HCA names internal successor to McLaughlin

Danielle Gillespie has been promoted to head the Homes & Communities Agency in the North West, following the departure of Deborah McLaughlin to Capita.

Gillespie, an economist, was head of strategy and performance at the HCA, and became interim head of the region following McLaughlin’s departure at the start of November.

Following a restructuring of the HCA management hierarchy, Gillespie will take the title of general manager of the North West, rather than executive director, North West that McLaughlin used.

There will be a layer of managers below Gillespie but these will be rearranged from the geographic areas currently used to reflect responsibilities for different parts of policy and implementation. These are believed to be social housing, public land and accelerating development.

Gillespie is one of a new wave of general managers. The full list is as follows:

  • Housing programmes: Jackie Jacob
  • Land: Ian Piper
  • Large priority projects: Terry Fuller
  • East and South East: Paul Kitson
  • Midlands: Karl Tupling
  • North East, Yorkshire and the Humber: Rob Pearson
  • North West: Danielle Gillespie
  • South West: Kevin Bourner

The HCA is a government body under the Department for Communities & Local Government, charged with recycling public land for development and administering funding programmes.

Gillespie will formally take up her new role on 1 January. The HCA has offices in Warrington and Manchester.

Mark Hodgkinson, chief executive of the HCA, said: “The HCA is leading the government’s drive to increase the speed of housebuilding and to promote new approaches to delivery. We have a strong track record of delivery, but much more needs to be done to increase the rate of construction through a whole series of measures, including encouraging new entrants and methods of construction.

“We are putting in place a new operating model as part of a business transformation programme. The new senior appointments will be responsible for many of our high-profile investment and land programmes. They will lead flexible, expert teams that work with partners from across the industry to deliver more homes for people to own or rent.”

McLaughlin joined Capita subsidiary GL Hearn four weeks ago as head of housing strategy and delivery with a remit to expand the business across the UK. She spent eight years at the HCA.


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Deborah was a fantastic Ambassador for the HCA but was sadly let down by the bureaucracy and red-tape within the organisation – let’s hope the new structure under Danielle urgently addresses this issue so that the HCA is able to fulfil its purpose. Recognising that the HCA is NOT a Bank would be a great starting point ……

By David Sleath

Great news for the HCA in this region.Danielle a huge talent.

By Mark Gilbertson

No matter who takes charge of this behemoth, let us hope that we move towards a more enlightened and accountable future, and that can start by lifting the stone and shining a light on this suspect industry.

By Mizzer

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