Management and governance

Stonewater is governed by a Board, the role of which is to provide overall strategic direction and ensure that the organisation is meeting its aims and objectives.

The Executive Director Group manage the day to day running of the business.

The Board, which meets regularly through the year, is supported by six committees, which provide detailed governance oversight of different areas of Stonewater’s operations. The housing committee, which monitors service delivery, includes five independent places and we also have an independent member on the risk & assurance committee and the digital & IT task and finish group.

Board members have a wide range of skills and experience that reflect our services, our customers and the size and strength of the business.


Stonewater Board

Chair: Mr George Blunden MA

Experienced in the affordable housing sector, having been Chair of Southern Housing Group, George is Chair of the Charity Bank, which provides affordable loan finance to those charitable and social organisations who might find it difficult to access loans from commercial banks. He is also a non-executive Director of Beazley plc, an insurance company. He began his career as a community worker, had a spell in industry before moving to the City where he was a director of a number of financial institutions.

Jennifer Bennett LL.B

Jennifer is a nationally recognised social housing solicitor and her areas of expertise include governance, securitisation, asset management and leasehold law.

During her 30 years in the sector she has also held a number of voluntary roles including as a Non Executive Director of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, an Independent Member of Winchester City Council Standards Committee, a Non Executive Director of Parity Trust which provides loan finance for community based projects and a Trustee of the Roberts Centre, a registered charity providing housing and support to families and children in Portsmouth.

Jennifer is a member of the CIH.

Nicholas Harris

Nicholas became Stonewater’s CEO in 2016, having been CEO of Raglan Housing Association since January 2010. Previous to this, he held the CEO position at Raven Housing Trust for seven years and Group Operations Directors for the Swaythling Housing Group for seven years.

He has extensive experience in both the social housing sector and local authorities and considerable knowledge in socio-economic regeneration matters.

Claire Kearney

After more than twenty years of experience in the Publishing industry, Claire now works as an Independent Technology Consultant, championing a user-centric approach to the provision of online services. Claire brings experience creating and implementing digital services which align with strategic aims alongside promoting high standards of web governance through committee experience.

Mrs Anne Dokov BA, MSc, Chartered FCIPD

Anne’s career has been mainly in the public sector, particularly local government. She has extensive experience of governance, organisational change and development, programme management and specialist knowledge of diversity, inclusion and human resources. She is a Lay Member of the Disciplinary Tribunal for the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and Stonewater’s Trustee on the Longleigh Foundation Board. Committee Membership: Housing (Chair), Governance and HR.

Mr Peter Hammond FCCA BA

Chair of Stonewater Funding plc

Peter has over 30 years experience in the social housing and consulting sectors covering a number of key service areas including strategy, governance, risk, audit, asset management, treasury and development.

He was formerly Group Finance Director for a major housing association and Director for over 25 years with HACAS/Tribal, former housing consultancies. In 2012 he founded Peter Hammond Consulting Ltd. He is also a Director of Housing Securities Ltd and of TIAA Ltd. a major provider of internal audit and business assurance services to the public sector.

Committee Membership: Finance, Assets and Development.

Mr Brian Roebuck BA, MSc, MA, CPFA

Brian previously held senior positions in finance management in the public, voluntary and private sectors. He has worked in the social housing sector since 1994. Committee Membership: Finance, Risk and Assurance.

Mr John Weguelin

A banker with extensive experience of leading, motivating and directing multi-functional and diverse teams John is currently CEO of Zenith Bank UK Ltd. His interests include property development, leadership and change management. Committee membership: Finance (Chair), Digital and IT Strategy.

Mr Doug Wright ACIB, DMsc

Doug is financial consultant for vulnerable people for the repair and improvement of their homes. Committee membership: Assets and Development (Chair), Risk and Assurance.

