Meet our Trustees


The Trustees of the Trust share collective responsibility for ensuring good governance and they have adopted ‘Excellence in Governance’ – The Code for members and good practice guidance, as issued by the National Housing Federation. Trustees also follow guidance and regulations as issued by the Charity Commission.

The Board of Trustees between them have a deep understanding of housing, care and support issues. In addition, they are responsible for setting high level strategic objectives, ensuring the financial viability of the Trust, for approving business plans and importantly, in monitoring operational performance to ensure that we’re actually achieving agreed objectives.

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Julie Houlder – Chair

Julie was appointed as a Trustee in March 2014 and is a professionally qualified accountant and coach. She worked within the public transport industry for many years as Head of Finance and later as Head of Business Management and was an Executive Board Member. She believes passionately that her role as a Board Member is to work within a constantly changing environment to ensure clarity of vision and strategic direction and consistent demonstration of values and culture. Aside from being a Trustee and Chair of Finance Committee, she is a Non-Executive Director and Chair of Audit Committee at George Elliot NHS Hospital Trust. She has for many years used her experience and skills to support others in their own personal development through coaching and mentoring and now uses these skills within her own Coaching business.

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Alethea (Leeya) Balbuena

Alethea is Director of Operations for Mind charity.  She is responsible for a diverse portfolio of services including children and young people’s mental health provision, housing support services and registered CQC services and brings considerable experience of service design, development and management in the health and social care sector and tender/bid writing.  

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Brian Burke

Brian Brian is the Chief Business Officer for a biotech company pioneering new ways to treat cancer and other diseases.  He has a strong track record of building and leading high performing teams.  Brian has a strong background in long term strategic planning, investment, innovation and M&A.

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Ian Bush

Ian has a diverse background having a First Class BSc Hons degree in Building Services Engineering and is a Chartered Accountant at KPMG in Birmingham, coming first in the UK in their Professional exams. He has subsequently launched several new businesses, including an award winning landscape gardening business; a specialist honeymoon travel agency; the UK's best rated wedding gift list service (sold to Park Group Plc in 2015); city tourism app company Walk Run Cycle and organic fashionwear brand Kerfuffle & Malarkey. Along the way Ian has also offered mentorship and support to other start-up businesses.


Alison Coad

Alison qualified as a solicitor in 1981 and has worked in private practice as well as lecturing in Law. In 1988 she joined the Law Society working in the Professional Ethics Division and later became Director of Regulation Policy and Compliance. Alison is now a legal services consultant and she joined the Board in early 2011.


Cllr. Ken Meeson

Councillor Ken Meeson has been a Trustee since 1995 and has served in a number of roles locally, including Cabinet Member for Children and Adult Services, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board and Leader of Solihull Council. He is currently Mayor of Solihull. Nationally he has sat on boards of the Local Government Association and was a long-serving Trustee of the National Children’s Bureau.  Professionally he spent many years as UK Development Manager for a Lloyds of London underwriting group and before retiring became Company Secretary and Governance Adviser to Birmingham Metropolitan and Dudley Colleges. He is a former NHS Director and Chair of Audit and currently a Lay Hospital Manager under the Mental Health Act. He is also a Governor of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust, a Safeguarding Adviser to the Scout Association and Trustee of the National Youth Agency.

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Cllr. Gareth Moore

Gareth is a serving Councillor with Birmingham City Council representing the constituents of the Erdington Ward. Gareth was appointed as a Trustee in October 2011 and he has a particular interest in housing issues.

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Edward Rutledge

Edward is a former Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and was the sole principal and then Senior Partner of Lawrence and Wightman, Chartered Surveyors for nearly 40 years. Edward, who joined the Board in 2019, has been an Arbitrator/Independent Expert in a broad range of rental and valuation disputes and an Assessor for the RICS for over a period of 30 years assessing and interviewing candidates who were seeking to become Chartered Surveyors.


Philip Soule

I am now retired. After obtaining my first degree in law, I also obtained a MA masters degree in environmental law. I specialised in commercial property, which also included a specialism in mineral law. 

I am currently completing an induction to enable me to be the South Birmingham divisional secretary for SSAFA which is the oldest military charity in the country. 



Jonathan Pyke

Jonathan was appointed as a Trustee in December 2016. He qualified as a solicitor in 1993 and is employed by a Retail Bank as in-house Counsel, dealing with a wide range of operational issues. He has worked at the Bank since 2003.

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