Audit and risk committee

The responsibilities of the audit and risk committee are:

  • Overseeing the internal audit programme
  • Identifying and managing risks to the business on behalf of the Group board

The audit and risk committee report directly to the Housing Plus Group board and their main regulator, the Regulator for Social Housing (RSH).

Rachel BowdenChair

Rachel is a self-employed consultant specialising in internal audit and risk management.

With a career in risk and audit spanning over 20 years, Rachel has experience of working for not-for-profit, corporate and public sector organisations.  Rachel is also a trustee at a local care charity as she believes that everyone in our community should be safe, secure and looked after.

Rachael is keen to promote innovation and the sharing of ideas in order to drive the business forward.

Vivien CrossCommittee member

Vivien has 25 years’ experience in the finance and housing sector having previously worked for Shipleys, BDO, and Dane Housing. She is a chartered accountant and has spent 11 years in audit roles which included managing the audits of large housing associations.

Vivien has been self-employed since 2015 working for owner-managing businesses advising on accounting and tax matters with some housing consultancy.  She brings finance, risk, governance, change/project management and development expertise to the Board.

Julie FillaryCommittee member

Julie began her career as a nurse and spent 40 years working within healthcare. During the last 25 years of her career she held senior executive management posts spanning the NHS, private healthcare and the charitable sectors. Her key responsibilities as a director of nursing included the management and leadership of 6000 multi-professional staff, governance, risk management, quality of service, regulatory compliance and budget management. Prior to retiring in 2013 Julie ran her own business and was an independent consultant to the Department of Health with responsibility for policy development, policy implementation and assurance of health services across the country. 

Julie has also carried out voluntary work abroad as a health advisor to the governments of Swaziland and Grand Cayman.

Andrew BurnsCommittee member

Andrew is a qualified accountant and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) with an MBA from Aston Business School. 

Until December 2018, Andrew spent 12 years as Director of Finance and Resources for Staffordshire County Council; was Treasurer of the Staffordshire Pension Fund and a former President of the Society of County Treasurers.

He was CIPFA President in 2017/18 serving an Institute with over 14,000 members worldwide. The institute work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies and major accountancy firms, along with other public bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed.

As an Associate Director at CIPFA his current role is to further develop strong links with local and central government, building trust to improve public financial management and governance.

He is also a trustee of the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) the leading national organisation promoting and supporting excellence in governance and scrutiny across public services.

Andrew is passionate about improving outcomes for customers and communities and believes that good quality affordable housing and care should be accessible to all.

Jason BurtCommittee member

A lawyer by profession, in 2016 Jason left the legal practice that he had successfully helped to build into a Chambers and Legal 500 listed firm to join Willis Towers Watson as a specialist consultant.  He is now responsible for overseeing the development of a range of regulatory and strategic risk management services for a wide range of national and international clients with specialisms in education and regulatory matters including health and safety and care standards.

Jason is also Group Director of Health, Safety Compliance (having previously served 3 years as a non-executive Director) of Mears PLC where he is chair of the Risk Compliance Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.  With a passion for social enterprises and values, throughout his career Jason has chosen to work with not for profit businesses or businesses that have social values at the core of their operations.  At Housing Plus, Jason looks forward to using his skills and experience for the benefit of its existing and future customers.

Paul RobertsCommittee member

A value driven leader who seeks to create and deliver sustainable change, Paul was for many years a senior executive within the housing sector, latterly serving as Executive Director at The Guinness Partnership where he was responsible for the finance directorate.  Paul also led on the amalgamation of regional businesses to provide a more cost efficient and service focused functional structure.   

Paul is a chartered management accountant who throughout his career has worked 

successfully to transform and develop businesses, helping them to improve and reach their potential, particularly through development of strategy, service mechanisms, stakeholder management and social investment. 

As a member of the Homes Board and the group Audit and Risk Management Committee, Paul is keen to use his skills and expertise for the benefit of the Group and its customers. 

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