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Wirral Methodist
Housing Association

Oswald House
42 Hamilton Street
Birkenhead
CH41 5AE

Tel: 0151-647-5471
Fax: 0151-647-5178

OPENING HOURS
Mon-Fri 9.00-4.00

Board Members

VOLUNTARY MEMBERS OF THE BOARD

                           

Lionel Bolland  C.P.F.A. - 1979 to 2014   (CHAIRMAN)

Skills: Finance, Business Management, Housing


A long-term professionally qualified accountant who specialised in housing finance, Lionel also spent several years in the computer software industry developing and marketing accounting systems.


Joining the Association’s staff team as Finance Manager in 1994, Lionel was eventually appointed to the role of Deputy Chief Executive, before leaving in 2003 to take up the Chief Executive post at Port Sunlight Village Trust where he remained until his retirement in early 2015.


Married with three children and three grandchildren, he is a keen sailor with his own sailing yacht moored in Liverpool Marina. He also enjoys cycling and watching international rugby.  A member of Rotary and also a governor at a local primary school, Lionel is delighted to have joined the Board of the Association and looking forward to once again making a contribution to meeting housing need in Wirral.      


Carole  Barnett 

Skills: Community, Social Care and Disability


Carole moved to the Wirral a few years ago with her husband when they retired. She has 2 daughters, 3 grandchildren and a ‘grandog’. They live in a Methodist Ministers' Housing Society house so she knows what it is like to be a tenant. Before retiring, Carole worked for a charity that supported people with learning and physical difficulties, most of whom lived in Housing Association properties.


Since retiring Carole has become a volunteer at a Carers' group; supporting people of all ages that have a caring role for a family member. She attends West Kirby Methodist Church where she is a pastoral visitor and visits elderly people in residential care. Carole's hobbies include needlework and craft work and she makes tactile and visual resources for a special needs school.

   


Rita Jean Burns 

    

Skills: Service Delivery Experience, Community

Rita is a Tenant and a Board Member, who after growing up in Mid Wales, after leaving Grammar School, qualified and worked for 40 years in hairdressing. During that time in she has undertaken both voluntary work at a home for disabled children and served on the Committee of the Hamilton Quarter.


In more recent times after retiring, as well as joining the Board of WMHA, Rita has attended Wirral Metropolitan College and undertaken a variety of computer courses up to advanced level.


Rita lists her hobbies as travel, reading, photography, historic buildings and   she enjoys meeting new people which has helped with her role as on the Board. The skills she brings, are the ability to communicate with people, to listen to their point of view and learn, a desire to improve the community and to help in any way she can.


Rita admits that taking on the responsibility of Board membership has been a sharp learning curve but a very enjoyable one with a strong sense of respect for the staff who do a difficult and sometimes challenging job.

                                  

                               

Ian Cubbin Ph.D, B.Sc (Pharm), MRPharmS

   

Skills: Business Management, Community

 
Ian is a pharmacist by profession, having lived and worked on Wirral all his life, both in the family pharmacies in Wallasey and Neston as well as a Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University.


Married to Nichola with three sons all of whom are still at school, he is much involved in the community being currently, Chairman of the Board of Governors at Oldershaw Academy, a Committee Member of the Wirral ARK as well a member of St Andrew's Church, New Brighton.


Ian brings a vast experience and an analytical mind to bear for the benefit of the Association and those it seeks to help. 



Geoff Duggan


Skills: Property Development


Geoff is a Construction Professional majoring in all forms of Construction from Building to Civil Engineering.  He was a Regional Director of a Local Building Firm for five years building mainly Student Accommodation. For the last 10 years and prior to Geoff retiring he was involved in Design and Build Tenders as a Chief Design Manager. Notable successful Contracts won in this role included a large £25m Contract for Apartments in Liverpool, Multi-Purpose Development in Chester which house’s Cheshire West & Chester Council (CWAC) Offices; Abode Hotel and luxury Apartments overlooking the racecourse and finally the Regional Welsh Assembly Offices in Llandudno.


Geoff was Treasurer of Willaston Methodist Church for six years and served on Willaston Primary School PTA for three years.


Now Retired in Burton Wirral he is married to Cynthia with three grown up boys Neville, Philip and David who are all happily married and successful in their chosen professions. He has three Grandchildren, Megan, Edward and Alaya. Geoff’s volunteering work besides WMHA includes Meet and Greet at Arrowe Park Hospital and Community Driving. He is a member of Heswall Probus where he is the Assistant Welfare Officer along with running the club’s Website.


Geoff’s interests include Walking, Cycling, Gardening and Painting.



John Edwards, C.P.F.A., M.B.C.S.          

   

Skills:  Accounting Systems, Information Technology


John’s experience covers 48 years of working in the public sector dealing with financial matters including taxation, government grants, financial systems and statements of accounts.  Most of that time was spent as an external auditor in local government with the District Audit Service (which was absorbed by the Audit Commission in 1983).  The Audit Commission’s terms of reference changed the emphasis of the work to include more assignments concerned with value for money and good governance. 


Since retiring from his last position as Senior Manager with the Audit Commission, John has continued his interest in these matters by accepting a variety of audit and consulting assignments with various public sector bodies. John is also a member of Willaston Methodist Church, within the Wirral Circuit.

   


George Ian Murray F.R.I.C.S.

   

Skills: Business Management, Surveying


Ian is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and Building Surveyor with over 30 years experience in the construction industry. The first part of his career was spent working with a number of different chartered surveying practices working on a wide range of commercial, industrial and public sector projects throughout the UK and in the Middle East.


