Top 50 Power Players In #UKHousing 2014 – Your Vote Counts….

Power. Influence. Social Housing Heroes
Power. Influence. Social Housing Heroes

A year ago I published The Top 50 Power Players In Housing [Klout Edition] – featuring people working in and around the sector.

The idea came to me as I was sipping rum at a beach bar in Jamaica, checking my Klout score and wondering why I hadn’t made the main list in 24 Housing Magazine.

More seriously – it was done as an exercise in comparing online and offline influence.

Only 14 of the original Power Players remained in the online list. The democratising effect of social media was apparent. CEOs disappeared almost completely and were replaced by people with less seniority – in the traditional hierarchical sense. There was a higher number of women, more ethnic diversity and at least 3 of the top 10 influencers were under the age of 30.

There is a serious point to this. We now have a generation of people working in Housing who have no idea who David Orr and Grania Long are. But they would recognise John Popham and Dominic Campbell. It’s increasingly important that UK Housing leaders embrace digital as a relationship builder rather than a broadcast channel.

I never expected the post to be so popular , it’s the number two ranked piece on this blog and still gets views every day.

I also never planned to do a follow up list , but due to public demand I’m pleased to announce that there will be a 2014 edition published in June!

To freshen it up I’m making three changes based on feedback:

  • Although it will still use the controversial Klout score, there will be some new measures included. So , for example , I’ll be looking if a person has a frequently updated blog or website. The full criteria will be published alongside the list.
  • Politicians are being dumped. You told me you’d prefer a list without elected members – one that concentrated on real people working in and around the sector.
  • For the first time you’ll be able to nominate people you feel have made a significant contribution through their online influence. Who has really shaped things this year? Who ran the best blog? The best social media campaign? Remember this list is reserved for individual people only – you can’t nominate Housing Associations or companies. You can nominate people however you want. You can mention them on Twitter using the hashtag #powerplayers14 , you can DM me or send an email. Ideally though you will add a thread to the bottom of this post. Nominations or suggestions must be made by midnight on Sunday May 11th. 

I’m delighted to say that Shirley Ayres – co-founder of the Connected Care Network is joining me to collaborate on the list. Shirley was the Number 1 ranked influencer on last years list after politicians. So , just like me, Shirley won’t be appearing on this years list!

The list will be announced in June and published on this blog simultaneously with the print publication in 24 Housing Magazine. Thanks to Jon Land who is a great sport for suggesting this. Watch out for news also on how some of this years list could find themselves invited to a special event at House Party on 24th June. Thanks to Matt Leach , who would get my vote for innovation in housing , for this.

So – over to you. Who are the Power Players 2014? Remember – they don’t have to work in housing. Just influence it.

As I’ve said – in an online super-connected world – sectors only exist in our imagination anyway….


SO HERE WE GO…………………

THE 2014 SHORTLIST (although it’s quite long)

