New chair and Board members to join Scottish Housing Regulator

George Walker
George Walker

Scottish Ministers have announced the appointment of a new chair and three members to the Board of the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR).

New chair George Walker will join the Regulator from July 1 alongside new Board members Siobhan White, Andrew Watson and Bob Gil.

The Regulator’s current chair, Kay Blair, will retire in August.

Kay said: “I am delighted Scottish Ministers received a high level of interest in joining our Board. We are grateful to all of our stakeholders who helped to promote the vacancies.

“I very much look forward to welcoming George, Andrew, Bob and Siobhan. George and I will be working closely on handover ahead of my retirement at the end of August. I am extremely proud of the Regulator’s work and what we have achieved over the last six years.

“We are an effective Regulator that puts tenants’, homeless people and other service users’ interests at the heart of our work. I wish George, our Board members and staff every success as they continue this important work.”

George Walker is an experienced chair, executive director and corporate executive. He was a non-executive director in the NHS overseeing finance and governance projects. He has also worked in the pharmaceutical industry and corporate sector.

George said: “I’m excited to be joining SHR as chair. Effective regulation has a vital role in creating the environment for successful social landlords that deliver good outcomes for tenants. I look forward to meeting those working in social housing in Scotland and to hearing the views and priorities of our wide range of stakeholders.

“I would like to wish Kay well for her retirement and thank her for her leadership and hard work with SHR. I am keen to start work with our new and existing members as we continue to build on the achievements of Kay and her team.”

The appointments follow an open and competitive appointment process by Scottish Ministers.

People with communication, analytical and financial skills and experience to complement the Regulator’s existing board were sought. The new members have a range of Board experience in the public and private sector.

Siobhan White is a senior lecturer within the Department of Law, Economics, Accountancy & Risk at Glasgow Caledonian University and has teaching interests and expertise in a variety of under-graduate, post-graduate and professional programmes. Siobhan specialises in the subject areas of public sector accounting and internal/external auditing, and public sector financial management, having previous work experience as a government auditor.

Siobhan is also a Chartered Public Finance Accountant, a previous non-executive director of West of Scotland Housing Association/chair of their audit committee, the previous chair of the audit & governance panel at South Ayrshire Council, a past national examiner for CIPFA/ACCA, and sits in an advisory capacity on governance and scrutiny to many public sector organisations.

Andrew Watson is currently chair of Berwickshire Housing Association. He will step down from this role before he joins the Regulator in July. As a senior adviser at QMPE LLP with more than 35 years of working in finance, Andrew will bring his experience in finance, knowledge of the affordable housing sector and awareness of good governance to the Board.

Robert Gil is a qualified public sector (IPFA) accountant with over 25 years’ experience in the public sector. Robert has experience of senior management positions in local government, in both finance and property and project management. Robert has spent eight years on the board of management of Forth Valley College, including six years as chair of the audit committee. Robert currently works part time for a regenerations charity that focuses on employability and skills training.

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