In 1985 Ian established his own chartered surveying practice in Liverpool. The business was bought by Capita, a large national Plc, in 1999 were Ian was a Regional Director with responsibility for the management of the northern Building Surveying and Facilities Management business.  In January 2004 Ian left Capita to commit more time to his work with his local church and other lay activities. Ian remains active in the construction industry where he provides consultancy services to a number of clients approximately three days a week.

   


Noel Schorah B.Sc., MBCS  (SECRETARY)

   

Skills: Finance, Business Management, Administration


Noel has spent his career working in IT, mainly in the Finance sector. This has given him experience of business administration, finance and problem solving. He is currently employed as a Senior IT Project Manager at Rathbones Investment Management in Liverpool. This involves managing multiple suppliers to deliver IT systems, while tracking cost and progress to the agreed schedule.


He is treasurer of his local Methodist Church in Hoylake; in addition to being a member of the Leadership Team and leading one of the mid-week Bible Study Groups. He is also a member of the Property Team, who oversee the development and maintenance of the building.


Noel enjoys outdoor activities and cycles to work to keep fit. He has used his qualifications as an Orienteering Coach and Mountain Walking Leader in voluntary youth work. While he does not have previous experience within a housing association, he hopes to apply some of these skills to his role as a Board Member.

   


Robert Edward Selby  BSC, FCIH 

   

Skills: Housing & Business Management, Administration


After gaining a degree in geography and economics and following a brief excursion into chartered accountancy, Rob began his local authority housing career with Manchester City Council.  This included a spell as a frontline housing officer in the then notorious “Crescents” area of Moss Side, now redeveloped following the 1980s riots.


Rob then moved to Ellesmere Port & Neston Borough Council, becoming Borough Housing Officer in 1987, responsible for the “client side” of the council’s housing stock, along with the council’s strategic and enabling housing function and private sector housing regulation, improvement and enforcement.


Appointed corporate Director of Housing in 2004, Rob’s role expanded to include the in-house housing maintenance workforce.  He gained an in-depth knowledge of external regulation, and led housing stock options and transfer process, including the establishment of a new shadow landlord housing association and shadow board.


In 2007 Rob became Director of Housing and Development, responsible for the leadership, direction and management of half of the council’s functions with approximately 350 employees dealing with public and private housing, the council’s strategic and local planning service including building control, together with other property and support services.  The latter included the council’s extensive industrial property portfolio, two markets, asset management planning, Gypsy and  Traveller liaison, capital project management, architects and quantity surveying, facilities management, highways and parking services.


As a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Rob brings to the WMHA board experience and understanding of housing in its widest sense together with knowledge of other local authority services.  In addition, he brings considerable experience of working with the broadest range of public, private, voluntary, government and regulatory organisations, bodies and agencies, including resident and tenant groups.


Rob is married with two grown-up children, and enjoys travel, photography, genealogy and a wide range of other interests.  Rob is a member of his local volunteer community first responder group, and has recently been appointed by Cheshire Police Authority as a police custody suite visitor.



Michael Thorne

 

Skills: Property and Legal Matters


Michael moved to the Wirral with his family as a teenager, has been married to Barbara since 1974 and was admitted as a Solicitor the following year, finally retiring from practice in Spring 2016. None of his sons followed him into the Law, but two became Chartered Surveyors (like their grandfather) and the eldest an Investment Manager.         


A  member of Christ Church, Higher Bebington since arrival in Bebington, Michael has served many terms on the Church Council over the years. A long-time club supporter and member of Tranmere Rovers Football Supporters Trust, he has been a Board Member of the Trust since the 2012/13 season. He volunteers with the Besom charity, regularly helping to deliver furniture and domestic equipment to needy families, referred by partner agencies.   

Michael brings to the Board the benefit of his legal knowledge and experience, garnered during the early part of his career in private practice (1974 – 88), then post- 2001 working in the housebuilding industry with the Redrow Group and Alfred McAlpine Homes, becoming Company Solicitor to several Redrow companies. This work involved carrying out the legal work necessary to acquire new sites and negotiate planning consent to build.   

From 2009 until his retirement, he was employed in the Legal, Risk and Compliance Department of Liverpool University. Here, as this title indicates, the legal brief was much wider but in large part it consisted of the acquisition and/or disposal of land/ buildings. Also, the grant and renewal of commercial leases, as well as advising (and as necessary instructing outside lawyers to advise) the Capital Projects Department on the construction of new Research Buildings or Student Residences.       


David Neil Williams B.Ed

Skills: Training & Development

David married and came to live on the Wirral nearly 40 years ago.

Recently retired from full time employment, having taught and been a head teacher in Wirral, David’s final post for six years was as an Inspector in the Education Department of Wirral Borough Council. During the course of his career David has supported a great number of children, their parents and then latterly teachers and officers, his work involving financial matters, personal issues, counselling and training.

David and his wife have been married for nearly 40 years and they have two daughters – one married, teaching in Lincolnshire and the other a senior dietician in Manchester. They are also Grandparents.

David has been a regular attendee of Bromborough Methodist Church, within the Wirral Circuit and has held a number of positions of responsibility including Church Steward, District Treasurer for World Mission and Junior Church Teacher. In addition, he has been an active supporter of Action for Children, one of the UK’s leading children’s charities. Besides taking part in many fund raising events he has visited a number of their activities to support families across the North West.

David is also one of many volunteers who cook and serve breakfast at the ARK, the Wirral Churches joint venture for the Homeless, something which is important to him as a worthwhile and rewarding use of his time.