The Board at Homes in Sedgemoor oversees the running of the organisation and is made up of an experienced team of tenants, councillors and independent members.

The Board works with the Executive Team on the current and future priorities of the business.


Headshot of our chair of the board, Paul.
Headshot of our chair of the board, Paul.

Paul Stephenson

Chair of the Board

Paul worked for 37 years working in community housing, the last 15 at Cheltenham Borough Homes, with the last eight as CEO.

His passion is about investing in people and communities. He volunteers as Chair of the Gloucestershire Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Panel, working with representatives from multiple agencies to address one of the objectives of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Paul lives in Gloucestershire, has two adult children, enjoys watching sport and is a keen walker and reader.

Jenny Vernon


Jenny is a governance and tenant involvement expert who specialises in involving customers in decision making.

With over 35 years’ experience in social housing, Jenny draws on her experience of having been a tenant and housing employee as well as her more recent housing consultancy and governance experience.

Jenny is Director of Good Governance Network and Lead Independent Advisor for Tpas. She currently serves as Chair of the Audit Committee.

Headshot of board member, Lance
Headshot of board member, Lance

Lance Duddridge


Lance is a member of the Conservative Party and is Councillor for Bridgwater Victoria ward.

Bridgwater born, Lance is a greengrocer by trade. He is also a strong supporter of local charities.

Kathy Pearce


Kathy has been a district councillor for 21 years.

Kathy chaired the Community Scrutiny Committee at Sedgemoor District Council and is a Bridgwater Town Councillor with interest in the environment, climate emergency and eliminating fuel poverty.

Kathy’s working background was in special educational needs. Nowadays, besides being a councillor, Kathy has returned to college to study Horticulture and is a part-time, self-employed gardener.

Marie Hide

Homes in Sedgemoor Tenant 

Marie joined the Homes in Sedgemoor Board in 2015 as one of the three tenant Board Members and is also a member of Homes in Sedgemoor’s Audit Committee.

She has two grown up children, and is kept busy with her dog – a husky cross called Spirit, and a gargoyle gecko named Nyx. Marie has a passion for cars and motorbikes and she chose to get involved with Homes in Sedgemoor to drive forward positive change. 

Picture of board member, Paul Hackett
Picture of board member, Paul Hackett

Paul Hackett

Independent Board Member

Paul has more than 22 years’ experience of social housing finance with a background across both local authorities and housing associations. His main specialism is financial analysis, in particular supporting organisations in building their future plans.

Paul has also worked at director level in several Registered Providers of Social Housing. He currently operates as an associate consultant with 2Tix.

Picture of Board member Oliver Keates.
Oliver Keates


Oliver attended Cardiff University and earnt a degree and post graduate Diploma in Town Planning, qualifying in 1998 as a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.  He started work in Local Government, and has since worked in land/ planning roles for various PLC/ SME housebuilders including management/ Regional Board positions and planning consultancy in Manchester, South Wales & South West England.  An active RTPI Member and volunteer for Planning Aid.
Away from work, he is a keen cricketer and a Director/ Committee member of his local cricket club and Secretary of Bideford 41 Club.  A keen open water swimmer & long distance runner, he has completed 3 marathons for charity.  Oliver has a grown up son and lives in North Devon with his wife and 1 year old Labrador Neville.

Pauline Ham


Pauline has lived in Axbridge since 1982 and has three children. She has been involved with various voluntary groups and has worked in a local school for more than 30 years. She is passionate about community and providing and maintaining affordable housing for local people.

As a member of Axbridge Town Council since 1994, she is proud to have been Mayor of Axbridge on three separate occasions. She was involved in producing the Neighbourhood Plan for Axbridge, and more recently she was elected to Somerset Council.

Chris Fisher

Homes in Sedgemoor tenant

I have been living in and around Bridgwater for the past 40 years and love the community here.
I am self employed and I run “crafty sessions” twice a week on a voluntary basis. One of these centres on the reuse and recycling of all the materials used, as I try to promote and encourage less wastage.
I have seven grandchildren, who I love to spend time with.

I enjoy photography, much of which I use in my crafting and other activities. My other passion is aviation and old engineering.
I like to be involved in the community and although not Bridgwater based, I do run a very large local Facebook group.
During covid I started writing and each day write around a thousand words to share on social media.
I feel that when used correctly the internet and social media itself can be an excellent resource for older folk and those who find themselves isolated at home.