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About our Boards

Ongo Partnership is made up of housing, commercial and community based companies, and each area of the business has its own Board of Non-Executive Directors. These are the people who govern our business.

Our housing business is regulated by the Government’s Regulator for Social Housing (RSH), who regularly inspect us to ensure we are meeting its governance and financial standards.

The Boards meet throughout the year and once a year Ongo Homes holds an Annual General Meeting. Some Board members may sit on more than one board or committee, for example, Group Common Board and Audit & Risk Committee.

We publish minutes from meetings of our Group Common and Ongo Communities boards.  We're really sorry that we can't share the minutes of our Ongo Commercial Board, Ongo Developments Board or Committees because they contain some commercially sensitive information. If you would like to see the minutes from meetings, please see below.

Group Common Board

Ongo Communities  



Group Common Board (for Ongo Partnership Ltd and Ongo Homes Ltd): Terms of Reference 

View our terms of reference.

Ongo Developments Common Board (for Ongo Developments Ltd & Ongo Homes Sales Ltd): Terms of Reference 

View our terms of reference.

Ongo Communities Common Board (for Ongo Communities Ltd, Ongo Recruitment Ltd and Crosby Brokerage Ltd): Terms of Reference 

View our terms of reference.

Ongo Commercial Common Board (for Ongo Commercial Ltd, Ongo Roofing Ltd and Ongo Heating & Plumbing Ltd): Terms of Reference

View our terms of reference.

Governance & Remuneration Committee: Terms of Reference 

View our terms of reference.

Audit & Risk Committee: Terms of Reference

View our terms of reference.


Declarations of Interest

Our Board and Committee Members declare any conflicts of interest and these are updated annually and recorded on a register. If you would like to see this register please email your request to


  • Group Common Board

    Our Group Common Board oversees all the activities of the companies within the group and represents the legal entities of Ongo Partnership Ltd and Ongo Homes Ltd. It meets throughout the year. Here are the Board members.

    Bob Walder (Chair)

    Bob spent his career working for housing associations based in Manchester, the Potteries and Lincolnshire.  He was Chief Executive Officer at Longhurst Group for 26 years and retired in 2015.  Since then he has enjoyed a number of non-executive roles chairing three housing associations and a local University.  Bob was appointed Chair at Ongo and is committed to a team approach working with the new Board, Ongo’s tenants and all members of staff.



    Melvin Kenyon

    Melvin worked for twenty years in retail for the John Lewis Partnership, Richard Shops, Boots, and T&S Stores where he was a member of the main board for five years. Later he spent almost ten years working for an agency of the Department for Education in a variety of leadership roles, including Chief Operating Officer. His core skill is in IT and he has also been responsible for a variety of other corporate services including HR, procurement, membership, and facilities management. He is passionate about customer service and intends to translate that into doing his best for tenants. Born in Oldham, Melvin is an Oxford graduate who now lives in the East Midlands.

    Michael Finister-Smith

     Mike is a retired chartered accountant, who previously held senior executive director roles at Waterloo Housing Group, Acclaim Housing Group and Willow Park Housing Trust. Prior to that he worked as a Senior Project Manager for HACAS Chapman Hendy, acting as lead officer for the large-scale voluntary stock transfers from local authorities to new registered social housing providers. Mike also has over 20 years local government finance experience, including 5 years as the Finance Manager for Leeds City Council housing department.

    Helen Lennon

    Helen is a values-driven housing professional with 30 years experience of working in statutory and not-for-profit organisations. Currently the Chief Executive for Connect Housing, in West Yorkshire, she is a passionate advocate of social housing as a tenure of choice and as a foundation to a healthy life. Her background is in housing management and supported housing but during the course of her career she has been responsible for most aspects of managing a housing association. She believes in servant-leadership; housing associations should be supporting their Local Authority partners; the NHS and most importantly existing and future customers (tenants and other service users).  As such she Chairs Leeds City Region Housing Partnership.

    Liz Cook

    Liz is an collaborative and cohesive leader who has the drive and determination to deliver customer excellence, through effective challenge innovation and partnership. She is committed to the provision of exceptional housing services. Liz has worked in public sector housing for 30+ years as CEO of ALMO, Chief Housing Officer at Leeds, Programme Director for Vulnerable People at Sheffield and Assistant Director at Barnsley, gaining extensive experience delivering strategic and operational leadership in a range of different organisations with different cultures and challenges. Liz started her career delivering housing management and regeneration in East London. Liz is now Assistant Director of Housing at Chesterfield Borough Council. Liz is a board Director at Unity, a BME Leeds based Housing Association and chairs their HR & Governance Committee. Liz spent 5 years as a Northern Housing Consortium Board Member & member of their Risk & Audit Committee.

