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Get involved at the heart of Stockport Homes’ decision-making...

... become a member of the Stockport Homes’ Board.

Message from the Chair This booklet gives you the opportunity to find out more about the role of Stockport Homes’ Board, especially for those who are interested in becoming a Board Member. Stockport Homes has achieved a lot since it was formed in 2005, and the Board have played a key role in ensuring that we deliver excellent services to customers. Becoming a Board Member can seem daunting, but it is a great opportunity for anybody who has a few hours to spare each month, lots of enthusiasm and a commitment to improving the services Stockport Homes delivers to its customers. One of the best ways to find out what the Board does, is to come to one of our Board meetings. They are open to the public and I would encourage you to come along. I hope to see you there soon! Roger Phillips Chair

Who are Stockport Homes? Stockport Homes are an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) owned by Stockport Council. Stockport Homes are responsible for the management and maintenance of over 11,000 homes owned by Stockport Council and also provide a number of other key housing services on behalf of the Council including homeless services and sheltered housing. 2

Stockport Homes’ Board

What is the Board? The Board are a group of people who are collectively responsible for managing Stockport Homes. This means that they set the strategic direction of the company, monitoring performance, setting budgets and approving policies and procedures. However the Board does not get involved in the day-to-day running of the organisation.

“Being a Board Member is great. You get to influence real improvements and see what is happening right across Stockport. You learn how the business runs and your skills and confidence improve. I’d recommend it to anyone.” Barbara King

Stockport Homes’ Board


The Board decides how millions of pounds of funding will be spent on improving and maintaining homes throughout Stockport. There are 13 Board Members, who come from a number of different groups: • Four tenants from across Stockport (Barbara King, Maureen Rowles, Jane Clayton and Colin Leonard) • One tenant nominated by the Tenants’ Federation (Peter Fury) • Four Councillors (Cllrs Chris Baker, Christine Corris, Chris Murphy and Paul Porgess) • Four independent members who bring expertise in key areas such as housing management, development and finance (John Bowker, David Beckett, Roger Phillips and David Wright). The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board are elected every year by the Board, and any Board Member can stand for either of these roles. They are currently Roger Phillips (Chair) and Maureen Rowles (Vice-Chair).The Board has delegated responsibility for some duties to smaller Sub-Groups. There are four Sub-Groups who meet three to four times a year, and each group focuses on a specific area of responsibility: • • • • 4

Finance and Audit; Human Resources and Governance; Maintenance and Investment; and Performance. Stockport Homes’ Board

How do the Board’s decisions impact on Stockport Homes? The Board’s decision-making has a real impact on delivering services to customers for example:

• Supporting and approving proposals to build more homes to rent in Stockport, starting with the first development of 17 homes at Lantern Close, Brinnington. •

Agreeing how millions of pounds of funding will be spent on improving and maintaining homes throughout Stockport.

Driving improvements in performance which has resulted in Stockport Council being rated in the top 10 authorities for housing improvement and performance.

How is Board business conducted? The main duties of the Board are conducted through regular Board and Sub-Group meetings. The Board meets five times a year, and Sub-Groups meet three or four times a year. Stockport Homes’ Board


Board Members receive a set of papers a week in advance of meetings, and are expected to read the reports and consider the main issues. They then come to the Board meeting with questions, comments and suggestions about proposals and reports.

What are the legal responsibilities of the Board? Stockport Homes is governed by the Companies Act, which brings with it some legal responsibilities. Board Members have to ensure that they act in the best interests of the organisation, exercise independent judgement, act in good faith, use reasonable care, skill and diligence and act within their powers. As Board Members are company directors, some people are not able to be Board Members, they are: • someone who is or becomes bankrupt or who makes a voluntary arrangement with creditors; • someone who is suffering from a mental disorder and either: a. b.

is admitted to hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983; or has a court order made relating to the illness or to appoint someone to look after their property or other affairs; or

• someone who is subject to a court order disqualifying him or her from serving as a Board Member of a company (as regulated by the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986). 6

Stockport Homes’ Board

The Board have been instrumental in driving improvements in performance, which has resulted in Stockport Council being rated in the top 10 authorities for housing improvement and performance. Stockport Homes’ Board


Are there any special skills or experience needed? At times, it may be necessary to recruit an independent Board Member with specific skills, however for tenant Board Members no specific experience is needed. Full training and development will be provided, but we do ask that all Board Members: • are enthusiastic; • have basic literary and numeracy skills; • are able to ask questions and make decisions; and • comply with the code of conduct and equality and diversity policy.

“I would encourage anyone to be a tenant Board Member. An important aspect is taking part in decision-making. You get lots of advice and support. I have found other Board Members helpful and friendly as well as staff. I really enjoy being a tenant member.” Maureen Rowles


Stockport Homes’ Board

As a Board Member you will be expected to: • attend Board and Sub-Group meetings wherever possible (there is an attendance target of 80%); • send apologies in advance if you are unable to attend a meeting; • actively participate at Board meetings; • undertake a full induction programme after joining the Board; • take part in an annual Board review; and • attend Training and Development sessions.

What support is offered to Board Members? All Board Members are eligible to receive a package of support to help them in their role, this includes: • a full induction programme; • Training and development opportunities both on an individual basis and on a collective basis; • a monthly allowance to cover any costs incurred while undertaking Board duties, including travel, subsistence, caring responsibilities and a communications allowance; and • a computer to assist Board Members with their duties.

Stockport Homes’ Board


Where can I get more information? Elections are held in July each year so that tenants and leaseholders can choose who will serve on the Board. Publicity and information sessions are held each spring and these are great opportunities to find out more, talk to current Board Members and ask any questions. We also run Skills for Life sessions on the role of the Board and what it means for Stockport Homes. Why not come along to one of these events and see if Board membership is for you?

What is the election process for tenant Board Members? If you decide you want to stand for election you will need to get the signatures of five tenants or leaseholder living within your area who support your application. Once you have these, please complete and return the application form to Jeremy Beatty, Governance Manager, Stockport Homes, 1 St. Peter’s Square, Stockport SK1 1NZ. A postal ballot will then be held, with all tenants and leaseholders in your area given the opportunity to vote.

How else can I get involved in Stockport Homes? As well as becoming a Board Member, there are plenty of other opportunities for customers to get involved with Stockport Homes, including Customer Action Groups (CAGs), the Quality Panel, Young Tenants’ Group, mystery shopping and Area Forums. If you want more information on Customer Involvement, please contact a member of the team on 0161 474 2862 or email 10

Stockport Homes’ Board

Who should I contact for more information? If you are interested in becoming a Board Member or want to find out more about the Board’s work, please contact Jeremy Beatty, Governance Manager on 0161 474 2850 or email

“Being a tenant Board Member puts you at the heart of Stockport Homes; you understand the aims and objectives. It helps you see the bigger picture. I particularly enjoy working with the Sub-Groups as you can see all the hard work taking shape to improve things and you can challenge any of the reports.” David Kirwan

Stockport Homes’ Board


Accessing our services

Ref: 788/March 2011

This leaflet gives you information about Stockport Homes’ Board. If you would like a copy in large print, Braille, on audio tape or CD, please contact the Social Inclusion Team on 0161 474 2860 or email:, text: 07891 949 399 or fax: 0161 474 2869

Board Member Booklet 2011  

... become a member of the Stockport Homes’ Board. Roger Phillips Chair Stockport Homes are responsible for the manag...