After 11 years as chair of Six Town Housing’s board, Hugh Broadbent is set to leave this role at their Annual General Meeting in December. We caught up with Hugh about his favourite moments during his time at Six Town Housing and his future plans.

What have been some of the board’s biggest achievements while you have been chair?

“There has been a lot of achievements. The first that comes to mind is how we’ve grown Repairs Direct into the biggest repairs and maintenance company in Bury, delivering great services and creating many jobs for people living in the borough.

We’ve also ensured the company outperforms its keys aims, providing services that tenants compliment and providing value for money.

The negotiation of a 10-year management agreement with Bury Council demonstrates that our achievements have not gone unnoticed.

Coronavirus also presented us with challenges that we have never faced before and we successfully navigated these, continuing to put our customers first with ongoing service delivery including improvement works. The pandemic demonstrated we could work effectively in an agile way too, using more digital methods of working to engage and involve our tenants. We also offered wider support to Bury Council to support those most vulnerable in our communities, with welfare calls and door knocking to support the vaccine take up."

What have been your favourite moments in your time as chair?

“I’ve enjoyed attending numerous Community Heroes customer awards and ROSCAs staff awards celebrations and being amazed at the commitment of volunteers and Six Town Housing colleagues to our cause.

I like how Six Town Housing have carried out work to combat the negative stereotyping of people living in social housing that is often seen in the media. I was proud to attend the House of Commons twice as a result of this work. The first time was with Bryan, a tenant from Red Bank extra care scheme. Bryan sold books to benefit the scheme and Six Town Housing successfully submitted a photo of him to a competition run by the National Federation of ALMOs, which was on display in parliament.

The second time, I attended a lunchtime briefing with the Bury North MP and colleagues to see our We Benefit Bury campaign being showcased alongside initiatives by other ALMOs.

I’ve also been proud to work alongside an organisation that champions young people and supports tenants through Steps To Success. A highlight was when one apprentice won the Apprentice of the Year category at the National Federation of ALMOs awards.”

Hugh with Six Town Housing CEO Sharon McCambridge

Why did you apply to be chair at Six Town Housing?

“I applied for the position just as I took early retirement, but wanted to continue being involved in social housing.

The next chair of Six Town Housing should have some meaty issues to get their teeth into and in doing so make a difference for tenants in Bury. Acquiring more homes for Six Town Housing and making in-roads into decarbonising homes are just two goals for the coming years.”

What are your future plans?

“I would like to continue my involvement with the governance of housing. I have thoroughly enjoyed being chair and hope I have been able to add something to the management of social housing in Bury, a town with personal affiliations.”

An advertisement for a new chair has been made live this week. Find out more here.

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