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New board at NCH kicks off an exciting future
07/11/2017
At a special general meeting, Newport City Homes’ (NCH) share members voted in favour of welcoming a new ‘skills-based’ board, kicking off an exciting future for the city’s largest social housing provider.
 
Following approval from Newport City Council last month, the vote of confidence from share members will see the renewal of NCH’s board structure turn into a reality. 
 
With an emphasis on a ‘skills-based’ board, new plans will give NCH an opportunity to appoint board members based on the skills needed by the maturing stock transfer housing association. 
 
Owning 71% of the city’s social housing stock, NCH was originally set up in 2009 to bring council properties up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard. Having achieved this in 2015, NCH is now focused on tackling the growing housing needs in Newport and with the status of a community benefit society, all profits get ploughed back into the city’s communities. 
 
Newport City Homes’ chair Nicola Somerville said: “Our focus has always been on our residents, and what we can do to improve their homes, communities and opportunities. Over the last nine years, our focus has been to achieve Welsh Housing Quality Standard. We’ve done that and now it’s time to stretch ourselves and do even more for Newport communities. These board changes will help us do that.
 
“Our former board members have handed the gift of a well-governed, forward-thinking social business to a brand new board who will continue the NCH journey, involving and engaging residents along the way.”
 
With ambitions of developing new homes and regenerating communities becoming a reality, NCH recognised that new skills were needed to support the robust corporate governance of a complex social business and made a case for change to both its share members and Newport City Council.
 
The former board structure saw 15 board members fall under three distinct categories: residents, council representatives and independents. It also saw the council hold a third of voting rights for some resolutions. New plans will now see the number of board members reduced to 12; board members recruited and selected on skills; and the council share will now count for one vote. Making the council vote equal with a resident share member vote.
 
Council leader Debbie Wilcox said: “We have to be responsive to the changing needs of the city and ensure that, working with our partners, we make decisions that will have a lasting positive impact in our communities. 
 
“Supporting this proposal puts Newport City Homes in a strong position to deliver on its promises to the city and contribute to Newport’s growing housing need.”
 
The cabinet member for housing and regeneration, councillor Jane Mudd, said: “This is a milestone in NCH’s history and will see them move from a traditional stock transfer organisation to one that will work hand-in-hand with residents to regenerate communities and crucially, build new homes.”