Abigail Scott Paul

Adrian Capon @AdeCapon
Aileen Evans @Bushbell
Ailin Martinez @ailinmartinez
Alex Blandford @blangry
Alex Marsh @shodanalexm
Alex Noonoo @Goonooa
Alison Dean @alisonhanily
Alison Inman @Alison_Inman
Alistair Somerville @Acuity_Design
Alys Cole-King @AlysColeKIng
Amy Lythgoe @AmyL_BAH
Andy Johnson @andyjatbromford
Andy Orrey @AndyOrrey
Andy Williams @andywilliamsLHT
Angela Lockwood @Angela_NSHG
Anne McCrossan @Annemcx
Asif Choudry @asifchoudry
Barry Marlow @barrymarlow
Ben Black @BenBlack
Ben Marshall @BenM_IM
Boris Worral @borisorbitgroup
Brett Sadler @brettsadler77
Carl Brown @carlbrownIH
Carl Haggarty @carlhaggarty
Caroline King @CKingatHelena
Charlotte Harrison @charlotteh_nhc
Chenoa Parr @chenoaparr
Cheryl Tracy @ctracy861
Chris Bolton @whatsthepont
Chris Goulden @Chris_Goulden
Clare Parslow @ClareParslow
Clare Tickell @claretickell
Colin Wiles @colinwiles
Dan Slee @danslee
Darren Caveney @darrencaveney
David Orr @natfeddavid
Edwina O’Hart @EdwinaOHart
Elisa Faulkner @ems_wales
Gary Orr @gary yarlington
Gavin Smart @gavinsmartCIH
Grania Long @granialongCIH
Grant LeBoff @grantleboff
Hannah Fearn @Hannahfearn
Harry MetCalf @harrym
Helen Barnard @Helen_Barnard
Helen Reynolds @helreynolds
Helena Moore @helenajmoore
Housing Grunt @housing_grunt
Immy Kaur @ImmyKaur
Inti Popat @Intipopat
Jacque Allen @jacqueallen2
Jacqui Grimes @JacquiNHC
Jake Eliot @HousingJake
James Grant @BristolJames
James Pargeter @Jamespargeter
Jamie Baker @jamieofficer
Jamie Davies-Morgan @jamiedmorgan
Jamie Ratcliff @JamatGLA
Janet Hale @pilkingtonhale
Janet Hunter @housingrightsNI
Janet Storar @JREJanet
Jarrod Williams @jarrodwilliams
Jayne Hilditch @jaynehilditch
Jen Barfoot @JASbar
Jennie Donald @Jenny_Donald
Jennie Ferrigno @justjennie45
Jeremy Porteous @HousingLIN
Joe Halewood @SpeyeJoe
John Hocking @john_hocking
John Popham @johnpopham
John Wade @JohnW_Bromford
Jon Land @JonLand24
Jon Leighton @Pokerfiend
Jules Birch @jules_birch
Julia Unwin @juliaunwin
Julie Nicholas @JulieNCIH
Kate Davies @KateDaviesNHHT
Kate Murray @kate_murray
Kate Reynolds @kate_reyn
Kathleen Kelly @JRFKathleen
Keith Edwards @keithedwardscih
Ken Perry @kenperry47
Kevin Williams @kevinw_wulvern
Lara Oyedele @laraoyedele
Lily Dart @lily_dart
Lindsay Graham @LindsayGrahamUK
Lisa Hughes @LisaHug90813883
Lisa Pickard @lyha_LisaP
Lucy Ferman @lucyferman
Martin Wheatley @wheatley_martin
Matt Leach @matt_leach
Matthew Gardiner @TeamTHT
Matthew Smart @iMattSmart
Michala Rudman @michalarudman
Michelle Reid @MichReid2014
Mick Kent @mickkent2
Nearly Legal @nearlylegal
Nick Atkin @NickAtkin_HHT
Nick Duxbury @nickduxbury
Nick Horne @knightsinwhites
Paddy Gray @Paddygray1
Patrick Butler @PatrickJButler
Paul Diggory @pauldiggoryNWH
Paul Smith @asterpaul
Peter Bond @petebond7
Peter Brown @PeterFBrown
Peter Hall @PHHSI
Polly Neate @pollyn1
Rachel Honey-Jones @RHoneyJones
Rachel Morton @RachelJMorton
Rae Watson @RaeWatson_
Richard Crossley @richardinleeds
Richard Sage @bakedidea
Rob G @Simplicity
Rob Jefferson @RobJefferson
Rob Warm @robwarm1
Ross Williams @ross_williams79
Sahil Khan @khan_sahil
Sasha Deepwell @sashadeepwell
Shaun Tymon @shauntymon
Shibley Rahman @legalaware
Steve Cook @StephenCookV2C
Steve Hilditch @SteveHilditch
Steve Meakin @smeakin60
Steve Nestor @stevenestor1
Stuart McDonald @smacdonaldSM
Sue Roberts @sueR10
Tamsin Stirling @tamsinstirling
Tessy Britton @TessyBritton
Thom Bartley @thombartley
Tim Frier @timfrier
Tim Morton @timmorton2
Tim Pinder @pindertim
Toby Lloyd @tobylloyd
Tom Murtha @TomeMurtha
Tony Stacey @TonyStacey
Tracey Wilson @traceyregenda
Vic Rayner @VicRayner
Vicky Bannister @vmbannister
Vicky Green @Vicky_Green1
Victor da Cunha @victor_dacahuna
William Shortall @MerseyNorthBM

Well done everyone – the Final Fifty will follow in a few weeks…

Thanks for voting

Shirley and Paul


94 thoughts on “Top 50 Power Players In #UKHousing 2014 – Your Vote Counts….

