New chair of Calico Group board appointed

Phil Watson has been appointed chair of the board at The Calico Group after Lesley Burrows stepped down from the role.

Phil has been a member of the group's board since 2018. He has extensive experience in senior non-executive and executive roles, having previously been an independent chair in the health and education sectors.

He brings a wealth of relevant experience to the role. He is a former chair of governors at Blackburn College and was chief executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council, during which time he transferred around 8,000 council houses to a housing association.

In addition, Phil’s experience as a Chartered Architect (RIBA) and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing (FCIH) was put to good use as he designed several thousand new and improved homes for Blackburn with Darwen Council.

Until recently, he was also the independent chair of the Lancashire and South Cumbria Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups, following a similar role in Greater Manchester.

Phil said: "I am delighted to have been offered the opportunity to become group chair, working with my experienced and committed fellow directors.

"Since joining the board, I have been immensely impressed with the professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm of the staff at all levels, skilfully led by chief executive Anthony Duerden, which has been so important, particularly in present circumstances."

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