Chief Executive Recruitment

Governance


We are committed to actively encouraging our tenants and other local people to take a lead role in influencing our decision making.

Our Board is skills based and remunerated. Members are recruited according to expertise and also by taking into account any new areas of activity being under taken.

Our Board

Stephen Kinsella - Chair of the Board

Stephen is originally from Norris Green, one of Cobalt’s neighbourhoods in North Liverpool, and describes himself as “a Norris Green lad”, who was lucky enough to grow up in the area in the 1970s.

He brings significant housing, property and development experience from the private and social housing sectors from his previous position as Growth & Partnerships Director with Barratt for 11 years. Before that, he also spent time at both Riverside and Arena Housing Associations.

Stephen also has significant experience as a Board member, having sat on the Board of the English Cities Fund, the Boards of the major regeneration projects at York Central and Bristol Temple Meads, the Future Homes Task Force as well as a number of task, government and industry steering groups.

Nick Crofts - Deputy Chair

An experienced non-executive, Nick chaired the Board of Venture Housing Association during their recent amalgamation with another Merseyside Registered Provider. He is a councillor for Knotty Ash ward in Liverpool and served four years as a member of the Co-op Party’s National Executive Committee.

Nick is the President of the Co-operative Group’s National Members’ Council. The Group is the largest member-owned co-operative business in the UK, with 8 million members, more than 3600 stores and turning over in excess of £8bn.  Having worked for fifteen years in sales and marketing consultancy roles, he now runs the office of Stephen Twigg MP.

Kieran Timmins

Kieran is Group Finance Director at the Prima Group and was Deputy Chief Executive at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority for many years.

Kieran has been a Board member in the Housing Sector for over 20 years and is a passionate advocate for the ability of the sector to support neighbourhoods and transform lives.  He previously sat on Plus Dane’s Board during the transition to CDS Homes into Plus and eventually Plus Dane.  He also sat on the Merseyside Housing Market Renewal Board and is a current Board member with specialist provider Alpha homes on the Wirral.

More recently he has worked providing consultancy services within the fire and housing sectors. He is also on the Board of West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning group

Claire Griffiths

Claire has worked in social housing for over thirty years, and is currently Executive Director of Development, Assets and Growth at Irwell Valley Homes. She is passionate about working with community and neighbourhood focused organisations, and is an experienced Board member.

She has specialism in strategic leadership, development and asset management, and has extensive knowledge of the sector with a focus on listening to and involving tenants, consumer affordability and creating vibrant communities.

Wes Baker

Wes is currently Director of Strategic Analytics, Economics and Population Health Management for Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. He is the lead for some ground-breaking projects in north Liverpool, which are national pilots for promoting independence for older and vulnerable residents through digital innovation, and improving service provision for families with complex issues, many of whom live in the Cobalt areas.

He is passionate about Cobalt’s communities and the need to make a positive impact in addressing the impact of the pandemic, debt, crime and violence on health outcomes. Wes recognises Cobalt’s strong community focus and wants to use his networks and role to support Cobalt to transform our communities.

Andy Pritchard

Andy has lived in the local area for over 30 years. He has been an active member of the local community supporting Cobalt since they were established in 2003 and was Chair of the Croxteth Neighbourhood Committee for over eight years.

Professionally, Andy is employed as a Resources Director in an Academy in the Formby area and has over 30 years’ experience working in the education sector. He hopes his skills in financial management, premises management, human resources and health and safety will be of benefit to the Cobalt’s Board.

Eddie Wright

Eddie works for Dwell Student Living and has responsibility for leading on UK acquisitions, Investment programmes and Facilities Management. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers with over 30 years’ experience in Construction and Property Management both in public and private sectors and has worked for a housing association for 17 years so has direct experience of delivery of services to tenants

Graeme Foster

Graeme is currently Chief Executive of Alpha Homes, a Wirral based provider of accommodation for older people. Graeme was Senior Regulation Manager for the HCA until October 2014 and therefore has a wealth of knowledge and experience of the expectations from the Regulator including governance, risk and value for money and is also a specialist senior housing professional.