  1. This is pretty tough, but here are my initial thoughts:
    – Nick Atkin
    – John Popham
    – Rae Watson
    – Ade Capon
    – Asif Choudry
    – Anne McCrossan
    I would also definitely add in you and Shirley Ayres!
    All pushing something different in #ukhousing which is much needed.

  2. It is tricky, as Brett says. Guess it boils down how we define “influence”, what it is that we’re influencing, and the actual outcomes achieved. On that basis I’m going to nominate people who may not have high Klout scores, and some who probably don’t blog or have a website, but who are certainly trying to influence inside and outside of “the sector” (whatever that might be!)
    Michala Rudman (CouncilHomeChat)
    Cheryl Tracy (CouncilHomeChat)
    Elisa Faulkner (CouncilHomeChat)
    Tom Murtha (SHOUT 4 social housing)
    Jules Birch
    Colin Wiles
    Alison Inman (SHOUT)
    Ade Capon (Housing Day)
    …and a load of other people, but that’s the nature of “Top 50…” Lists! Be interesting to see who’s in and who’s not this year.

    1. Thanks Michelle. I have to say I completely agree with the shouts for the guys from Council Home Chat – a great example of a social campaign and I think will get a special mention.

  3. I would nominate Michala and Michelle, Lara, Alison Inman, James Pargeter, Colin Wiles, Jules Birch, and Asif has to on the list of course. Jane Hilditch covers IT-tech in housing well. The journalists are professionals so may not count, but if they do I would include Jon Land, Hannah Fearn and Nick Duxbury. I feel ashamed that my (brand new) blog is mainly about fashion (how superficial!) but I may cover housing too, in due course.

    And thank you Paul for doing this.

    1. Thanks Kate – nothing superficial about a fashion blog. A housing fashion mashup sounds intriguing! Good shouts too – I’ve already mentioned Jon but Nick and Hannah do great posts. Hannah also has a great Instagram account too

  4. My criteria: Who are the great collaborators and relationship builders? Who are the folks who are most likely to say ‘have you heard of’, or ‘you should speak to’. The real people connectors – consistently and regularly. It’s got to be:

    • Ade Capon (@AdeCapon) – Created #housingday and since has put in time and effort to push for better collaboration between housing comms folk.
    • Jayne Hilditch (@JayneHilditch)– created #HousingCamp and invests heavily in connecting up housing digitally
    • Jon, Max and Brian from 24 housing magazine. They do this as a profession but they take the time to understand and back a campaign – without commercial gain.
    • Alison Inman (Alison_Inman) – SHOUT campaigner and general ‘good egg’ connector.
    • Paul, you’re always up for a debate. You have an eye out of ‘the sector’ and I appreciate your efforts to disrupt thinking – by doing stuff like this.

    1. Thanks Rae – a good shout for Ade Capon who was a driving force behind #housingday and has more exciting plans for this year. Are you surprised at the seeming lack of active tenant influencers?

  5. I’d like to nominate these great people for their passion, commitment and vision and because they’re all putting their shoulder in to make change happen.
    Jayne Hilditch
    Alex Noonoo
    Brett Sadler
    Nick Atkin
    Tracey Wilson
    Chenoa Parr
    Andy Williams
    Lisa Pickard
    Anna Robson
    Natalie Hannam
    Rob Jefferson
    Matt Leach
    Adrian Capon
    John Popham
    Andy Johnson
    Sahil Khan
    and you, Paul!

