Our Group Board

Our Boards hold us to account; they ask the right questions around performance and delivery, to ensure we are meeting their expectations – and those of our customers.

We want to deliver results that have a lasting, positive impact and with authentic leaders who supporting our staff as they adapt to change, and encourage continual learning and development as an essential part of our organisational culture.

Our Group Board Members

The non-executive members on our Group Board play an important role in setting the direction of travel for our organisation, as well as ensuring the highest standards of governance and integrity underpin our work.

Phil Watson

Phil Watson CBE - Chair of the Board

Welcomed into the role of Chair of the Board in December 2020 and a member of the board since 2018, Phil Watson CBE has extensive experience in senior non-executive and executive roles throughout Lancashire and Greater Manchester, having previously been an independent chair in the health and education sectors. 

Phil is the former Chair of Blackburn College and currently deputy Chair of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust. Phil was also Chief Executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council, leading a ground-breaking public partnership with Capita and transferring 8000 council houses to a housing association. 

As a Chartered Architect (RIBA) and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing (FCIH), Phil designed several thousand new and improved homes for Blackburn with Darwen Council. In 2006, Phil was awarded the CBE for public service. 

Carmel McKeough

Carmel McKeogh

Carmel McKeogh is a Management Consultant who specialises in Organisation Development and Human Resources and is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development. Carmel was the Deputy Chief Executive of Blackpool Council and worked in Blackpool from April 2009 to March 2016.

Chris Bithell Calico Group

Chris Bithell

Chris was a Divisional Commander for Lancashire Police in the Pennine, East and South Divisions until 2017 and was also the Chief Superintendent of the Blue Light Collaboration Project. Chris is also a local counsellor in Padiham.

Richard Jones Calico Group

Richard Jones CBE

Richard is the Chair of Syncora Board and has a background in health and social care, having held Executive roles in both local government and the NHS, and as a senior civil servant with the Department of Health. In recent years, Richard has extensive non-executive experience serving on a range of housing and charity boards

Bill Lacey Calico Group

Bill Lacey

Bill is Chair of the Board for Calico Homes. Bill’s experience of working in the social housing sector spans over 45 years. He is currently Director of Development for Sovini Housing Group, a leading North West Registered provider of social housing.

David Gooda Calico Board

David Gooda

David specialises in providing communications and recruitment support to organisations within local government, housing, and charities. He has served as Chair of a range of civic organisations, including leading a housing association in Cheshire for nine years. He has also been a member of boards in education, arts and heritage in the North West, and is a Fellow of the RSA.

A portrait of Sarah Roberts

Sarah Roberts

Sarah has over 35 years’ experience in working in local government and since 2002 in the PRP sector. She is currently Group Head of Treasury and Financial Planning for the NW based Torus62 Ltd, a group with turnover of £200m and 38,000 properties.

Penny Aspden

Penny Aspden

Penny is an Executive Coach with experience in the housing industry as a former Group Organisational Development Director  at Torus 62 Ltd.

Penny has vast experience in Director roles including Human Resources Director in Manufacturing at Silentnight Group Ltd. Penny is also a volunteer NW network Co-ordinator and Governor for European Mentoring and Coaching Council.

To contact a member of our Board or to view their Declaration of Interest please contact the Governance team – governanceteam@calico.org.uk

Get In Touch

To contact a member of our Board or to view their Declaration of Interest please contact the Governance Team.


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