Board Members

English Rural has adopted the National Housing Federation’s Code of Governance to ensure the highest standards of governance and accountability are achieved. Our Board has overall responsibility for our activities and strategy, consisting of highly competent Board Members who contribute their skills and expertise for free.  The Board is subject to regular internal audits, examining areas such as succession planning, skills and structure.

Maintaining excellent governance is a priority for English Rural and forms part of our 2019-2024 Strategic Ambitions.

In addition to regular board meetings, English Rural’s governance arrangements also benefit from an Audit and Standards Committee and Finance and Resources Committee, enabling some core areas to be covered by Board Members in greater detail.

Meet the Board:

Mark Tillson, Chairman

Mark was appointed Chairman of English Rural Housing Association in September 2014.  Mark is a Commercial Surveyor and has over 30 years commercial property experience across the UK. He is also President of Property Agents Independent.

Nick Way OBE, Vice Chairman

Nick Way is serving his second term as a Board Member and is currently Vice Chairman.
For ten years until 2015 Nick was Director General of the Historic Houses Association (HHA) and before that he was Director of Policy at the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), having previously worked in various policy roles at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
In his CLA and HHA roles Nick connected owners of land with housing associations, in particular English Rural, and highlighted the need for more affordable housing in rural areas.
Nick is a Trustee of Sulgrave Manor near Banbury, a historic Tudor Manor built and lived in by the Washingtons before they emigrated to Virginia – George Washington was a direct descendant. He is also a Lay Member of an NHS Regional Ethics Committee and a Trustee of the CLA Staff Pension Scheme.

Tony MacArthur, Resident Board Member

Tony is a Resident Board Member and has lived in one of English Rural’s homes since 2001. He lives in South Oxfordshire with his wife. He spent the major part of his working life in sports management and the entertainment industry, latterly being mainly involved with the administration of rugby and football.

Norman Arnell, Chairman of Audit and Standard

Chairman of Audit and Standards Committee, Norman is a former leader of Test Valley Borough Council. Previously he worked for the BBC in a senior position and the Commercial Sector. He was a board member of Test Valley Rural Housing Association and transferred to English Rural’s Board as part of the Transfer of Engagements in 2011.

Dorcas Cumming

Dorcas is a solicitor who joined the Board of English Rural in September 2016. Before joining English Rural Dorcas worked for the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan as Head of Legal Services. She began her legal career in private practice and then spent many years as a counsel for an American bank.

Jane Jennings

Jane has a longstanding interest in rural communities through her personal links to the farming community and also in her professional role as an Agent for NFU Mutual Insurance.  As an active member of her local community who themselves have supported and affordable housing development, Jane knows the enabling and development process well; she has also seen for herself the beneficial impact that small scale affordable rural housing developments can bring to villages.  Jane is also actively involved in her local district farming club, the Royal British Legion and Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.  Jane plays an important role on the English Rural Board of Management as the lead interest in service provision.

Sue Reekie, Lead Board Member for Finance

Sue has 37 years’ experience of working in local authorities. She is a Chartered Public Finance Accountant (CPFA) and a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).
Having worked at both Coventry City Council and Eastbourne Borough Council, Sue spent the majority of her working life at Guildford Borough Council.  From 1999 to 2013 she was Head of Financial Services and Deputy Chief Financial Officer, with a gross organisation budget of approximately £125 million.  From 2013 until her retirement from Guildford Borough Council in July 2016, she worked part-time as the Principal Accountant for Financial Management and Projects and also remained as a Deputy Chief Financial Officer.

Brian Carroll

Brian is a chartered quantity surveyor with over many within the construction industry covering a wide range of projects.
He has worked in senior positions in housing association development  for over 25 years and has considerable experience in working with local communities, Parish Councils and Community Land Trusts in the provision of affordable rural housing for local people. He is a strong advocate of housing built to high standards of environmental sustainability and overseen a number of schemes built to PassivHaus accreditation and until recently was  a Board member for the PassivHaus Trust

Pam Reynolds

Pam Reynolds is Chairman of the New Forest Villages Housing Association (NFVHA) which merged with English Rural in September 2019. She sits on the English Rural Board as part of the merger arrangement. As a property lawyer she’s had more than 30 years experience of the legal side of rural housing development dealing with issues such as acquisition of the land to final completion of the houses. Living and working in the New Forest she has first-hand experience of the difficulties local people have in finding suitable affordable accommodation and is a keen advocate of English Rural’s ethos. Pam also works as a legal adviser to a firm of estate agents.

Monica Burns

Monica has worked at the National Housing Federation for the last 14 years, initially as an External Affairs Manager and currently as a Head of Member Relations. Monica is the lead for Smaller Housing Associations and was the former lead for Rural Associations.

Prior to working at the National Housing Federation Monica worked as a Rural Housing Enabler, working with local communities, Local Authorities and the Government to ensure rural development to create sustainable communities. Monica was involved in the establishment of one of the first Community Development Trusts.

Monica has also worked in senior management roles for a number of local authorities including Lewisham, Lambeth, Kirklees and Edinburgh.

Request a call back
Request a call back