Valleys to Coast has bid a fond farewell to its retiring Chair of the Board, Anthony Whittaker.

Anthony has stepped down from his role after five years at the helm – a time during which he has supported Valleys to Coast to go from strength to strength.

Anthony joined Valleys to Coast in 2019 after a 40-year career in housing with local authorities and RSLs – the latter 23 years as Chief Executive of United Welsh. 

During his tenure as Chair, Anthony has built strong relationships with partners and stakeholders to support the delivery of the organisation’s strategic priorities – including its ambitious programme of developing 1,000 new homes over 10 years and addressing homelessness.

He has also supported the business to operate during a challenging few years, through the Covid pandemic and recovery; to regulatory pressures; and in supporting the creation of a wholly owned subsidiary, Llanw, for a fresh approach to repairs and maintenance services.

Group Chief Executive Joanne Oak has paid tribute to him as he gathered with the Valleys to Coast Board for the final time and handed the reins to new Chair Amanda Davies.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Anthony wholeheartedly for all he has done for Valleys to Coast in his tenure as Chair over the last five years. Anthony has been with us and shared his wisdom and experience in what has been a very challenging few years for the business,” she said.

“His guidance was paramount as we navigated unknown territory through the Covid pandemic, the single biggest event we’ve responded to as an organisation in many years; and moving on from that was pivotal in our approach to recovery.

“He has also steered us through regulatory challenges which have been difficult and stressful, and in his time as Chair has also guided our journey of improvement and growth which has seen us go from strength to strength – leading us up to the launch of our wholly owned subsidiary, Llanw. 

“These are achievements we have made with Anthony’s support, scrutiny and encouragement at every step of the way. There is no doubt that Valleys to Coast has greatly benefited from his long and impressive career in the social housing sector, and we as an Executive Team are truly grateful.

“Personally, I want to thank Anthony for always being so supportive of me and the whole team, as well as to his fellow Board members. His firm but kind and thoughtful guidance will be fondly remembered. We wish him well for his retirement, spending more time with his lovely family and his beloved dogs and hope that he will continue to support Valleys to Coast from the comfort of the sidelines.” 

In joining the Valleys to Coast Board as its new Chair, Amanda Davies brings with her a wealth of experience from her career in housing, care and support services alongside board positions at the heart of Welsh regeneration and charitable causes.

She will work closely with the Executive Team providing strategic advice and scrutiny as the business continues its growth as one of the leading social housing landlords in Wales.