Jan Souness MBE

Jan was most recently MD of two not for profit organisations and was previously Assistant Chief Executive at Warrington Borough Council. Jan’s key skill area is HR professional and she has extensive experience in partnership working

Yvonne Davies

Yvonne is a former Housing Association MD and former Head of Housing & Economic Development at the Audit Commission. She is now a Consultant and trainer in tenant engagement, equalities and governance.  She is an experienced business professional with significant experience in housing, charities and inspection.  Yvonne works with HACT/CFPS on projects relevant to transparency, accountability and business transformation, and with HDN on projects on equalities, including facilitating their Board Mentoring programme.

Stephanie Ramsden

Stephanie currently leads on Industrial, Commerical and SME propositions for British Gas UK Business. A former Head of Regeneration and Housing at Knowsley MBC she has extensive experience of new housing and commercial developments from planning and design stages through to delivery. Most recently Stephanie has delivered energy efficiency retrofit programmes across the UK supporting improvements to over 3,000 homes and winning multiple industry awards for the schemes. She holds qualifications in Business Studies, Marketing, Management and Social Media.

Stephanie was born and lived in Norris Green until 2003 and still has strong family links with Norris Green.

Mike Rea

Mike was co-opted onto the Board of Cobalt Housing in March, and was elected as a permanent member at Cobalt’s AGM on 2nd September 2019.  Mike has over 20 years experience of working within Accounting and Finance.  He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and is currently employed as Head of Finance within the public sector.  He has worked across a variety of finance functions throughout his career and has extensive experience of financial strategy and budgetary control.

Mike is passionate about the local housing sector especially as he grew up and went to school in Norris Green and Croxteth. He hopes his skills can assist Cobalt in giving people the opportunity to have a place they can call home.

Pam Smith

Pam’s current role is as a Non-Executive Director for Cheshire CCG, focusing on resident engagement, involvement and experience. Pam has spent a large part of her career working in partnership with housing associations, with specialist knowledge and experience in care and extra care schemes.

Pam is passionate about addressing inequalities and ensuring homes and residents are safe, healthy and well, and puts tenant involvement and harnessing the skills of local people and volunteers at the centre of developing services.


Executive Management Team


Alan Rogers, Chief Executive

Alan has worked in housing and regeneration for over 30 years, initially for a local authority and then for housing associations where he successfully delivered a number of large, high profile, projects. Before joining Cobalt, Alan worked as Director of Regeneration for Liverpool housing Trust.

Alan is committed to working with the board, colleagues and partners to build on and improve Cobalt’s service delivery and reputation.

Annette Brandwood, Director of Governance, Assurance & Risk

Annette joined Cobalt Housing in 2006. In her current role as Director of Governance, Assurance & Risk, she has responsibility a variety of corporate services.  These include governance, internal audit, risk management, business intelligence, ISO 9001 accreditation, customer insight, communications and marketing, training and development and customer feedback and complaints.

Annette is committed to working with the board and all colleagues, providing assurance that Cobalt remains compliant and effectively managed for the benefit of all our tenants, both current and future.

Dave Woods, Director of Operations

Dave joined us in 2019 from First Choice Homes, Oldham where he spent 6 years as Homes and Investment Director. He has responsibility for all Operational activities linked to Housing Management Services, Asset Management, and Property Maintenance, as well as Development and Regeneration. Dave has worked in the housing sector for over 30 years and delivered significant investment projects, and improvement programmes across Oldham and Liverpool.

Having spent his early years living in Croxteth he has a personal link to the area and is committed to working with our tenants and Board members to improve services and create sustainable communities.

Jon Webster CPFA, Director of Resources

Jon has been a director of Cobalt since its creation in 2003.  In his current role of Director of Resources he is responsible for finance, information technology and human resources.

Jon is committed to Cobalt being a well-run viable social business, managed efficiently and effectively for the long term benefit of its current and future tenants.