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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

South West - new board member biographies


Catch up with our new additions to the South West regional board.

David Bull FCIH, neighbourhood services manager - Spectrum Housing Group

I am very proud to have been elected to become a board member of the CIH South West region this year. I was born in Tooting, London, attending school in Wimbledon until my family moved to the Isle of Wight. After graduating from Brunel University, London with a BA (Hons) Business Studies Degree in 1993, I initially worked for a large private sector property management company based in Brighton.

In 1995 I started my career in the social housing sector at Medina Housing Association, while I was there I studied at Solent University, Southampton, for a Graduate Foundation Course in Housing in 1999, and the Professional Diploma in Housing in 2001, at which stage I became a corporate member of CIH. I later studied for a Post Graduate Degree in Strategic Leadership in Housing and Regeneration at the University of Birmingham graduating in 2008; I became a Fellow of the CIH in 2014.

I am currently based in Christchurch, Dorset, and work for Spectrum Housing Group. My key role as the neighbourhood services manager at our head office is to lead the neighbourhood teams across Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire. I am a dedicated and passionate professional having worked in this field for 21 years, as a new board member I have an important part to play in both representing the CIH in the South West and ensuring that I take an active part in helping to shape the future of housing in our region. 

Michael Ash FCIH, head of housing and community safety - Swindon Borough Council

Michael has worked in the affordable housing sector for over 25 years. He is currently the head of housing and community safety at Swindon Borough Council. After graduating from Lancaster University he has spent time as a civil servant in the Home Office and worked for an international hotel chain. He started his housing career with a London based housing association before moing to Swindon. He has additional responsibilities taking a lead on the council’s work with asylum seekers, refugees, gypsies and travellers and the armed services.

Michael is responsible for all of the statutory and landlord housing functions at the highly ambitious Unitary Authority of Swindon. Swindon were the first authority in the South West to start building council houses again after a break of 20 years, taking advantage of opportunities for growth and dealing with ongoing pressures of homelessness. Michael is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing, until recently a board member of Synergy Housing and now a regional board member for the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Paul Butterworth, partner - TLT Solicitors

Head of social housing at TLT, Paul is ranked by Chambers UK as a 'leader in the field' of social housing and is ranked in band 1. His career started as a commercial property lawyer and then as assistant solicitor to West Wiltshire District Council, managing the council's property portfolio and advising on local authority finance including use of capital receipts. He gained significant experience leading a team of seven at Kingfisher Housing Association, dealing with a majority of the Association's legal work in-house including development, constitutional and regulatory advice.

Paul specialises in development, large scale regeneration, stock rationalisation, charging and HCA/GLA funding agreements, with niche experience in negotiating gap funding and grant agreements with the HCA. He is responsible for TLT's plot sales and purchases teams and has significant experience of working with RPs and local authorities in connection with RTB, Right to Acquire, plot sales, shared ownership and staircasing as well as purchase and repair.

Paul has experience in both private and public sector development projects, and has advised a number of developers in making developments with social housing provision attractive to social housing providers; working with them to present schemes to registered social landlords which are acceptable, in particular on section 106 sites. However, his niche expertise is in negotiating gap funding and grants agreements with the Homes & Communities Agency, as well as clawback and release arrangements.

Paul also frequently acts as lead adviser on joint-venture developments, with a variety of public and private sector partners, with a major social housing element. Contact him at

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