The Enforcement Conduct Board has announced the appointment of four new board members, including members of three local councils.
Alan Cavill is Director of Communications and Regeneration at Blackpool Council is currently at the forefront of the government’s levelling up plans, an important role given that Blackpool is currently home to eight of the ten most deprived areas in England.
Ged Curran is a non-executive director on Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Integrated Care Board and was also Chief Executive at the London Borough of Merton for 21 years. During this time, he had direct experience of the complexities involved in enforcing debt recovery, as well as the establishment of an in-house enforcement agent team.
Commenting on his role, Ged said:
“I am pleased the enforcement industry is committed to regulation. Through my own experience in local government, including setting up an in-house enforcement agent team in Merton, I know that there are real improvements that can be made in this industry. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on the Enforcement Conduct Board to shape our future priorities as we head to our launch in the autumn.”
Chair of Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, Althea Efunshile CBE, has also been appointed to the Enforcement Conduct Board. She previously served as Executive Director for Education and Culture at the London Borough of Lewisham, as well as also working at the Department for Education and Skills.
The final of the four appointments is Jenny Watson, CBE. Currently the Chair of the House of St Barnabas and GAMSTOP, she is also a former Chair of the Fawcett Society, the UK Electoral Commission, and the Equal Opportunities Commission. This was before the creation of the Commission for Equality and Equal Rights. She was also previously Vice-Chair of the Money Advice Trust.
Catherine Brown, Chair of the Enforcement Conduct Board, commented on the new appointments:
“I am delighted to welcome Alan, Ged, Althea, and Jenny into their new positions. Their extensive experience across a range of sectors relevant to the Enforcement Conduct Board’s work will be invaluable as we develop our forward plans and prepare to launch later in the year. Until now, there has been no independent regulatory oversight of the enforcement industry and although minimum standards, published by the Ministry of Justice, expect enforcement agents to treat those in debt fairly, these are not legally binding.
The FCA has identified that more than a quarter of the population having low financial resilience, a figure set to increase as the cost-of-living crisis unfolds in the months ahead. Set against this, the National Audit Office reports that the likely combined cost and non-tax income pressures following the pandemic may be as high as £9.7 billion, increasing the importance of local authorities being able to collect debt effectively. The future role for the Enforcement Conduct Board is a vital one.”
The Enforcement Conduct Board is due to formally launch in the autumn of this year, with these new appointments coming into effect from the 1st July.