THE new chair of Weaver Vale Housing Trust has said that he is excited to start transforming neighbourhoods and changing customers lives.

Paul Smith, who has worked in housing for more than 45 years with local authorities and housing associations, has been appointed to the role.

He replaces Jim Bolton, who stepped down as chair to focus on his health and spend more time with his family.

“I am excited to be joining Weaver Vale at such a pivotal but challenging time for UK housing,” said Paul.

“One of my passions is affordable housing, and I believe that customers should be the main focus of all we do.

“It is vital that residents are able to influence the delivery of their services and the way their housing associations are governed.

“I am looking forward to getting started and working with the residents, board and staff to achieve our vision of transforming neighbourhoods, homes and services to improve the quality of life for our customers.”

Wayne Gales, chief executive at Weaver Vale, added: “Everyone connected with Weaver Vale would like to extend a huge thank you to Jim who stepped down after serving on the Board for four-and-a-half years.

“We are delighted to welcome Paul to Weaver Vale.

“He arrives at a very exciting time in the organisation’s history with a major development and service improvement programme underway.

“Paul has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and I know he’ll be able to help us on the next stage of our journey as we work to ensure we are both a landlord and partner of choice and an excellent employer for our staff.”

Weaver Vale Housing Trust own over 6,000 homes, as well as a large portfolio of garages, shops, community play areas and green open spaces across Cheshire.