our board

Judith Common

Judith is Board Chair and a member of the group’s Remuneration, Nominations and HR Committee. Having been involved with County Durham Housing Group since its inception, Judith also spent eight years as an independent member on Your Homes Newcastle and Leazes Homes’ Boards, including time as Vice Chair at YHN. She strongly believes that social housing is not simply providing a house; its aim is to develop services that turn an individual’s or family’s house into a home. Judith works as a Learning and Development Consultant and previously held senior roles at Northumbria Police.

Doug Ross

Doug is Board Vice Chair and a member of the group’s Audit Committee and the Remuneration, Nominations and HR Committee. As a qualified accountant with significant housing experience, Doug was involved in the arrangements to put in place the group’s initial funding. He devotes a lot of his time representing the group and acting as a mentor to help and support other Board members. Doug retired from his role as Managing Director of Tees Valley Housing in April 2014, having previously been Group Director of Finance and Corporate Services.

Councillor David Boyes

David is a member of the Common Board and is Chair of the group’s Remuneration, Nominations and HR Committee, having previously served on the board at East Durham Homes. He is a County Councillor and is involved with a number of committees and panels including: Chair of Safer Stronger Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee; member of the Police and Crime Panel; Chair of Easington Housing Steering Group; Chair of Easington Parish Council; Board Vice-Chair at East Durham College.

Hazel Dale

Hazel is a member of the Common Board and Chair of the group’s Audit Committee. As a retired Director of Finance, Hazel brings wide and varied knowledge and experience of housing management. Hazel was previously a Board member at Dale & Valley Homes. She also acted as treasurer to the Cleveland-based young carers’ charity, The Junction.

Russell Hall

Russell is a member of the Common Board and the group’s Operational Committee, having previously served on East Durham Homes’ Board. He has more than 16 years’ experience of working with social housing organisations regionally and nationally. Russell specialises in housing law and practice, and registered provider governance and regulatory matters. As a solicitor, Russell started his career at Newcastle City Council before moving to Dickinson Dees to specialise in social housing for 14 years. He is currently a partner at Muckle LLP and heads up the firms’ offer to the social housing sector.

Gurpreet Singh Jagpal

Gurpreet is Vice Chair of the group’s Audit Committee and a member of the Common Board, having previously served on Durham City Homes’ Board. He is a Chartered Accountant and studied Business Economics at Durham University. As the current Chief Executive of Durham Group, Gurpreet is able to use his skills and knowledge to ensure that financial decision-making is realistic and well managed. Gurpreet is passionate about providing better opportunities for future generations and believes that the communities we live in are a vital part of that.

Councillor Kevin Shaw

Kevin is a member of the Common Board and the Audit Committee, having previously sat on the group’s Operations Committee and East Durham Homes’ Board. He served 30 years as a firefighter, including time as Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union. He has been a County Councillor since 2013, and is a Town Councillor. As a Durham County Council Cabinet member, he is portfolio holder for strategic housing and assets, looking after fuel poverty, homelessness and liaison with travellers.

Mr Wales

Mr Wales is a member of the Board and Operations Committee. After working in the United Arab Emirates as a mechanical engineer in the oil and gas industry, Mr Wales worked for the Home Office and Ministry of Justice as a civil servant for over 25 years. He took a leading role in the development, implementation and regular reviews of business plans. He also developed and regularly reviewed risk registers. Mr Wales is passionate and proud of the diverse community he lives in and, as a current tenant, is committed to actively contributing to decision-making to ensure that the group delivers the best possible services to its customers.

Group Chief Executive Bill Fullen and Group Director of Finance and Resources Alan Smith also sit on the board.

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