    Rachel Cook

    Rachel Cook is the Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer for the Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office.  Born and raised in North Lincolnshire upon graduation Rachel was employed within the local authority in a Regeneration and External Funding setting.  Since then she has worked across public, private and third sector in a variety of roles including Policy, Business Development, Contract Management and Operations.  Her experience stems many sectors starting with Regeneration, moving into Economic Development, Skills and Education, Criminal Justice, and Policing.  Over fifteen years of senior management experience, Rachel is motivated by helping create the conditions for people to succeed and realising the potential of others.  Passionate about collaboration, partnership working, seeking best value for the public purse while driving quality of public service. 

    John Wright

    John is currently in a Director of Finance role at Thirteen Housing Group, the largest Registered Provider in the North East of England. He has over 18 years' experience in the housing sector, providing leadership and direction across multi-disciplinary teams in numerous housing groups of different sizes, including traditional and stock transfer organisations.

    John has vast experience in finance, as well as significant experience in governance, risk management, procurement and change management. He is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA), and has also received a B.A. (Hons) degree in Business Economics from Coventry University.

    Paula Gouldthorpe 

    Paula has a strong track record of maximising resources and strengthening partnerships between the public, education and private sectors. As Entrepreneurship Manager at the University of Hull Paula works alongside academics to grow commercial skills and start-up businesses. Paula has over 15 years’ experience of mentoring business owners, with prior roles in partnerships, marketing, environment and renewables industries. Paula has represented on strategic boards on regeneration, innovation, and business support, chairing a board which invested £10m into community development. Paula is passionate about life-long learning, sustainability and community engagement and holds a degree in Social Policy & Politics, a Master’s in Business and is a Fellow member of the Higher Education Academy.

    Natalie Cresswell

    With over 28 years’ experience working within a variety of administration roles, Natalie is currently the Operations Manager at E-Factor Group Ltd., where she leads on a number of areas including the Facilities Management of an extensive commercial property portfolio, the HR Management for the company as well as developing the efficient processes, in order to ensure the continued smooth running of all E-Factors services and centres. She is also a member of E-Factors’ Leadership team and so is actively involved in the business growth of the Company.


    Paul Warburton

    Paul is an experienced Housing Operations Director with over 26 years' experience in Social Housing leading the Strategic, operational and service delivery of multiple disciplinary team and has a proven track record of high end customer focused service, improving business efficiency, value for money and community sustainability.

    Paul also has over 6 years governance experience with Grove Village Board Limited, the country's first social housing PFI and Lancashire mind, where he is a Trustee and the Chair of the Finance and Audit subcommittee, he is passionate about delivering great services and championing customer interests using large scale change and systems thinking to improve service satisfaction & bottom line results. He has extensive experience of working as part of various Senior Leadership Teams, developing business plans and strategies and working with a number of external partners to oversee delivery of these.

    Steve Hepworth

    Steve Hepworth took over as our Chief Executive in April 2018, although has a wealth of experience working for Ongo, being Operations Director before securing the Chief Executive role.In fact, he has worked here since we formed as North Lincolnshire Homes in 2007. North Lincolnshire Homes rebranded as Ongo in 2012.

    Previously, whilst working for North Lincolnshire Council, Steve led the team responsible for consultation with tenants that resulted in the formation of North Lincolnshire Homes as a housing association and the transfer of 10,000 homes from the council. In total, Steve has over 20 years experience in social housing – starting his career as a rent recovery officer at Wakefield Metropolitan District Council back in 1990.

  • Ongo Developments

    Ongo Developments oversee our new build schemes and acts as a common board for the legal entities of Ongo Developments Ltd and Ongo Homes Ltd.

    Liz Cook (Chair)

    See info under Group Common Board

    Natalie Cresswell

    See info under Group Common Board

    Moya Jones

    With over 30 years public and private sector experience in housing development and mixed tenure sales; Moya has worked at a senior level for PLC developers such as Gleeson, McLean Homes and George Wimpey.  Moya has also worked for organisations such as HBOS and Southdale Group and brings a passion for supporting people into decent housing.   Moya worked up to 2007 for Derwentside Homes, where she was Development Director taking a lead in securing Homes England grant funding.    A strong believer in having a commercial head and social heart, she places her work  with housing associations and community engagement projects, as a major focus. 

    More recently, Moya has taken up a role in ENGIE and their Places & Communities division, where she is Sales & Marketing Director – focused on delivering homes for people over 55, that will meet their lifelong needs and assist them to remain independent for longer.  Moya is fully committed to  ENGIE’s Zero carbon ambitions and is keen to develop innovative ways to deal with fuel poverty in older age.

    Pete Stones

    As our Director of Property, Pete oversees the delivery of our repairs and maintenance service, the development of all new homes which we build and the regeneration of our homes and estates.

