Housing group names new chairman

Wirral Partnership Homes has appointed Labour party campaigner and homelessness charity advisor Ashwin Kumar as chairman designate.

Ashwin, who is married to Alison McGovern, Labour MP for Wirral, will be formally appointed to the WPH board at the housing association's annual general meeting in September.

Kumar, an economist and vice-chairman of homelessness charity Broadway, said in a statement: "The organisation already has a good reputation for delivering what it promises and has improved thousands of homes in Wirral. I look forward to helping to ensure that WPH remains financially healthy despite the pressures of the current economic climate so that we can continue to give an excellent service to our tenants."

As a senior civil servant at the Department for Work & Pensions, he was responsible for research and analysis of housing benefit. Subsequently he was a director of the consumer watchdog Passenger Focus. At Broadway he is champion of customer service excellence. One of his first tasks will be the supervision of the organisation's response to the welfare benefit reforms and also the relocation of the organisation to one base within Birkenhead.

Kumar will replace Jed Pearson who is retiring.

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