Meet the Board

Lumen Housing is a Registered Housing provider and a subsidiary of Blackpool Housing Company Ltd which is wholly owned by Blackpool Council.

Governance of Lumen Housing is achieved through a Board of independent and appointed members to provide Governance in line with the National Housing Federation Code of Governance (2020). Registered with the Regulator of Social Housing (Registration no. 5105) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Cooperative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (Registration no. 8279).
The Board meet no less than 3 times for annum and more frequently as required by the demands of the business and will adhere to the National Housing Federations Code of Governance for Registered Housing Providers.

Lumen has developed a risk profile and a risk register that is monitored by the Board to ensure that investment and resourcing decisions are actively and regularly scrutinised. A scheme of delegation is in place to support transparent and well informed decisions that will contribute to the financial sustainability of the business.

Claire Stone

Board Chair

Claire has worked in social housing for over 30 years, starting as a housing assistant through to an executive director in a national housing association. She has lead housing, estate and tenancy management teams as well as teams delivering development and R&M with responsibility for building and customer safety.

Claire also ran public private partnerships with the health sector in both acute and primary care, as well as leading a training and regeneration subsidiary company in Bradford. This included education and training initiatives and a major regeneration project investing in and redesigning large Victorian houses from bedsits to family homes.

Claire is currently a board member of a Leeds based housing association and chairs their Operations Committee. She has found the opportunity to be part of a community-based association very rewarding.

Claire sees her role on the Lumen board as an opportunity to bring her expertise and experience to help achieve the exciting plans for the town. She also brings a passion for working with communities to provide the affordable safe and secure homes people need to thrive and build healthy and happy lives.

Karl Tupling

Vice Chair

Karl has enjoyed 40 years in housing and regeneration. A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Karl has held senior roles in local government becoming Director of Housing in Sheffield in 2005, where he led on neighbourhood regeneration and the investment and delivery strategy for achieving the Decent Homes standard in 64,000 homes.

From 2010 as Executive Director with the Homes and Communities Agency, Karl led regional teams to deliver projects and programmes across the north and midlands. He retired from Homes England in April 2023 as Director of Market Places and Partners when he led a national team to develop investment opportunities in challenging markets across the country and with a particular responsibility for levelling up places.

With experience and a passion for delivering complex projects and programmes, Karl is a Non-Executive Director with Onward Homes and will continue his active involvement with Homes England in delivering large urban regeneration projects through leadership and programme delivery roles.

Neil Herring

Audit Committee Chair

Neil’s career has been within Accountancy, Audit and Compliance for over 30 years, starting as a junior in an accountancy practice through to a senior manager in an international wealth management company, where he now leads a team responsible for company internal risk monitoring and compliance of high-risk regulations set by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Neil also has many years of experience in running teams in the auditing of large companies throughout the UK, specifically specialising in the areas of Finance, Tax, Compliance and Risk.

He is currently a Board Member of Blackpool Coastal Housing and sits on the Audit Committee, where he has been able to contribute his skills and experience to help the company and the community. Neil sees his role on the Lumen Board as a good opportunity to share his knowledge and experience further in helping the association going forward and achieving its future plans.

Councillor Jim Hobson

Elected Member

Councillor Hobson is the ward Councillor for the Bloomfield area, which covers much of Central Drive, Lytham Road and the surrounding areas. He is currently the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and before this he served as Cabinet Member for Climate Change and the Environment. Councillor Hobson has been a Civil Servant for the last twenty years and prior to this he worked as a Surveyor and sales person for an environmental services company. Councillor Hobson has a vision for Blackpool as a modern, forward looking town with a bustling tourism industry, where both visitors and locals feel valued and safe. He is therefore delighted to be a member of the Blackpool Housing Company Board and to help shape part of this ambitious plan aiming to make available good quality housing for local residents.

Andrea Willimott

Independent Director

Andrea is an experienced Healthcare leader and Registered Nurse with over 39 years of experience working in and across healthcare services throughout the UK, comprising of clinical roles, senior leadership roles and Board Director experience. Alongside this Andrea has undertaken Consultancy and advisory roles and is an experienced, EMCC UK registered coach. Having worked in three Integrated Health and Care (ICS) organisations in the UK, she understands the importance of safe, quality housing to the overall health of the population. Andrea is delighted to be joining the Lumen Board

Ahmed Makda

Independent Director

Ahmed is a passionate technologist having had a keen interest in computers since a young age which led him to pursue an education and career in IT. He has worked in the IT/Digital sector for 20 years. Ahmed wants for the effective use of technology for good user outcomes but not to impede into compromising or breaching ethical standards of tech for the end user. Alongside this, Ahmed continues to do a great deal of work speaking out and informing about racism. His leadership work in this area had him shortlisted for a national award in the diversity category.

Ahmed volunteers in his community for a London based NGO. He is a national STEM Ambassador where he has volunteered in the Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Fylde region, sat on a committee as a volunteer for a UK registered charity for several years and has volunteered to feed the homeless.

Ahmed is a big follower of football and plays badminton, football, enjoys hill walking/trekking and successfully climbed the three peaks of GB and Yorkshire (individually of course).

He passionately believes in customer value and safe standards of housing for all. Affirming when the customer is looked after, all else of a business’s success falls into place, a value he holds dear from his early career. Ahmed wants to make a positive contributory difference to the regeneration of Blackpool and the customers of Lumen Housing.

Samantha Haslam

Independent Director

Sam started working in housing in February 2006 as a Housing Assistant at New Prospect Housing and currently works at Onward as an External Affairs Business Partner with the responsibility for political engagement and horizon scanning. She is a Domestic Abuse Champion and sits on the Safeguarding Board at Onward.

In addition, Sam is the Deputy Chair at the Lancashire Based Charity Key Unlocking Futures. In this role Sam provides strategic direction to the senior leadership team and has supported the charity’s growth since 2020.

Sam is passionate about customer engagement and housing management and brings lived experience as a social housing tenant and leaseholder to the role.

Sam is committed to professional development and has recently completed a Diploma in Social Housing with the Chartered Institute of Housing and a CIPR in Stakeholder Engagement.

Sam’s skills include project management, research and development, housing policy, customer engagement and political engagement. She spends her spare time keeping busy with her two young children and is usually found at the side of a grass roots football pitch.