A word from the Chair
This year, our theme at Luton Community Housing
(LCH) has been about progress. We're using new
ways of working to do things more effectively
and efficiently. And we're continuing to keep our
customers and service users, and their progress, at
the very centre of everything we do.
Dr David Cheesman
Chair, Board of Directors
Taking advantage of technology
This report is a good example of our creative use of technology. We've produced it digitally because it's more convenient now for most
people to read, and it also means we're not wasting money on printing.
We've found that our recent investments in IT and telephone services have enabled us to work in different and better ways. We can be
more flexible in where we work and how we stay in touch. This is better for both customers and ourselves. And we can collaborate more
easily to avoid losing time on complicated processes.
This year, we're also launching a customer 'portal' (see General Needs Housing section for more information), which will give customers
the convenience and information they need to help them manage their tenancy.
A more holistic approach
It's not just technology that's making a difference to our performance though. In housing services, we've reduced arrears by introducing
a more holistic style of working, taking time to talk to our customers to get a better understanding of their needs and challenges. And in
supported housing we're using coaching to tackle the source of problems such as antisocial behaviour.
Internally, our Interact project has significantly improved our communication with – and better understanding of – one another. And our
Work Positive initiative is aimed at improving our wellbeing and happiness, which should ultimately boost our productivity.
We continue to be progressive in our approach to diversity too. Congratulations to our CEO, Lynda Rees, who won the prestigious CEO
of the Year 2018 award at the National Centre for Diversity's Grand Awards ceremony. We were also shortlisted for Most Improved
Organisation and climbed to 20th place on the centre's Top 100 Index.
It's striving for awards such as these that helps us to keep our focus on continuous improvement and fairness.
Of course, moving forwards doesn't mean letting go of our long held values such as achieving excellence in the delivery of services to our
customers. As we face new challenges like the roll out of Universal Credit later this year, these values will take us through.
Dr David Cheesman
Chair, Board of Directors
Meet the Board
The board represents the diversity and professionalism that we work towards at Luton Community Housing. All but one of its
members are from Luton and Bedfordshire. And they all take a keen interest in guiding us to fulfil our five-year business plan
and professional mission to support people and help them find accommodation.
Mr Bashir Ul Hafeez
(Vice Chair and Chair, 2006 – 2011)
Bashir was a Principal Officer in local
government and became a Councillor in
the Borough of Newham, serving as Chair
of several committees. He retired to Luton
in 2002 and became involved with Luton
Community Housing shortly afterwards.
Mr Abdul Malik
Local businessman Abdul moved to Luton
in the 1960s after qualifying as an engineer
and has been on the Luton Community
Housing Board since 2003. He's been
involved with race and community relations
in a voluntary capacity, and represented
minorities with local government, chairing
equalities panels. He was also a lay member
of the local police authority and has been
on the Board of Luton Law Centre.
Mr Peter Rickard
Peter has been a tenant of Luton
Community Housing since 1971.
He and his wife live in the Hightown area of
Luton and he joined our Board as a tenant
representative in 2007. He brings practical
experience of being a tenant.
Mr Glyn Early
Glyn joined the Luton Community Housing
Board in 2012 on his retirement as Managing
Director of a long-standing family building
firm. Glyn brings practical experience of
house-building and public service contracts,
as well as local knowledge. He's keenly
interested in supporting local charitable
organisations, especially fundraising with
Luton Rotary Club.
Ms Sarah Markham
Sarah joined our Board in 2012. She works
for Luton Borough Council (LBC) as Head of
Housing Operations and has been a trainer.
She also has previous experience of working
within other housing associations.
Mr Iain Smith
Iain is a retired solicitor who worked in
local authority. He attended his first Luton
Community Housing Board meeting as an
observer in July 2016 and became an official
Board member in March 2017.
Mr Mostaque Koyes
Mostaque became an official Board member
in May 2017. He is a director of a leading local
business and has a wide network of influential
contacts. He's introduced many initiatives
into the community: Community Magazine,
Inspire Business Magazine, Business Curry
Club, LETS Fair, LETS Hub, Community Soup
Kitchen and the annual Community Awards
Ceremony. By sharing his experience,
Mostaque aims to make a sustainable
difference to Luton residents.
Mr Vinod Tailor
Vinod, a former High Sheriff of Bedfordshire
for 2017-2018, has lived in Bedfordshire
since around 1972. He worked in the
banking and financial sectors for 40 years,
and is involved in several organisations
in Bedfordshire, London, India and
Africa. Vinod is an active member of the
community and is very interested in local
affairs. He first attended a Luton Community
Housing Board meeting as an observer in
June 2017 and became an official Board
member in May 2018.
And finally, our Chair...
Dr David Cheesman
David spent many years as Head of
Research at the Housing Corporation
(now the Homes and Communities Agency).
Since stepping down from there, he has
been a visiting professor at Sheffield Hallam
University and is now a policy adviser at the
Financial Conduct Authority. David has lived
in Luton since the 1980s and is concerned
that the town does not always get its fair
share of opportunities. He has been our
Chair since 2011.