L&Q has announced Fiona Fletcher-Smith as its new chief executive, taking over with immediate effect.
Fletcher-Smith will succeed David Montague, who announced his intention to step down in September 2020; he leaves L&Q this month following 33 years with the organisation, including 13 as chief executive.
Background: Fiona Fletcher-Smith
Fletcher-Smith was previously L&Q’s group director of Development and Sales, where she led one of the sector’s largest development and strategic land programmes – including landmark projects such as 10,800 home Barking Riverside, L&Q’s joint venture with the Greater London Authority (GLA), and a strategic partnership with the Mayor of London to deliver another 20,000 new homes across the capital.
Fletcher-Smith also oversaw L&Q’s expansion outside the south east of England, with over 1,400 homes now under construction in the Midlands, and a further 20,000 planned for the north west of England through the 2019 acquisition of Trafford Housing Trust, and has led work to improve the efficiency and diversity of L&Q’s development team.
Prior to this, she was the GLA’s executive director for Development, Enterprise and Environment, where she was responsible for overseeing the delivery and implementation of key strategies such as the London Plan and the Economic Development Strategy, as well as overseeing the operation of the Mayor’s powers in relation to significant planning applications in the capital.
Fletcher-Smith will take the helm of the 105,000 home housing association at one of the most significant times in the sector’s history.
Her first task will be to agree a five-year strategy, which will set out how L&Q will continue to tackle the housing crisis and provide quality homes and support services for those that need them most, while working with residents to build on existing work supporting the recent social housing White Paper, delivering on essential building safety requirements and the climate change agenda, and dealing with the impact of Brexit and the global pandemic.
L&Q Chair Aubrey Adams said: “The L&Q group board is delighted to welcome Fiona into the role of chief executive.
“As well as her deep knowledge and understanding of the challenges facing L&Q, she brings with her a wealth of experience from a career dedicated to housing.
“At L&Q we are not just a landlord or developer. We pride ourselves on our social purpose and drive to deliver quality services to our residents, including education, training and care and support services.
“As well as her exemplary pedigree in senior housing and infrastructure roles, Fiona also began her career as a housing officer, where she learned a deep understanding and empathy for social housing residents.
“This is evident in her ambitions to put the people that live in our homes firmly at the centre of everything we do.
“We also take this opportunity to profoundly thank David Montague, who has spent the last three decades championing social housing, and has led L&Q to become one of the most influential organisations in the sector.”
Fiona Fletcher-Smith said: “It is a great privilege to be chosen to lead L&Q, building on the incredible work that has been achieved under David’s leadership.
“L&Q provides a home for 250,000 people. As I open a new chapter in our history, I am absolutely clear that these people must come first. We need to listen to our customers and work with them to ensure that homes are safe, high quality and supported by excellent services and thriving communities.
“That will be the primary focus of our new five-year plan, and I will be working tirelessly to drive this and ensure our culture is ethical, responsive, creative, inclusive and puts customers first.
“We have no intention of stopping building homes – they are core to our social mission. Our ambition to enable the creation of 100,000 homes remains – but the pace of delivery will ease in the short term.
“In the meantime, I want us to focus on building high quality, beautiful places and safe homes across our committed pipeline.
“This country faces countless housing issues, but the pandemic has taught us to be imaginative and discover new and better ways of doing things, so a new dawn awaits.
“I have been passionate about housing all my life and cannot wait to tackle the challenges and grasp the opportunities that lie ahead.”
David Montague said: “I could not be happier to be handing the reins over to Fiona. Since joining L&Q in 2018, she has time-and-time-again proven herself to be an invaluable and inspirational leader.
“It gives me great comfort to know that the future of L&Q is in her hands, and that she will be supported in delivering the next chapter of our social mission by a team that is dedicated to doing the best they can for our residents.”
Image: Fiona Fletcher-Smith, chief executive, L&Q
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