Meet our Board leaders
Getting up close with our Chair and Deputy Chair
On 1 October two of our non executive directors took up new positions on the Board. Ian Munro has taken over as Chair, while Ibrahim Ismail has been appointed as Deputy Chair.
Ian has decades of experience in housing and community investment. He is the former director of housing for Tameside, Greater Manchester, and also led the transfer of its 16,000 council homes to New Charter Group as its Chief Executive in 2000.
Ibrahim (Ibby) is a Development Manager at Bolton Solidarity Community Association (BSCA) and Chair of Bolton CVS and Homestart. He is a social housing tenant and a champion of community involvement and empowerment.
We wanted to find out more about Ian and Ibby so we asked them five get to know you questions:
1. What do you enjoy about your role on the Board and why are you interested in social housing?
Ian: Bolton at Home is one of Greater Manchester’s leading housing providers. Delivering high quality services and supporting communities and individuals is at the heart of what we do. My job is to help make sure we have the resources to continue to do this. I think good affordable homes must be a top priority for any civilised society and it’s an appalling dereliction of each government over the last 40 years that this has not been the case. I want us to do everything we can to help people live their best life.
Ibby: What I enjoy most about my role is that I can play a part in helping tenants be at the heart of Bolton at Home’s future – in the provision of homes and also by ensuring that people and neighbourhoods thrive rather than just survive in Bolton.
2. What do you like most about working/living in Bolton?
Ian: Bolton is a borough with a proud sense of history. I love the idea of helping an important organisation work to support a dynamic future.
Ibby: It may be a cliché but clichés become clichés because they’ve been proven to be true. For me, it’s the people of Bolton. Living and working in Bolton you get to meet the most brilliant, innovative and friendly people. Even if you agree or disagree, the common theme is that people are passionate and proud about Bolton.
“Living and working in Bolton you get to meet the most brilliant, innovative and friendly people.”
3. If you could invite three people (dead or alive) for a coffee and a chat, who would it be and why?
Ian: Admiral Lord Nelson would be my first choice. He was a master tactician, strategist and probably the world’s first true superstar!
Stephen Fry – he’s witty, clever and erudite.
Barack Obama – I’m a huge fan of the telly programme The West Wing and he is the closest we’ve come to Jed Bartlett! More importantly, he was of course the first black president.
Ibby: Muhammad Ali – he was such an inspiration of mine growing up. I would love to talk to him about all the experiences he has had in life.
Hovis Presley – a genius of a poet and totally under appreciated. I truly believe we should name a street after the best poet to come out of Bolton.
Tracy Woods – Under her Chairship of Bolton at Home I learned so much and she is one of those kind souls who wants everyone to be the best they can be. Plus she’s still alive so it would be easier than the other two.
4. Do you have a motto that you live by or any words of wisdom that you’ve learned from someone else?
Ian: No real specific motto but a very strong set of values and principles from my Mam and Dad.
Ibby: “Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give... it’s about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward.” Sylvester Stallone in Rocky.
5. What does your perfect weekend look like?
Ian: Sunshine, a long cycle ride, a walk in the Yorkshire Dales to the pub, a family barbecue and a Jack Reacher novel to get stuck into.
Ibby: Watching sports, particularly football or boxing, or catching a show at the Octagon Theatre or The Royal Exchange in Manchester.
We’ll be keeping in touch with Ian and Ibby and will bring you more from them in future issues of Tap4.
We’d like to thank our former Chair, Tracy Woods, for the valuable contribution she made to the organisation. Tracy was named most effective board member at the 2017 Women in Housing Awards.
We’re also extremely grateful to Kevin McKeon, who has stepped down from his role as Deputy Chair but will continue to serve as a board member.