  6. Wow. What a list of #CommsHero influencers and all round lovely folks. So many people and where do you start….Here goes and I’m sure I’ll be back to add more at a later date…

    Nick Atkin
    Shaun Tymon
    Mick Kent
    Victor da Cunha
    Ken Perry
    Jacque Allen
    Lisa Pickard
    Kate Davies
    Paul Diggory
    Paul Taylor
    Michelle Reid
    Rae Watson (purveyor of fine cakes)
    John Popham
    Kevin Williams (Wulvern)
    Caroline King (top influencer and great choice for chair of 1st #CommsHero)
    Jon Land
    Tim Frier
    Kate Reynolds

    No offence to the many people I know that aren’t on the list. You are all influencers and good eggs in my book.

    1. Hi Paul,

      This is a brilliant idea and I really like the approach you’re taking this year including people’s opinion and promoting conversation.

      I would like to nominate this people because I learnt everyday something from them and they’re a source of inspiration, here it goes:

      Helen Reynolds
      Nick Atkin
      Jamie Baker @jamieofficer
      Thom Bartley
      John Popman
      Asif Choudry (loves his enthusiasm)
      And of course you and Shirley!

    2. Thanks Asif – it’s interesting that the voting so far is very different from the actual Top 20 last year! Let’s see how this changes things…

  7. Hopefully I’m going to shake up the list here by mentioning and voting a few different names that not a few of you would consider ‘housing sector bods’.

    I’d like to nominate John Compton, you can find him over @StreetClub. As far housing goes, bringing communities together online and in the modern age is clearly where were all going and it’s concepts like StreetClub that are going to help get us there!

    Also, pushing the online engagement and helping shape the sector is (and he has been mentioned already) John Popham.

    A few more…

    Nick Atkin @nickatkin_hht
    Sasha Deepwell @SashaDeepwell
    Asif Choudry @AsifChoudry
    Me (of course, someone has to vote for me) @iMattSmart
    Jamie Davies-Morgan @JamieDMorgan
    Andy Johnson @andyjatbromford
    Jarrod Williams @jarrodwilliams
    Vicky Green @Vicky_Green1

    All these people I nominate because in their own unique way are collaborating to build a positive change in Uk Housing.

  8. Hi Paul

    A shout out for my wonderful colleagues

    Julia Unwin (@juliaunwin), CX of the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust
    John Hocking (@john_hocking), Executive Director of the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust
    Kathleen Kelly (@jrfkathleen), JRF Housing and homlessness research manager

    All regular contributors to the JRF blog and guest contributors to countless others


    1. Hi Paul. This could take some time!

      I’d like to start with THE triumvirate of Housing Bloggers, Steve Hilditch, Jules Birch and, in particular, Colin Wiles. I think they are all fantastic but Colin has been ‘on fire’ lately and has been fearless in taking the fight to the #notohomes lobby, particularly the National Trust.

      If it were possible to nominate a whole cohort of people I’d say ‘Welsh Housing Tweeters’ – the sector in Wales has embraced twitter in a way that is less ‘corporate’ and more ‘social’. Off the top of my head I’d give a particular mention to Julie Nicholas, Michala Rudman, Ross Williams, Michelle Reid, Paul Diggory, Jen Barfoot, Ben Black, Keith Edwards, Kirsty Ellis, Steve Cook, Cheryl Tracy. And the rest!

      I look forward to tweets from Kate Murray, Tamsin Stirling, Clare Tickell, Kate Davies and others because they tweet links on a whole host of subjects, some serious, some quirky.

      Am proud of the way that all my TPAS colleagues have embraced social media and Rae Watson deserves special mention here.

      A special mention to the people who have given me, and others, the confidence to begin to articulate some thoughts about this wonderful sector we are all a part of: Aileen Evans, Martin Wheatley, Tom Murtha, Tim Morton, Tony Stacey (as well as Colin, Steve, Kate above).

      Finally, although we’ve had our disagreements on Policy stuff, you welcomed me onto Twitter, Paul, the day I signed up, and for that I’m very grateful.


    2. Thanks James – as I said on Twitter – I reckon the JRF are a standout social organisation for making effective use of social media. I’m not allowed to vote unfortunately but I’d also add @Chris_Goulden and yourself!

