the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
  • Maureen Corcoran, who worked at the Audit Commission, has been a housing consultant and held academic posts
  • Michael Rich, who held roles at the Homes and Communities Agency and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
  • Kevin Williamson, who is at the Financial Ombudsman Service and previously the National Housing Federation

The new group will assist the Ombudsman on the development and implementation of vision, values and objectives; strategic direction and business planning; and public accountability for the subscriptions received

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “I am pleased to welcome the new Advisory Board members. They bring a wealth of expert knowledge and skills to support the development of our service and will provide independent oversight and challenge to ensure we’re operating efficiently and effectively.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sue Harvey for her work as ARAC chair and to the members of our Panel of Advisors. Sue has provided invaluable advice to ensure that we are managing risk effectively and have the appropriate controls in place. I look forward to working with Tim as the new ARAC chair.

“The Panel of Advisors have used their insight and experience as resident and landlord representatives to help us develop our work over the last three years, particularly in areas such as our thematic work and our Complaint Handling Code.”

The board is a non-statutory forum and does not have an executive function or decision-making remit.