Cottsway currently has seven Board members, including our Acting Chief Executive and Operations Director, who are Executive Directors.
We are looking for two additional Non-Executive Directors to bring an external, independent perspective to the Board, to challenge and advise, assist with strategy, help develop the business and ensure that risks are managed.
It’s important that Cottsway gets the right people for these roles, and we are working with recruitment agency Oxford HR to help us with this. We also encourage applications from any of our customers who may have the right skills and experience to join us.
Below, you can find out from Alix Green, one of our newest Board Members, about her experiences of being part of Cottsway as a Non-Executive Director.
Find out more and apply:
We’d love to hear from you if you’re interested in applying. Find out more and get in touch before 22 May 2022:
Meet Alix – one of our newest Board Members
Alix Green lives with her husband and their 4-year-old son in West Oxfordshire, where around 80 per cent of our properties are located. She joined the Cottsway Board two years ago.
She grew up locally and attended Wood Green School in Witney and moved back to the district in 2019. Alix is a qualified chartered surveyor with 18 years’ professional experience, specialising in delivering development, investment, valuation, and transactional advice to both private and public sector clients in the Real Estate industry.
She’s a keen runner but also enjoys Pilates and training with her friends in the Peloton community. In her spare time, she’s working towards a qualification in interior design.
Why she joined the Cottsway Board and her experiences so far
“My early professional years were spent working for housebuilders in land acquisition roles. I then moved to work for a large real estate advisory firm. I spent several years providing financial viability advice which involves testing local planning policies and negotiating the amount, tenure and type of affordable housing being delivered as part of new developments. I have sold new affordable housing within large London developments to housing associations, and I have advised banks to inform their lending on new developments. I have been heavily involved in residential real estate and the affordable housing sector throughout my entire career, largely from a private sector standpoint. It seemed a natural progression to want to work closely with a housing association – especially one that’s on my doorstep and is the largest housing provider in the district!
I’m passionate about the housing sector and felt that with my professional experience and knowledge of the area I could bring a lot to the Cottsway Board, and I was keen to give something back to the area where I grew up, and where my son is now doing the same. It’s not a cheap part of the country in which to live and the housing challenges are pronounced.
I joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director in April 2020, just after the global pandemic began. This has without a doubt bought with it its own challenges and different ways of working, but fortunately Cottsway were well equipped to offer many services digitally and we’ve been able to work remotely, holding Board meetings online.
The Board act as a strategic sounding board and critical friend to Cottsway but are not there as a day-to-day manager. Our objective is to see things impartially, ask questions, and offer constructive feedback and challenge perspectives. A board is there to help identify and manage risk to the organisation, and of course risk can come in many forms.
Personally, I have found that joining the Board has added an extra dimension to my own development and professional experience. I’ve learned a huge amount about governance, and what it really means to be a regulated organisation. I have lots of experience of new developments but being on the Board has helped to increase my understanding of the operational issues surrounding affordable housing and I’ve enjoyed learning much more about this side of the business and the challenges faced each day.
It’s been satisfying and positive to see how well Cottsway has navigated its way and performed throughout the pandemic. Now that Covid restrictions have been lifted, I’m looking forward to getting out to see some of the properties and speak to some of the people living in Cottsway homes about their experiences, what they feel to be the challenges and what they think is good about Cottsway. Ultimately, housing is about people.
I’m two years into a 3-year term on the Board and then if I wish to continue to stand, I will need to be re-appointed. The Board is reviewed regularly to ensure that we all have the relevant skills needed to meet Cottsway’s objectives, but the maximum time anyone can stand for is six years.
The current composition of the Board offers an eclectic range of skill sets as we all come from completely different backgrounds. I find this really refreshing as we all bring a different perspective and breadth of experiences to the table which makes for constructive conversations which is beneficial to both the running and the ongoing development of Cottsway.
We also have a succession plan in place so if it’s deemed that a Board member no longer has the relevant skills to help lead Cottsway, they can end their tenure early so someone who has the necessary skills can be appointed instead.
Ultimately, Cottsway’s primary function is to help provide housing for people who cannot afford it on the open market. To be able to contribute to this work is personally rewarding; Cottsway is a good organisation in a good sector - and I’m proud to be part of it.”
Want to know more?
If you’re interested in finding out more about joining Cottsway’s Board, please visit: Oxford HR