    A qualified construction professional, he has worked for Ongo since 2009, initially as Director of Regeneration. He also sits on the board of Pickering and Ferens Housing Association. His previous role includes Head of Reinvestment at Boston Mayflower Housing Association. 

  • Ongo Communities

    Our Ongo Communities acts as a Common Board to look after the community investment activities of Ongo Communities Ltd and Ongo Recruitment Ltd and Crosby Brokerage Ltd issues. Our members are:

    Helen Lennon (Chair)

    See info under Group Common Board

    Natalie Cresswell

    See info under Group Common Board

    Jan Williams

    Jan has worked in the voluntary and community sector since 1998 and set up her own social enterprise, Crosby Employment, in 2005 to support local people into employment. She was also Chair of Governors at a primary school for 11 years and has been involved in a number of community roles including being a member of the North Lincolnshire foster panel and Director of an ex-offender run project, Inspiring Intelligence. In 2014 Crosby Employment joined the Ongo group and Jan now leads a team of 40+ staff in Ongo Communities who deliver a range of projects and services that help people in our communities to make a difference to their lives.

  • Ongo Commercial

    Our Ongo Commercial Board look after the commercial businesses which include Ongo Commercial Ltd, Ongo Heating & Plumbing Ltd (trading as Hales & Coultas Heating and Plumbing) and Ongo Roofing Ltd (trading as Ashbridge Roofing). Our members are:

    Paul Warburton(Chair)

    See info under Group Common Board

    Paula Gouldthorpe

    See info under Group Common Board

    Bob Walder

    See info under Group Common Board

    Ashley Harrison

    Ashley is our Director of Resources & Commercial Services which means he looks after the finance, procurement, IT and commercial areas of the business.

    He has vast experience in working in the financial sector and is a member of the Fellowship of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (ACMA). He joined Ongo in 2015, initially joining as Head of Finance, before becoming Director of Resources and Commercial Services in 2018 after a short spell as interim Director.

    A family man and part time golfer, Ashley gets a buzz from the great bunch of people he works with at Ongo.

    Lee Coulson

    Lee has over 25 years' of Commercial development experience in both the private and public sector. With a wide range of roles including sales, marketing procurement, IT and operations across a variety of sectors covering fleet, office products, computer systems, waste and social housing.



  • Governance & Remuneration Committee

    Our Governance & Remuneration Committee is tasked with reviewing and making recommendations on matters concerning remuneration of non-executive members and executive staff of Ongo Group. Our Members are:

    Rachel Cook (Chair)

    See info under Group Common Board

    Melvin Kenyon

    See info under Group Common Board

    Tracy O'Neill

    Tracy began her career in Housing in 1985 securing a job with Langbaurgh Borough Council after leaving university.  She’s held a number of different positions over the last 35 years including roles in strategic housing, community regeneration, community investment and customer services.  In 2000 she was part of the stock transfer team to transfer Redcar & Cleveland BC housing assets to the newly created Large Scale Voluntary Transfer organisation Coast & Country Housing.  As the Director of Customer Services at Coast & Country she successfully led the organisation as a member of the Leadership team, achieving national accreditation for community investment, being recognised as number 6 in the Times Top 100 public sector organisations and achieving G1 V1 regulatory assessment in 2014.  In 2015 she was part of the merger implementation team to create a new 15, 000 organisation Beyond Housing.  As Executive Director for Customers & Communities at Beyond Housing, she manages over 580 colleagues and leads on repairs and maintenance, customer experience,  independent and supported living, housing management, income management and employment and skills.  Tracy has held positions on local regional and national boards including, Local Strategic  Partnership Board Tees Valley, Stronger Communities Partnership Vice Chair, Chair of the North East National Housing Federation Employment & Skills Board and the Give US A Chance National Board representing the North East.


  • Audit & Risk Committee

    Our Audit & Risk Committee advise the Group Board on whether the Group has robust risk management, internal control and assurance frameworks in place. Our members are:

    Michael Finister-Smith (Chair)

    See info under Group Common Board

    Rachel Cook

    See info under Group Common Board

    John Wright

    See info under Group Common Board

    Martin Gore

    Martin is a qualified accountant, and was Finance Director to a variety of private, public and third sector organisations, prior to retiring as Director of Corporate Services at Humberside Probation Trust. Shortly after he was appointed to the board of Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, and became Chair of their Audit Committee.

    He is currently a board member of Together Housing and Hull Churches Housing Association, as well as being the Independent Member of the Audit Committee of UK Anti- Doping.

    Having left school at sixteen he is passionate about personal development, and founded the Hull based Song for Hull project as part of the Hull City of Culture in 2017. He is also actively involved in amateur dramatics, writing several pantomimes and plays, and has published three novels.