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 resident scrutiny activities.

The Board is composed of four executives and six non executives, of which one is a nominee of Bedford Borough Council. The Board is collectively responsible for ensuring the success of 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

Professor Paul Leinster CBE
Chair of the Board

Paul is Professor of Environmental Assessment at Cranfield University and a non-executive board member of Flood Re, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment and Delphic HSE. He is a member of the government’s Natural Capital Committee and chairs the Bedfordshire Local Nature Partnership.

His first job was with BP. He then worked for Schering Agrochemicals before moving into consultancy and then on to SmithKline Beecham.  Paul joined the Environment Agency in 1998 and was appointed Chief Executive in 2008, a post he held until 2015.

Professor Leinster has lived in Bedford for almost 30 years and has extensive experience of the environmental, planning and infrastructure opportunities and challenges within bpha’s area of operation, the ‘growth and innovation’ corridor between Oxford and Cambridge.

Peter Male

Peter Male
Senior Independent Director and Non-Executive Director

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.

Martin Hurst

Martin Hurst
Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Finance and Treasury Committee

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 currently holds a number of Non-Executive Director, advisory and consultancy roles in water, housing and commercial fora.

Ian Ailles
Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee

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.

Paul High

Paul High
Co-Opted Member of the Board and Chair of Development Committee and Bushmead Homes Ltd Board.

Paul brings over 36 years’ experience in residential development and property management, the majority of which has been in the housing association sector.

He has been responsible for the strategic leadership of the Orbit Homes’ Property Investment Programme, the housebuilder of Orbit Group, for eight years. As Executive Director Property Investment, Paul was responsible for delivering over 1,700 new homes in the Midlands, East Anglia and the South East in 2015-16.

Previously he was the Director of Development and Asset Management at WM Housing Group and the Director of Development at Castle Vale Housing Action Trust in Birmingham.

He also spent three years whilst at Orbit as a board member of Bromsgrove District Housing Trust (BDHT).

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

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.

Julie Wittich

Julie Wittich
Executive Director of Assets

Julie has 25 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 and Customer Services functions. Julie is also 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.

Jeff Astle

Jeff Astle
Executive Director of Development and Sales

Jeff was previously Director of New Business at the Guinness Partnership, having worked at the organisation for over 14 years. He has a wealth of experience of large-scale development projects and for-profit development.

Jeff leads the Development and Sales business units to drive the plans to deliver circa 3,000 new affordable homes over the next five years and to help shape the development of bpha’s subsidiary, Bushmead Homes.

Adrian Moore

Adrian Moore
Director of IT

Adrian joined bpha as Head of IT in November 2015 and was promoted to Director of IT in January 2018.

Adrian has over 30 years’ experience working in Information Technology (IT), including 14 years in the strategic IT leadership roles of IT Director or Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

His experience includes both technical and strategic IT consultancy across the Mobile, Commercial, Education, Pharmaceutical, Insurance, Local Government and Public sectors.  Immediately prior to joining bpha, Adrian held the post of worldwide CTO for the Cambridge Education Group.

Adrian is responsible for leading the digital transformation of bpha’s systems and processes, in order to deliver improved services and meet the needs of our customers. He and his team are using transformational technology to deliver a 21st century housing association.

Anna Humphries
Director of Customers and Services

Anna joined bpha in July 2018 and has over 20 years’ experience in the social housing and care sector most recently as Regional Director East for The Abbeyfield Society.

Prior to joining Abbeyfield Anna worked for Orbit Independent Living (East) and MHA managing their independent living, support and housing services for older people at a regional and national level.