      1. You can indeed – good to see another shout for Thom – who is a very distinctive voice who goes against grain.

  9. How about the little guy (or girl of course)?

    Those ones who work tirelessly on the frontline to make sure the business ticks. They can’t always be on social media to share their work, they can’t always change the system, but the do a damned good job of changing people’s lives and actually doing the work that makes #UKHousing such a valuable industry.

    You’ll never find them at a conference, they’ll never get to network at a national awards, they wont make business decisions in a board meeting that shape their company, but they’ll continue to sit on our customer’s sofas, listen to the issues that really affect people and try to make a difference to their lives.

    Surely those are the real, unsung power players?

    1. Thanks Jarrod – great shout. I agree. That said – it’s important we do everything we can to get these people using social as part their jobs rather than feeling it is something else. Boris Worrall commented last night at the number of people doing great work on dementia , for example , but not using social. What they would find is a huge amount of knowledge sharing and support from right around the world.

      It’s a big leadership challenge though to get people behaving like this.

  10. There are so many brilliant and influential names in housing that I could create a list that goes on for days – but (without offending anyone not mentioned) those that I’ve smiled at, clapped for, cheered on and been generally impressed by in the past 12 months are as follows (in no particular order might I add)…

    Helena Moore
    Asif Choudry
    Steve Nestor
    Nick Atkin
    Mick Kent
    Jarrod Williams
    Helen Reynolds
    Thom Bartley
    Anne McCrossan

    1. Thanks Andy – great to see a shout for Helen Reynolds who has influenced housing comms as much as anyone I know…

  11. Hi Paul, we’d like to nominate our very talented Director of Policy, Charlotte Harrison. Like lots of people in housing she is extremely passionate and very committed to the cause!

    1. Thanks Helen – I’m pleased you mentioned Charlotte. Definitely someone who is pushing agenda forward in a different way…

  12. Love this idea. My list is based on those who have influenced me the most via Twitter;

    Nick Atkin
    Asif Choudry
    Brett Sadler
    Paul Taylor (Bromford!)
    Jayne Hilditch
    Ken Perry
    Tim Pinder
    Michelle Reid

  13. Again though, in the criteria for both the “mainstream” and “alternative” powerplayers list, the odds are stacked against tenants making it on there. I always provide 2 lists when Jon Land finally wrestles names from me; one is an all-women list, because I know the majority of nominations will be men; and the other is an all-tenant list, because very few people even consider tenants as the real powerplayers in housing. Few tenants write blogs, or engage with twitter as individuals. There are notable tenant groups on Twitter, like NFTMO, TAROE, Welsh Tenants, OSCAR, DerwentScrutiny, Barnsley Tenants Fed, Caerphilly Tenants and others, all accounts run by involved tenants. But fewer individual tenants. My alternative tenant powerplayers list would probably be:
    Steve Clarke (Welsh Tenants)
    Jennie Ferrigno (Red Kite)
    Sue Roberts MBE (NFA)
    Steve Meakin MBE (TPAS England)
    Nick Reynolds (NFTMO)
    Rob G (@simplictly)
    Janet Storar MBE
    There will be others who I will be hugely embarrassed to have left off this list, but just like the frontline workers who are destined never to appear, there are tenants up and down the UK who are influencing social housing hugely but won’t appear on the radar of any type of “Top 50” list…

    1. Thanks Michelle – really insightful comment. I feel this is an artificial barrier that we need to break through. In health there are number of influential patient leaders but housing doesn’t seem to have broken through. I think this is the role of housing leaders to help make happen and needs a different kind of “resident involvement” to energise it.

      I’ll do a post on this as you have inspired me!

    2. LOL. I love that you offer two lists Michelle. Answering a different question to the one asked is an ace approach! And thx for sharing the tenant list above – I new people for us to follow!

