Brett Sadler

(Welsh) Housing Power Players 2014?

ImageThe recent publication by 24 Housing of 2014’s top 50 power players included 5 welsh representatives. These were:

21 – Gavin Smart – Director of Policy and Practice, Chartered Institute of Housing (and Bron Afon Board member)

22 – Jules Birch – Welsh Housing Quarterly Editor and blogger

37 – Robin Staines – Head of Housing – Camarthenshire County Council

40 – Michelle Reid – CEO – Cynan Taff Community Housing

47 – Carl Sergeant – Welsh Assembly Minister for Housing and Regeneration

Interesting enough, at the CIH Cymru TAI Housing conference in Cardiff recently, Michelle Reid queried whether it would be possible for her to remain in the top 50 as part of her new role. I guess next years list will be the real litmus test, but signs are looking good.

This year 24 Housing have also included at top 30 CEO’s list, which include the following Welsh representatives:

14 – Michelle Reid – Cynon Taf Community Housing

22 – Andrew Lycett – RCT Homes

30 – Duncan Forbes – Bron Afon

So, the overall picture shows that Wales does have some representation, but not much. I do wonder whether this reflects the much wider picture of Wales having different legislation and regulation (to name but two), making it difficult for Wales to seep over into England (and vice versa).

OK, so between the two lists there were 8 from and connected to Wales out of 80 listed, but what about Scotland and Northern Ireland? They were even more sparsely represented. Don’t get me wrong, I know that the power player list is a bit of fun really and is certainly doesn’t include a scientifically proven formula, but it certainly fires up some debate about these issues.

The other big issue to come out of the top 50 power players list is the lack of diversity. Only 12 women are listed, the same number as last year.  Grania Long, herself number 5 on the Power Players list for this year, has recognised this by agreeing to put the diversity issue on the CIH Conference debate programme for Manchester. This is after all a much bigger issue than just the Power Players list and has been talked about for some years within #ukhousing.

On a purely superficial level (I can work like this when needed), the list shows me who has some influence in the world of housing. Most of the list are names that we know and recognise due to their hard work within the sector. I also have to agree with Steve Hildich’s comment on his Red Brick blog that ‘you’d rather be on the list than not’.

So here’s to next year’s power player list and seeing whether any of this and previous years issues get ironed out. Who’s willing to bet that there will be an increased diversity in next years list?


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