bpha people

bpha is led and governed by its Board supported by an Audit and Risk Committee, a Finance and Treasury Committee, a Remuneration and Nominations Committee and the Service Improvement Panel.

The Board is composed of four executives and six non executives, of which one is a nominee of Bedford Borough Council. The Board as a whole is collectively responsible for ensuring the success of the bpha and its compliance with all legal and regulatory obligations by directing and supervising bpha’s affairs.

The Board:

  • provides leadership of bpha;
  • sets the organisation’s strategic aims, ensures that the necessary financial and human resources are in place for the bpha to meet its objectives, and reviews management performance;
  • sets the organisation’s values and standards and ensures that its legal and regulatory obligations are understood and met; and
  • fulfils the functions as outlined in bpha’s Rules.

Board members

Robert Burgin

Robert Burgin
Chair of the Board

Robert has over 15 years of Board leadership experience following on from a distinguished Executive Career where the last post he held was that of Group Managing Director and Engineer for Cambridge Water Plc, a post he held for 12 years.

His recent Board responsibilities span the Health, Housing, Armed Forces and Flood Defence sectors. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors for Papworth NHS FT Cardiothoracic Hospital for the 8 years ended March 2014, a Non-Executive Director at Circle Housing Group for the 9 years ended July 2012 during which time he chaired Circle’s Treasury & Finance Committee, and was a Member of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body for the 6 years ended March 2010.

As well as detailed sector specific knowledge, Robert brings extensive experience of change management and sound governance.

Peter Male

Peter Male
Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Audit Committee

Peter qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser. He spent 19 years as a Partner with Ernst & Young where advised both UK and international clients, including many in the property and construction sectors.

Peter has recently retired as CEO of a management consultancy business and as Chair of Trustees at The Samaritans (Milton Keynes). He has remained involved in the charity sector, including a Night Shelter for the homeless and as a director of two community shops.

Jill Ainscough

Jill Ainscough
Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Remuneration and Nominations Committee

Jill has over ten years of Board experience following a career in strategic leadership across a range of industries where the last post she held was Chief Operating Officer and Board member at Ofcom. In this role she was instrumental in delivering spectrum management for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

A highly experienced non-executive director, Jill completed six years on the board at Sport England, including a period chairing the Audit Committee. Jill is currently also a board member at the BMJ and was previously a non-executive director at Lakehouse Plc, where she chaired the remuneration committee.

Jill brings with her a wide breadth of experience as an executive working in commercial and operational roles within the private and public sectors.

Ian Ailles

Ian Ailles
Non-Executive Director

Ian was originally trained as an accountant with Ernst & Young. Following qualification he moved to NatWest Markets as Head of Finance and then to Thomas Cook as Group Financial Controller before rising to Deputy CEO and MD of their Specialist Businesses. From 2007 he worked for Wyndham, a US company before rejoining Thomas Cook in 2011 as the UK CEO and a member of the Global Executive Committee, stepping down in 2014. He is now Director General of the House of Commons.

Shan Hunt

Shan Hunt
Non-Executive Director

Shan Hunt is a long-serving Labour councillor for the Kempston ward of Bedford Borough Council.

Martin Hurst
Non-Executive Director

Following a PhD in Economics and Econometrics, Martin served as an Economist for HM Treasury for nine years. He was appointed as a civil servant Senior Policy Advisor to Tony Blair for Environment, Planning and Housing in 2002. Since then he has overseen large budgets as both Director of Water and Floods and as Commercial Director at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He has previously been the Vice Chair of Wandle Housing Association and is currently on secondment to Affinity Water.

Executive Directors

Kevin Bolt

Kevin Bolt MBA, MCIM
Chief Executive

Kevin has extensive commercial and change management experience having worked at board level for a range of blue-chip organisations. Throughout his career, he has been creating commercial success through the creation and implementation of change.

He has 30 years commercial experience to PLC Board level, completed two successful turnarounds in leadership positions and set up Step-Change Management Ltd in 2005. He has successfully delivered transformation, change and development projects with a range of organisations including the NHS, MoD, Housing Sector, Forensic Science Service, CEFAS and ACC Liverpool.

Paul Gray
Chief Financial Officer

Paul is a chartered accountant with extensive national and international chief financial officer experience and an excellent track record in growing businesses across a variety of sectors. He has a strong background in corporate finance, with specific interests in fundraising, business planning, commercial contract negotiation, group and international reporting, management and mentoring of staff across departments. Paul is a board member of bpha’s Main Board and Bushmead Homes Ltd.

Sarah Ireland

Sarah Ireland
Director of Development and Sales

Sarah joined bpha in 2008 as an Assistant Development Director and has led bpha’s development activities since 2012. Prior to working with bpha Sarah was a Senior Land Manager at Taylor Wimpey.

Sarah is a board member of bpha’s main Board.

Julie Wittich

Julie Wittich
Director of Service Delivery

Julie has over 22 years’ experience in social housing – 15 years in housing management and seven in property services across four different housing associations. Julie joined bpha in 2001 and most recently has led the Property Services function. Julie manages the entire customer service experience and is a board member of bpha’s main Board.

Liz Parsons

Liz Parsons
Director of Quality and Communications

Liz has been with bpha since 2004 and most recently was Head of Policy and Projects. Prior to this role, Liz was a London Lead Manager at the National Housing Federation and a buyer and project manager at both Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s Head Office.

Margaret Dodwell

Margaret Dodwell
Interim Operations Director

Margaret joined bpha in 2016 as Interim Operations Director covering maternity leave. Margaret has worked in housing for 20 years, initially in Milton Keynes at Midsummer, progressing to Managing Director of Guinness South. Prior to joining bpha she was Transformation Director working with the ALMO and London Borough of Brent to modernise their housing service.