  14. Hi Paul
    Great to see the list back by popular demand!! I’d like to cast my vote to the following individuals who for me give a great mix of all things housing & whom I relentlessly RT, and throughly enjoy their content:
    Firstly the power houses behind the brilliant #CouncilHomesChat campaign
    Michaela Rudman
    Cheryl Tracey
    Elisa Faulkner

    Now onto my favourite content tweeters:
    Ross Williams
    Caerphilly Tenants
    Alison Inman
    Jules Birch
    Tamsin Sterling
    Julie Nicholas
    Jules John
    Paul Diggory
    Stephen Cook
    Rachel Morton
    Keith Edwards
    Asif Choudry
    Tom Murtha
    Edwina O’Hart
    Hannah Fearne
    Matthew Gwyn Lloyd for all things digital inclusion
    Graham Finchly for all things equality

    This list is by no means exhaustive and I know I will have missed some vital people but it’s the ones I immediately thought of off the top of my head! As you’ve counted yourself out your not on there – but I do think you deserve at least an honourable mention (maybe by a guest editor or by Jon Land in the print edition so no conflict there!)

    Looking forward to seeing the final list!

    I will no doubt as soon as I post this think of a few more so will ensure to add prior to the 16th!

    Rach @RHoneyJones

    1. Knew I’d immediately think of someone else! How could I forget Brett Sadler!! My apologies Brett! Please add my vote in for him too 🙂

  15. Hello Paul,
    Here are a few names that pop into my mind, mainly from Twitter.
    No rigorous science in my approach, just the names that surface first….. I may have to add a few more, and appologies to anyone I’ve missed on this first attempt.
    Lara Oyedele @LaraOyedele
    Michala Rudman @MichalaRudman
    Lisa Pickard @lyha_LiasP
    John Popham @johnpopham
    Nick Atkin @nickatkin_hht
    Tamsin Sterling @TamsinSterling1
    William Shortall @MerseyNorthBM
    Ailin Martinez @ailinmartinez
    Andy Johnson @andyjatbromford

    Cheers, Chris

    1. Thanks Chris – great names and I have to say your posts have been hugely influential to people in housing.

  16. From N Ireland I’d like to nominate:
    -Janet Hunter @housingrightsNI CEO for effectively influencing many housing policy and practice areas but particularly around tackling homelessness and repossession locally.
    -Ricky Rowledge CEO Council for the Homless for tirelessly campaigning to improve lives of homeless people.
    @jennie_donald for her work on influencing (pending) decisions on bedroom tax.
    Alison Kilpatrick a top housing Barrister who helped secure NI’s first Time Order for secured loan.
    @grainialongCIH for keeping the profile of housing up there!
    Nick Woods former Policy Manager at CML for his support on highlighting need for repossession task force in NI.
    @nearlylegal for fanrastic legal work and blog.
    @jules_birch for brilliant blog.


  17. Hi Paul,
    Since becoming more involved in twitter I feel that their have been some key people that I have learnt a great deal from along the way.

    From a digital style point of view I would have to mention that my biggest influences are
    Asif Choudry, Kevin Williams and my CIH North West Board Colleague Nick Atkin.

    From a content point of view it would have to be:
    Tom Murtha, Alison Inman, Colin Wiles and everyone else from SHOUT.
    Cheryl Tracy, Michala Rudman, Elsa Faulkner and Michelle Reid (Council Homes Chat).

    I also think that Ken Perry and Jennie Ferrigno are exceptional.

    Hope this is what you were looking for

  18. Hi Paul
    Thanks for running this again. It’s a valuable alternative take on the housing scene. I’ve looked at my influences and thought about some of the different strands:
    In terms of the general drive behind #HGD I’ve got to go with @nickatkin_hht @AsifChoudry and @PaulBromford (not exactly a social media recluse and I’m sure you’ve come across him…)
    UK-wide I’d like to mention @Alison_Inman the Shout supremo @tomemurtha and @Paddygray1 from over the water.
    In Wales there have been important contributions from the reliable @Keith EdwardsCIH and his colleague @JulieNicholasCIH. Special mentions for @HelReynolds @MichalaRudman and our new import @MichReid2014.
    Finally, three of our former CIH Cymru Rising Stars finalists are proving that our confidence was not misplaced: @Ctracy861 @Ross_Williams79 and, having just delivered two #HGD workshops to 100 colleagues at our staff event, @brettsadler77.
    Good luck sorting this lot out!