Juliana Crowe BA Dip Housing MBA FCIH

Juliana is Housing and Communities Director of a West Midlands based Housing Group, with over 25 years housing experience. Previously she worked for the London Boroughs of Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich. She is a member of the European Structural Investments Funds Sub Committee (ESIF) in Worcestershire.

She has extensive experience at all levels of asset management, estate and housing management of inner city estates and rural affordable homes, with expertise in building sustainable communities. She has previously been the Chair of the CIH West Midlands Board, a Trustee of HACT.

At the moment Juliana is helping to build a school in the upper region of Ghana in memory of her father.

Tariq Kazi

Finance Committee Chair-Designate

Tariq is a professional accountant and corporate treasurer, he has experience of working across different sectors, including audit, commercial banking and local authorities, as well as the housing sector.

He is currently a finance consultant and has a special interest in people, culture and innovation. Tariq has served as a magistrate and, as a non-executive, he has undertaken a number of roles including as a member of the social housing regulation committee, membership of a housing association treasury committee and trusteeship of two charities.

In addition to his role with Stonewater, he currently serves as a member of the Leasehold Advisory Service board, appointed by the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

Executive Director Group

Sue Shirt

Executive Director - Housing

Sue is Stonewater’s Executive Director for Housing; she has 30 years of housing experience operating at an executive level in a range of organisations for the last 15 years.

Sue joined Jephson as Director, Midlands in 2010. Prior to this, her roles included housing consultant for a range of organisations, Managing Director and Operations Director for an LSVT and as Head of Service, leading the transformation of an underperforming district council housing service into an above average authority and the regeneration of a former coal field area.

She is a graduate in Economics, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing and a Member of the Chartered Management Institute. Sue is regional board member for the Chartered Institute of Housing and a trustee for a domestic violence charity.

Scott Baxendale

Executive Director - Assets

Scott has 32 years experience in the housing sector and has been working in an executive capacity for 17 years, 11 of which at Group level. He has extensive experience of change management and performance improvement. He joined Raglan as part of a new executive team charged with turning around the business. He has extensive experience of business transformation, having undertaken two stock transfers, worked on the formation of Paragon Community Housing Group in 2007 and more recently the successful turnaround at Raglan Housing Association and formation of Stonewater, the merger between Raglan and Jephson Housing Groups in 2015.

He has been a LSVT board member and Chair of a Committee, a Senior Management Team member of a Local Housing Company and an Executive Team member of two Housing Groups. He is an UK Company Director for Resolve ASB (formerly the Social Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group), a national lobbying and best practice organisation.

Scott is responsible for Stonewater’s asset services. Key objectives are to improve asset values to generate additional financial capacity whilst transforming services to meet the expectations of future generations.

John Bruton

Executive Director - Finance

Before the formation of Stonewater John had been Director of Finance at Raglan since 2001.

Previously he was Financial Controller at Metropolitan Housing Partnership and did audit and advisory work at KPMG.

He is a Chartered Accountant and has a postgraduate degree in mathematics.

David Blower

Executive Director - Corporate Services

David is Stonewater's Corporate Services Director, having previously been Jephson Group Finance Director since 2005. Previous to this he held a number of senior finance positions at Orbit Housing Group and has worked in the sector since 1993.

David is responsible for Stonewater’s IT, HR, assurance, innovation, governance and communications services. He drives transformation in these areas to deliver the Group’s ambitions.

David is a chartered certified accountant and holds an MBA from Warwick Business School.

Jonathan Layzell

Executive Director - Development

Jonathan Layzell is Stonewater’s Executive Director for Development. Jonathan has an extensive background in delivering new homes with a Particular personal interest in rural housing and the long term sustainability of rural communities.

Jonathan is also interested in how Registered Providers can use investment in new homes to support the growth of the construction sector as well as the wider economy.

Stonewater’s development programme is strong and ambitious and is among the largest in the sector. Jonathan is responsible for the strategic delivery of Stonewater’s housing development programmes including the implementation of innovative affordable rental and shared ownership schemes.