The Board

Board Members have ultimate responsibility for directing the activities of the Association, ensuring it is well run and delivering the objectives for which it has been set up.

In March 2016 West Herts Homes adopted the National Housing Federation’s Model Rules 2015, and in parallel, adopted the National Housing Federation’s Code Of Governance.  The full Board usually meets six times each year, with an Annual General Meeting and an annual Strategy Day being held in addition the regular cycle of Board meetings.

The Board currently has an Audit Committee which meets to discuss specific matters of business. 

At the beginning of 2017, the Board agreed that Board members should only serve for a maximum of two terms of three years (six years in total ) with the scope for members to serve an additional year if the Board agreed this was in the best interests of the Association.

The Board is collectively committed to the highest standards of governance, aiming for openness and accountability in all its business.  Board vacancies are advertised from time to time, and are always openly advertised. Board members are appraised on an annual basis, and on alternate years, this process is facilitated by an independent external adviser.

Mary Pedlow(Chair)

Mary joined the Board in 2016, and after serving as Vice Chair was elected Chair of the Board in March 2017. Previously, Mary had served as Vice Chair of the Board with a large regional housing association for 8 years. Mary brings wide expertise of housing associations, local government, and the health care sector, having held senior positions significant budgetary responsibilities with 3 local authorities, having Chaired an NHS Trust, and having served on national representative bodies for local government and the NHS. Mary is keen for West Herts Homes to offer an excellent service to all its customers, and build effective partnerships at all levels across Hertfordshire.

Linda Middleton(Vice Chair)

Linda, who joined the Board in 2016, has over 25 years of experience of working in housing and has gained a wide-ranging knowledge of the issues and challenges which housing associations face both now and in the future. With operational experience in a number of areas including strategic housing, housing allocations, homelessness and affordable housing delivery, Linda now works as a Transformation Manager in local government.

Peter Blake

Peter is a senior transport and planning director with extensive experience across the transport and development industry.  Currently leading the UK’s largest City Deal to deliver an extensive programme of infrastructure he was previously responsible for some of Transport for London’s most high profile services, including; the world’s largest congestion and emissions charging scheme; Europe’s second largest cycle hire service; and the UK’s largest local licensing and regulatory authority.  Peter has extensive knowledge of local planning and housing agendas working with public and private sector partners to secure and deliver extensive  programmes of works including; new highway schemes; housing developments; and city and town centre improvement packages.

Mike Hobday

Mike has lived locally in London Colney for nearly 30 years. He has strong experience of representing local communities having been a county councillor in Welwyn Garden City and a parish councillor in London Colney. Professionally, he has worked as a director at ambitious health charities including Macmillan Cancer Support and the British Heart Foundation and been a charity trustee at a national end-of-life charity. He is currently a self-employed consultant.  Mike has a long interest in housing issues, having been actively involved in his local tenants’ and residents’ association and looks forward to helping West Herts Homes offer a high-quality service to a growing number of local people. He joined the board in 2018.

Emily Rae-Maxwell

Emily-Rae joined the Board in 2018. With a background in housing she was keen to use her skills and help drive WHH forward with its ambitions to build and its commitment to delivering high quality services.  Winning the National Housing Heroes 2017 New Professional of the Year award she has proven herself as a leader in the housing sector. 

Paul Sadgrove

Paul joined the Board in 2018.  He worked in central government for over 30 years in a variety of roles.  For much of the last 10 years, he was a senior manager in the Communities Department with responsibilities for relationship, financial and budget management and governance, playing an active part in the Audit & Risk Committees for several of the Department’s arm’s-length bodies.  Currently Paul is a volunteer team leader at a community vineyard in Enfield, which is a successful social enterprise and ecotherapy project for any volunteers with mental health concerns and learning difficulties.

Lakshmi Raghavachari(Vice Chair)

Lakshmi joined the Board in 2012. Lakshmi has consideral professional expertise in the HR field and currently works as a Senior HR Business Partner for a local authority. She is a Chartered member of the CIPD and a member of the Herts Branch.

Lakshmi is a member of West Herts Homes Audit Committee.

Adam Szasz

Adam joined the Board in 2016. Adam is a graduate of the University of Birmingham and is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser. He works for a large accountancy firm advising entrepreneurs and businesses in a variety of sectors, including property, technology and media. Adam lives in Radlett with his wife and they enjoy walks in the country and playing squash.

Adam is a member of the West Herts Homes Audit Committee.

James Yates

James joined the Board in 2017. He is a Chartered Surveyor with substantial experience in investment, development and property management, predominantly in the private sector. He has a broad interest in history, architecture and motor sport.