Appointment of the Housing Ombudsman Contents

Annex E: Candidate’s CV and questionnaire

Candidate’s CV

Chair, BexleyCo Ltd, London Borough of Bexley (2017- current)

Non-executive Director, Homes England (2017- current)

Director, Tudor Blakeway Consultants Ltd (2016- current)

Policy Adviser, No10 Policy Unit, 10 Downing Street (2016)

Trustee, Chartered Institute of Housing (2011–16)

Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property, Greater London Authority (2008–16) and Chair of Homes for London (2012–16)

Candidate’s pre-appointment hearing questionnaire


What motivated you to apply for this role, and what specific experiences would you bring to it?

There is an increasing focus on consumer redress. This is an exciting opportunity to support consumer redress during an important period of significant policy development, build on the substantial improvements of the Ombudsman to date and deliver an ambitious new corporate plan. I have significant experience of housing policy and of developing and implementing a strategic vision for a major organisation.

If appointed are there specific areas within your new responsibilities where you will need to acquire new skills or knowledge?

Whilst I have much experience and knowledge to bring to the Ombudsman, I would expect accounting officer training.

How were you recruited? Were you encouraged to apply, and if so, by whom?

The position was publicly advertised. I was shortlisted and recommended following a panel interview including an independent assessor.

Personal Background

Do you currently or potentially have any business, financial or other non-pecuniary interests or commitments, that might give rise to the perception of a conflict of interest if you are appointed? How do you intend to resolve any potential conflicts of interests if you are appointed?

The Ministry consider my non-executive role with Homes England as a conflict of interest, therefore I will step down from the board were I appointed. In addition, if appointed, I would resign as chair of BexleyCo Ltd, as well as my commercial interests through my consultancy.

If appointed what professional or voluntary work commitments will you continue to undertake, or do you intend to take on, alongside your new role? How will you reconcile these with your new role?

None at present.

Have you ever held any post or undertaken any activity that might cast doubt on your political impartiality? If so how will you demonstrate your political impartiality in the role if appointed?

I am not politically active in any party. Whilst I was an adviser in the No10 Policy Unit and Mayoral appointee at the Greater London Authority, both posts had political restrictions.

Do you intend to serve your full term of office? [if appropriate] Do you intend to seek re-appointment?


The Housing Ombudsman

If appointed what will be your main priorities on taking up the role?

The Ombudsman has delivered substantial service improvements notwithstanding increasing demand, for which its staff deserve considerable credit. The Ombudsman has published an exciting and ambitious corporate plan which must be delivered. Priorities include faster and effective redress, promoting positive change in the sector and increased transparency.

What criteria should the Committee use to judge the Housing Ombudsman performance over your term of office?

The four strategic objectives set out in the Ombudsman’s corporate plan: delivering a fair and impartial service, resolving complaints at the earliest opportunity; promoting positive change in the sector; providing a service that is professional, accessible and simple to use; and ensuring the service is open and transparent.

How will you protect and enhance your personal independence and the institutional independence of the Housing Ombudsman from the Government/Ministers?

It is critical for the Ombudsman to be fair and impartial. It has a newly formed Panel of Advisors which will play an important role in overseeing the development of the service.

How do you assess the public profile and reputation of the Housing Ombudsman?

The Ombudsman has continued to deliver substantial service improvements. When asked 91% of customers said the Ombudsman had treated them well and 75% that it had helped resolve their case, which is a testament to the hard work of its staff. The corporate plan identifies areas for continued improvement and awareness of the service could be raised.

What risks do you think the Housing Ombudsman will face over your term of office? How do you intend to manage them?

Demand for its services continues to grow which will put pressure on its resources and performance. Therefore it is important the Ombudsman supports local resolution by landlords as well as reviewing its systems to ensure the service can meet expectations.

Published: 4 July 2019