  19. Disclaimer: I’m a bit worried this will get a bit Prom Queenesque with people voting for their mates so I’m not going to vote for anyone from Bromford.

    Here are my picks.

    Nick Atkin – A truly digital CEO. I like the way he is part of the online conversation. I like the work he is doing with the CIH that are putting on HGD shows that have moved past how to use social media as a tool and onto why you should use social media and how UK Housing can use it for social good. I like the way he has one to one chats with residents on Facebook. I like the way he makes grandiose statements in the public arena which then ties his hands to get them pushed through. I like the fact that he gets himself into trouble with his own company for going out on a limb and saying things without running them through a meeting so that it can be toned down and made safe first. I even like the way he wears Converse trainers at speaking events. A truly 21st century Housing CEO with a bit of punk attitude. More people like him are needed.

    Anne McCrossan – The Connected Housing Review 14′ was one of my favourite pieces of work done within housing this year. It provided an objective look at UK Housing’s digital engagement and highlighted strongly some of the weaknesses that we have. In a world of self congratulatory back patting I was disappointed to see that a lot of the messages from that review were overlooked by organisations patting each other and their selves on the back but regardless, a semi independent person running a review like this provides valuable information to the sector and influences organisations to consider the effectiveness and connectedness of their digital presence.

    Matt Leach – CEO at HACT and working to do some great innovative things that Housing desperately needs. His work with cloud computing / using huge amounts of tenant data to create the ability to look into behaviour in a way that has never been done before is extremely exciting and all the more worthy of praise as it’s so far ahead of the technical curve within a housing world that in large parts still thinks Twitter is the next big thing it’s a bit ridiculous. Add this work to what he’s doing with setting up the House Party in Manchester and you have a bloke who’s breaking new ground and doing things that I believe are and should be hugely influential to the Housing sector moving forward.

    Immy Kaur – Now that she’s left housing I believe Immy has the freedom that she needed to be able to influence housing more than she ever could from within a housing organisation. Anyone willing to engage with her will find someone who tirelessly works on delivering social good at the best possible cost every hour of the day and I mean every hour of the day, she doesn’t stop working. A strong digital presence gives her a strong platform to influence the social sphere both locally within Birmingham and nationally and her ideas and her readiness to pontificate about them have influenced housing even if you don’t realise it. She was the first person I heard last year who really started to push the power of storytelling, a few months later it was the sectors buzzword. Add that now to intrepeneurship, collaboration, creative working environments etc etc and you have someone who is a continual effective presence within online social.

    There are loads of people out there now who are worthy of a mention but I thought these four have done something a bit different, a bit more noteworthy in the last year that deserved them being highlighted.

    1. Brilliant Thom. You should be a speech writer for the Oscars. Four people I think who have a very individual take on things and aren’t afraid to say something different.

  20. Hi Paul,

    Great idea! I’d like to nominate:
    Keith Edwards, Alison Inman, Michelle Reid, Julie Nicholas, Jen Barfoot, Rachel Honey-Jones, Jules Birch, Helen Reynolds, Tom Murtha, Asif Choudry & John Popham

    Plus fellow Council Home Chat folk: Michala Rudman & Elisa Faulkner


  21. Hello Paul,
    The list could be endless as there are a lot of inspiring colleagues out there, but I would suggest:
    Julia Unwin
    Alison Inman
    Paul Taylor
    Janet Storar
    Inti Popat
    Gavin Smart
    Brett Sadler
    Michelle Reid
    Nick Atkin
    Ade Capon
    Peter Bond
    William Shortall
    Lisa Pickard
    Jules Birch
    Ben Black
    Steve Hilditch
    Colin Wiles
    Jon Land


  22. Hello there, I love the idea of recognising people who contribute to the housing world digitally, push forward against what is often a closed door, and make a difference in a different way. So my votes go to: Anne McCrossan, the guru; Rae Watson, who introduced me to Twitter; Janet Hale, who gets it right; Tracey Wilson, we think the same way; Alison Dean, determined in a quiet way; Jayne Hilditch, ballsy; and Kate Davies for her style. Cheers, and look forward to seeing the list, Maggie Shannon

    1. You’ve upped your rating with the method you’ve used to give your noms, Nick! I’m in awe of you (again)…

  23. I’ve been reading the debate on twitter and the blogosphere with interest and amusement – whether we like a list or not, this exercise has meant I’ve discovered a few more interesting housing people to connect with on twitter – so all to the good – and thank-you Paul and Shirley for taking it on!

