Board and Executive

Board and executive team How we are governed

Effective governance is key to a successful organisation.

For Westward as a business, this means having:

The board provides leadership, direction, support and challenge. Our executive team is responsible for delivering services.

Westward adopted the National Housing Federation’s codes of governance and conduct. A Declaration of Interests register is kept regarding all board and committee members and this can be made available on request. We regularly assess compliance with these standards and report the outcomes in our annual Financial Statements.

The government’s Regulator of Social Housing (ROSH) regulates social housing and we comply with their regulatory standards, you can read our ROSH regulatory judgment here.

Our governance structure includes a board of non-executive and executive bo ard members. Learn more about our board members and audit commitee members here. 

You can view our organisation's governance and committee structure chart here.

Customers sit on our scrutiny group to review our services in line with our commitment to co-regulation. 

Meet Westward's Executive Team

Executive team Rachel Searle - Executive Director (Property and Development), Paul Bryan - Deputy Chief Executive, Barbara Shaw - Chief Executive and Jan Montague - Executive Director (Workforce and Organisational Development) (left to right), are the Executive Team at Westward.

Barbara Shaw, Chief Executive

Barbara (bottom left) has worked in housing for 20 years and has overall responsibility for all operational matters at Westward and reports directly to the Westward Board. Prior to joining Westward, Barbara was managing director of Guinness Hermitage.  She brings experience from support and communications specialisms as well as from roles at Sovereign Housing, the commercial, public and charitable sectors.

Barbara is passionate about delivering great services to customers and making housing associations more commercial whilst not losing sight of their social purpose.  She is deputy chair of Homes for the South West and sits on South West Water's Watershare Panel, has an MA in business management and has participated in the NHF’s leadership programme.

Paul Bryan, Deputy Chief Executive 

Paul (top right) has worked as a housing executive for 20 years. His career covers large and medium sized housing associations.

After starting his career in retail Paul moved into financial roles working in the health and communication sectors.

During his time in housing, Paul has held a range of financial and commercial director roles. He has led on the development of corporate structures to deliver corporate services commercial businesses to complement the core social housing service.

In addition to looking after Westward’s finances, Paul chairs our strategy groups that oversee our environmental sustainability and health, safety & well-being.

Paul’s extensive finance and corporate experience includes several merger integrations, group level refinance projects and the implementation of digital solutions.

Immediately before his move in to Westward, Paul was the MD for the property maintenance company Spectrum Property Care Ltd. In his 10-year tenure the business grew its turnover threefold and improved its dividend by over 10 times as it won open market contracts to build upon its core inhouse service. The Company also won over 20 national gold awards for the Considerate Constructors Scheme and Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Paul likes music, literature and sport and takes the opportunity to travel whenever possible.

Jan Montague, Executive Director (People)

Jan (bottom right) has worked for local authorities, charities, education and not-for-profit organisations. She is a highly qualified (FCIPD / ILM) senior HR executive with experience across multiple organisational development projects. Managing a range of specialisms across business services and regional boundaries, she is a strong strategist working to optimise business performance. Jan is passionate about customer service and highly experienced in change and transition. A specialist in coaching and business strategy.

Rachel Searle, Executive Director

Rachel (top left) has worked in the affordable housing sector for over 20 years with experience in all aspects of developing affordable homes. She draws on a wealth of expertise from her early days in private practice, working for contractors and private developers, as well as in local government and at housing associations.

She has been with Westward since 2019, leading the development and commercial enterprises which deliver new homes for rent, shared ownership, rent to buy and open market sale. An advocate for the strength of team working, Rachel strongly believes in providing good quality homes for our customers and driving improvement in everything we do.

Pay and rewards

Pay and reward benefits at Westward are set at a level to attract and retain the talent required to lead the organisation and make sure it can  deliver its strategic objectives. In doing this Westward takes into account comparable evidence and benchmarking data from a range of sources both within and outside the sector which is provided by external consultants.

Our aim is not to pay the highest salaries in the market but instead to offer a competitive package of salary plus other pay and non-pay benefits. Read more on the Benefits page.

Gender Pay Gap Report 2023-24

As an employer of more than 250 people, we publish an annual Gender Pay Gap Report showing the difference in average female earnings compared to average male earnings. Our mean gender pay gap in 2023 was 6%. Watch our short film below to learn more. 

2023 remuneration summary

The table below outlines how many staff fall into each salary range (based on pro rata for part-time staff) as at April 2023:

Staff salary range




£10,000- £19,999


£20,000 - £29,999


£30,000 - £39,999


£40,000 - £49,999


£50,000 - £74,999


£75,000 - £99,999


£100,000 - £175,000



The table below outlines the Westward Housing Group Non-Executive Director (board/committee member) fees per annum as at April 2024:

Non-Executive Director

Fees per annum

Robert Stronge (Westward Board Chair)


Frances West (Senior Independent Director and Chair of Remuneration and Membership Committee)


Will Patterson (Audit and Assurance Committee Chair)


Sue Edmonds


Iain Vosper


David Bird


Becky Tucker


Doug Stein


Graham Clarke


Heikki Doyle (Audit Committee member)



(1) Excludes out of pocket of expenses paid as per expenses policy