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04 April 2017

CHC's new governance arrangements - a Chair's perspective

Picture of Debbie Green

Any of us who have been around for a while will recognise that CHC’s governance has come a long way.

When I joined National Council in 2014, CHC was reviewing its governance and trying to move away from a representative model. We managed to slim down Council and reduce the number of meetings, but we hadn’t really changed the fundamentals.

This time, we have succeeded in replacing National Council and Executive Committee with a skills-based Board. 2017 is a transitional year so we started with the six members who stayed on from Executive Committee. Governance of a membership body is an interesting challenge and we are still finding our way, along with officers, in working out the Board’s role in relation to policy. An example here would be that the Board needs to ensure that CHC is sufficiently resourced to support members with challenges like Universal Credit, without necessarily getting into the policy details.

We also held our first open Board meeting in February and I was pleased to see seven people voluntarily make their way to Mid Wales to take advantage of putting the new Board on the spot. Those attending set the agenda and asked questions covering a range of areas - rural housing, PAC, reversal of reclassification, regulation, Welsh Language Standards, and a question about how the Board makes sure that CHC delivers value for money to name a few!

By the end of this year, we will need to recruit some new Board members. We have been very lucky to persuade Ruth Marks, currently Chief Executive of WCVA, to be the independent Chair of our new Nominations Committee, with the other 3 members being Walis George, Judith James, and Michelle Reid. Once our skills matrix has been approved we will be recruiting and, for the first time, looking outside as well as inside the sector. We can recruit up to two independent members.

It is going to be a busy year and, by the end of it, I look forward to having an energetic, diverse and challenging (up to a point!) Board in place. In the meantime, if anyone wants to chat to me about anything to do with CHC’s Board, please drop me a line or come to the next open meeting.
Debbie Green
- Chair of CHC's Board