Board of Management

CRHA Board of Management

CRHA is governed by a voluntary Board of Management which is elected by the shareholders of the Association.

Chair: Neil Pendleton

Neil trained as a Town Planner and has 35 years experience working in local government. He was a corporate director with North Cornwall District Council for nine years and has extensive experience in senior management and, more specifically, in housing, development and regulatory services. He joined the Board in 2012 and has been Chair since 2016.

Marianna Baxter


Deborah Clark

Cornish farmer’s daughter Deborah set up a marketing and PR company in Cornwall in the late 1980’s following careers in the WRNS in education, television news and production, and the racehorse industry in Newmarket. The award winning company became highly successful and played a key communications role in many major projects within the South West, and still thrives following a management buy out. An experienced board member and trustee, she has been involved with a range of businesses and charities including a Secretary of State appointment as Chair of Regional Flood Defence in the region.

Frances Firmin

Frances joined the Board in 2017 having retired to Cornwall after a 20 year career as a general commercial lawyer in the insurance industry. She was a founder member of a local Community Land Trust and has fostered an interest in social and affordable housing since her days as a [mature] law student. As well as having significant legal expertise Frances also has experience in human resources management and is well versed in regulatory compliance including with the Data Protection Act and other relevant statutory provisions.

Rachel Fisher

After a forty-year career in Healthcare Management and Occupational Therapy, Rachel retired as Associate Director of Therapies in a central London Mental Health Trust. Latterly she specialised in Adult Social Care in local authorities, and Medium Secure Forensic Psychiatry. She has worked in Public Health Medicine at national policy making level and later in the West Indies understanding the provision of healthcare with very limited resources. Rachel was born and schooled in Cornwall and has returned on retirement. She is now active in a number of fitness pursuits and is a Trustee of a local hearing loss charity. She has sat on the Board of CRHA since 2012, bringing her experience of the need for social housing, the wider political environment and a pragmatic approach to management.

Roger Orchard

Roger is a retired army officer with over 35 years’ experience in facilities and property management gained with the Royal Engineers, the South West Regional Development Agency and Cornwall Council. He brings with him extensive knowledge in maintenance works within the Defence Estate worldwide, project management, engineering consultancy, 3rd party audits and contract monitoring. Roger joined the Board in 2012 and is on the Risk sub-committee.

Ian Ross

Ian worked in the banking industry for more than 40 years. He initially spent 26 years in corporate banking and was involved in providing leveraged, bi-lateral and syndicated loan facilities to large and mid-sized corporations. From 2004 he worked at Director level in the Private Banking sector where he assisted clients with both sizeable loan facilities for property developments and provided financial investment advice. Ian retired from working in the banking sector in 2018 and joined the board of CRHA in 2019.

Alan Stanhope

Originally from an engineering background Alan was Principal/CEO of a large college. He has board experience in health, care, careers development, education/training and large infrastructure projects. Alan has a special interest in modern methods of house construction. He has been a member of the CRHA board since 2016.

Maurice Vella

Maurice trained at the Architectural Association and worked, until retirement, as an architect in both public and private sectors. He has designed many types of building, from Norfolk vicarages to Surestart Centres in Cornwall and a prizewinning “Classroom of the Future.” He has 25 years’ experience as a local councillor and, as well as being a board member at CRHA, is a founding trustee and board member of CEP, Cornwall’s energy advice centre. Maurice believes that everyone deserves a well-designed, energy efficient home and that high design quality can be achieved at low cost.

Honorary President: Michael Galsworthy CVO CBE

Here is our Membership Policy.


The voluntary Board of Management meets approximately every two months near Bodmin to decide on policy and monitor progress. Meetings are normally held on weekday mornings.

If you are interested in joining our Board and feel that you possess relevant skills, knowledge or experience to help us in our work, please write to:

Cornwall Rural Housing Association Limited

19 Callywith Gate

Launceston Road


PL31 2RQ

Letters of application should be sent to our offices and marked for the attention of Peter Moore, our Chief Executive.

CRHA is committed to equality and diversity and welcomes applicants from all sections of the community.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and members of ethnic minority groups as they are currently under represented on our Board.

Further information on the work of the Association is available either from this website or on request from the above address.

For an informal discussion, please contact Peter Moore, our Chief Executive, on 01208 892000 or via