Governance - Lincolnshire Housing Partnership

Governance

Code of Governance

We are required by The Regulator for Social Housing to adopt an appropriate code of governance. We have adopted the National Housing Federation Excellence in Governance Code 2015 edition.

The Code sets down key principles, with which we must comply, and supporting best practice recommendations where we have some discretion. Where we do not follow the code, we must explain why not.

The Code deals with our Board, the way it operates, our constitution, the role of the Chair, the Chief Executive, equalities, and probity. In fact, everything which you would expect to see in a well-run Board and organisation. Each year we review whether we fully comply with the NHF Excellence in Governance Compliance Report and report this through to our Board.

Our constitution

LHP is a charitable community benefit society. This means we have shareholders. Shareholders meet annually and at general meetings. The shareholders appoint the board. How general meetings and the board operate is governed by Rules. Board members act as both directors of the company and shareholders and are subject to common law principles of company law and legislation under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies act 2014.

We are also an exempt charity. The Rules set out the purposes and powers of LHP as an exempt charity which must be complied with. The Board members act as trustees of the charity as well as also being directors of the company. This dual role has largely similar rights and obligations to comply with. Whenever our board acts it must take account of what is best for the beneficiaries of the charity (our tenants primarily) and the long term interests for the success of the company.

The Rules are the most important document in our Constitution. Other documents which sit below the Rules and form part of the Constitution are Terms of Reference for Board and Committees, the Scheme of Delegation to the Executive, Financial Regulations and Procurement (contract) Rules.

We are committed to adhere to policies and work to governance standards. You can read our governance documents and policies which form our Constitution in the openness and transparency section.

Openness and transparency

We are committed to being open and transparent; this is why we openly publish our documents so that you can see the way we operate. Being open and transparent is a key principle of good governance.

Regulation

Lincolnshire Housing Partnership (LHP) is a charitable Community Benefit society registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. As a registered provider of social housing we are regulated by the Regulator for Social Housing and Homes England. We must comply with the Standards that together form the Regulatory Framework. We are also regulated by the FCA as a Community Benefit Society. HM Revenue and Customs make sure we comply with general charity law requirements.

All these regulators have various statutory requirements which we must comply with. They have rights of inspection and intervention in our dealings if we get things seriously wrong and we are obligated to supply prescribed information to them. You can read our last judgement or find out more information here.

Value for money

Value for Money (VFM) is intrinsic to the delivery of our strategic priorities and this document sets out our approach to ensuring we make the best possible use of our resources in order to maximise the available investment to support each of our priorities and that each pound spent delivers the best outcomes for our tenants in delivery of our corporate plan.

The Rules

The Rules of LHP are the basis of its Constitution  and follow the model  National Housing Federation Model Rules 2015. Effectively the Rules are very similar to the Articles of a Company. They set out LHP’s charitable objects which are primarily founded on providing affordable homes for those in need for the benefit of the community. The Rules set out LHP’s powers for shareholders and the Board. There are detailed provisions dealing with the shareholders and holding general meetings. Each shareholder has a share worth £1 which does not attract interest or dividend. The Rules specify who is unable to be a shareholder and how shareholding ends. Rules relating to the Board sets out its composition, quorum, terms of office, meetings and declarations of interest amongst other matters.

There are also other provisions dealing with key roles such as the Chair and Chief Executive, financial control and audit, and statutory and miscellaneous matters.

The Constitution

The Constitution sets out how LHP is governed and, in addition to the Rules, includes Standing Orders, Terms of Reference, Scheme of Delegation and Financial RegulationsThese set out the strategic and operational management and decision-making processes for the Board, its Committees and its employees. They are the main governance documents which support the Rules. They set out the terms of reference of the Board and its committees and how meetings are conducted. They also provide the scheme of delegation of decision making to the Executive to deliver services in line with Board’s set priorities. The Financial Regulations set out LHP’s financial management controls including accountancy, audit standards and procedures. The Regulations also govern how contracts procured and managed in conjunction with Procurement Rules. The Procurement Rules ensure that we secure VFM through appropriate levels of competition for goods and services we need to deliver our services. Without such robust documents we would be unlikely to meeting the regulators standards of governance or comply with legislation.

Corporate Plan

We launched our 2019-2023 corporate plan together with our vision, values and strategic priorities in July 2019.

The LHP Group

LHP is the parent company of several wholly owned subsidiary companies.  These subsidiaries are: Humber Homes, Speedwell Homes and Boston Mayflower Finance Plc.

Humber Homes Limited has been mainly dormant since 2015.  It was originally set up as part of the mechanisms for the redevelopment of the former Yarborough Estate now known as Freshney Green and was a party to the original Development Agreement.

Boston Mayflower Finance PLC is a special purpose vehicle incorporated for the purposes of raising finance and is without any assets of its own. As a PLC the Company has some different statutory requirements to comply with.

Speedwell Homes Ltd’s purpose is to manage a small number of properties on behalf of private owners. The properties are leased and suitable tenants placed on 5 year fixed tenancies at market rent.

Relationships and controls between LHP and the Group are governed by agreements which includes intercompany services and charges.

LHP main office

Board member code of conduct

We have adopted the National Housing Federation Code of Conduct. The conduct of board members impacts directly on our public reputation. Proper conduct by the board can dictate how effectively our money and assets are managed. The Board Members’ Code of Conduct sets out board members’ responsibilities in respect of acceptable behaviour and accountability and therefore is important in setting the culture for LHP and the leadership role of the Board.

Modern Slavery Statement

Organisations with an annual turnover of at least £36m are required by the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to publish a Statement setting out what they are doing to stop modern slavery and forced labour practice occurring in their business and supply chains. The Statement sets out at a high level LHP’s Statement as to how it intends to comply with the Act with particular emphasis on procurement rules, processes and procedures and supply chains, and raising awareness.

Payment Performance Statistics

LHP are required to publish payment performance statistics about the payment of invoices within 30 days, on an annual basis.

This is in relation to regulation 113 of the the Public Contract Regulations 2015.

Financial Year% invoices paid within 30 daysAmount of interest paid to suppliers due to late paymentThe amount of Interest whether or not claimed, liable to be paid to suppliers
2018/201978.55%£0.00£18,655.47
2019/202097.71%£0.00£3,964.80
2020/202178.45%£0.00£18,655

Transparency

As part of our commitment to openness and transparency, we publish: