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Speaker biographies from Housing Scotland

Biographies of the speakers at the Housing Scotland conference in Edinburgh on 24 May 2007.

Archie Stoddart

Director, Shelter Scotland

Archie Stoddart took up the post as Shelter's Scottish Director in November 2005. Before taking up the Shelter post he was head of the Housing Bill team in the Scottish Executive. Previously he was head of the Scottish Executive's Housing Management Branch, where he had responsibility for the Scottish secure tenancy, the right to buy and tenant participation. One of the major tasks in this post was the implementation of the tenancy aspects of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.

Prior to working for the Scottish Executive, Archie was the Head of the Energy Saving Trust in Scotland. Previously he worked in number of policy posts for the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations.

Blair Melville

Planning Manager, Homes for Scotland

Blair joined Homes for Scotland in February 2002, as part of the Planning and Land team. A graduate of St Andrew's University and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Blair became a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 1981.

Blair joined Homes for Scotland, from Perth & Kinross Council where he worked in Planning & Local Plans, with a particular focus on housing, employment, transport and spatial development strategy.

Brian Gegan

Chair, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

Brian was elected as the new Chair of SFHA in November 2006, after having served on the Board for the previous year as Chair of the Audit Committee.

Born and brought up in Dundee, he obtained a degree in Town & Regional Planning from Dundee University in 1970. Brian then worked in local government planning, until 1982, and held a series of senior posts in Aberdeen and West Lothian.

He took up the post of Development Officer with the former Cleghorn HA in Dundee in 1982, followed by Director/Chief Executive posts at Loreburn HA, Bield HA, Home in Scotland, and currently at Cairn HA. During this period he also spent two years in the private housing/construction sector and was a Committee of Management member of the former Walpole HA. His particular interests and areas of expertise are strategic and business planning, change and risk management and corporate governance.

In what spare time he has, Brian plays tennis and still supports (suffers) Dundee FC.

Kennedy Foster

Policy Consultant, Council of Mortgage Lenders Scotland

Since April 2004 Kennedy has worked for the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) as their Policy Consultant in Scotland. This involves looking at policy issues in Scotland impacting on lenders in both the private housing sector and in the social rented sector. He represents the CML on the Advisory Groups formed by the Scottish Executive to assist with house buying and selling reform and schemes of assistance in terms of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.

Prior to joining CML Kennedy worked for RBS Group and held a number of senior positions including Company Secretary, Regional Manager and latterly for 7 years, Head of Mortgage Operations.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland, Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland and also a qualified Solicitor.

Alan Ferguson

Director, CIH Scotland

Alan is the Director of the CIH in Scotland, a post he has held since August 1993. He is currently also the Acting Director of the Chartered Institute of Housing in Northern Ireland which he has been doing since August 2005.

From 1990 to 1993 he was a lecturer in the Housing Policy and Practice Unit at Stirling University. Prior to Stirling, Alan was Policy Officer, again with the Institute. Before life at the Institute, he worked with the Strathclyde Campaign for Investment in Council Housing for a year and as a community worker working with a range of tenant and community groups and federations for seven years.

A previous Board member of Govanhill Community Development Trust; Link Group, Link Housing Association, Linkwide and Kintry Housing Partnership, Alan is currently a Committee member of Cube Housing Association.

John Blackwood

Director, Scottish Association of Landlords

John is Director of the Scottish Association of Landlords and Managing Director of the Gladstones Group of Letting Agencies operating throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians. He also advices local authorities and other RSL's on developing private sector housing strategies.

John has worked exclusively in the private rented sector for the last 8 years but previously worked in the voluntary sector and has an extensive background knowledge of issues related to homelessness and those living in vulnerable housing.

Hugh McClung

Chair, Stirling Tenants Assembly

Hugh McClung is a retired local Government worker in Housing Background.

He has been a local authority tenant since 1976 and set up a local tenants group in 1979. He has been involved in the tenants movement ever since, overseeing the formation of a local federation and held the role of Chairperson for four years until its demise in 1995. He continued with his local group until 1997 when he moved area.

The Stirling Tenants Assembly was founded in 2003 and he has held the role of its Chairperson since inception. He has also represented the Stirling area on the Board of TPAS since 2005. The STA represents the largest group of tenants covering the Stirling Council area with an active Committee of 15 which are representatives from Crianlarich in the North to Bannockburn in the South.

Hugh believes that development of a working relationship with landlords has far more value to housing service provision than a case of 'them and us' attitudes of some.

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