WIRRAL’S biggest social landlord has abandoned plans to make Wirral South MP Alison McGovern’s husband their new chairman.
Wirral Partnership Homes (WPH) had announced economist and vice-chairman of homelessness charity Broadway, Ashwin Kumar, as its new “chairman designate” in August.
The announcement of Mr Kumar’s appointment was immediately criticised by Wirral West MP Esther McVey, and Tory councillors Chris Blakeley and Jeff Green.
Ms McVey had said she feared appointing Mr Kumar would create a “conflict of interest”.
Following this, an emergency board meeting of the housing association was called.
Mr Kumar said he was disappointed by WPH’s decision but said: “I welcome the confirmation I’ve had from Wirral Partnership Homes that politically inspired complaints were without merit.”
WPH had said one of his first tasks would be the supervision of the organisation’s response to the welfare benefit reforms and also the relocation of the organisation within Birkenhead.
But Mr Kumar confirmed he had been told his services were now no longer required.
He said: “It has been an unfortunate waste of time and money for everyone involved in what has turned out to be a pointless selection process.
“I am disappointed not to be starting working for tenants and residents today.”
The company had put out a press release in the summer saying Mr Kumar “will formally be appointed as a board director at the WPH Annual General Meeting in September and then his appointment as chair will be ratified by the board”.
At the time Jed Pearson – who was described then as the “retiring chair” – said Mr Kumar was “someone who is more than capable of helping WPH plan for future challenges and opportunities while delivering our 2020 Vision”.
However, the AGM passed without Mr Kumar’s appointment being included on the agenda.
WPH was formed in 2005 when around 15,000 council homes were handed over to it, making the housing association by far the largest in Wirral.
A WPH spokesperson said the organisation does “not want to comment at this time”.