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.

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.

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.

Clive Francis

Clive is a consultant and visiting lecturer in HR and Business Strategy at the University of East Anglia. He has had an extensive career at Director level with major companies such as Associated Foods, Granada TV and Perkins Engines.

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.

Nick Way

Nick Way has been the Director General of the Historic Houses Association since 2005 and is also a Board Member of the Heritage Alliance, the umbrella body for 90 heritage organisations for England, and the Secretary of the Heritage Conservation Trust, a charity that has helped restore works of art in over 40 historic houses open to the public and supported educational initiatives in historic houses. He is also a Council Member of the Attingham Trust, which supports the academic study of the fine arts in and the architecture of country houses.

Before joining the HHA, Nick was Director of Policy at the Country Land and Business Association and a member of the Prince of Wales’ Affordable Rural Housing Initiative and of the Advisory Council to the School of Rural Economy and Land Management at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. His early career was in EU and international policy at the Ministry of Agriculture.

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.

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