    There’s lots and lots of people who influence me, and how I think about #ukhousing, and in particular digital service delivery in the sector (my passion). Lots of those names are already cited above, and some not. So I figured I’d pull out a few highlights and share a couple of others. With apologies to those that aren’t on my brief list – its not that you don’t count with me – its that I’m trying to curate thoughts carefully and cover some new ground.

    So in no particular order…

    Kate Reynolds ( @kate_reyn ) an early digital housing communicator – she’s been doing it consistently and brilliantly since the early days. Always has some fresh thinking to add and a strong sense of the residents’ perspective.

    Dan Slee (@danslee ) A “public services” comms supremo, rather than a housing specialist. Our twitter paths first crossed a few years back at GovCamp, and he’s been a source of comms & information sharing inspiration since. He’s part of the Comms genius that is – a truly brilliant resource for communicators in any sector, but especially public service delivery. He shares ideas and learning generously. We need more Dan Slee’s in our world.

    Anne McCrossan ( @AnneMcx ). Another early GovCamp participant, who has great insight around both how organisations are operating in the external social space (the ConnectedHousing Index), and also around growing social-business DNA inside the organisation. She’s really helped us grow our social-biz-confidence and I’m sure she’s doing the same with other organisations in the sector.

    Tom Murtha ( @TomeMurtha ). I didn’t know Tom when he was in the day job leading Midland Heart, I’ve only known him, via Twitter, as the retired CEO and chair of HACT. I love that Tom speaks his mind, and often cuts to the hard truth of the matter – a while back during a debate about Wonga/brighthouse he made the observation that poorer people have always bought things on credit, its not a new “feckless poor” thing. Spot on Tom, I remember my mums “Kay’s” catalogue well !

    Immy Kaur ( @Immykaur ). Immy’s not working “in” housing any more, she’s working on a great innovation / accelerator programme in the Midlands. But her infectious sense of optimism, enthusiasm and the sense that we’ve all got a part to play in improving the world we live in still impacts lots of us on twitter. And I’m thinking that the @TheCivicFoundry will be A Good Thing.

    And finally, a couple that don’t really have profile in the housing sector yet, but I think they will have in the coming year.

    Harry Metcalfe ( @harrym ) , Lily Dart ( @lily_dart ) , Alex Blandford ( @blangry ) – they’re all part of the crew that make up DXW. They’ve done the service design and web development work for our online customer services. They’ve done some brilliant work for us by *really* focusing on what customers need, and not just taking our word for it. We have the curse of knowledge of “how things happen” – and they’ve challenged our status quo. Service design skills are woefully lacking in our sector. Almost as woefully lacking as the knowledge that we need them. So, I think these folks are going to really make a positive mark for themselves over the coming year, and I wish them every success. They deserve it, and our sector would deliver better public services as a result of it.

  24. So I’ll keep this short and sweet – although there are so many great social media advocates out there … I think some of these have good stuff to share

    Jon Land
    Carl Brown & Nick Duxbury
    Gavin Smart & Grania Long
    Yes2Homes & David Orr
    Nick Atkin
    Tony Stacey
    Matt Leach
    Stuart McDonald
    Colin Wiles & Jules Birch
    Ben Marshall Ipsos
    Matthew Taylor THT
    Anna McCrissen
    Brett Saddler
    Jayne Hilditch
    Paul Smith

  25. My list is people who make an impact on me – making me think, making me smile, making me angry etc. Their presence on this list doesn’t necessarily mean I agree with them (ever / sometimes / mostly) and (apart from the first on the list) it’s not ranked:
    Nick Atkin – the master craftsman
    Asif Choudry
    Michala Rudman
    Colin Wiles
    Alison Inman (one day we *will* meet!)
    Lisa Pickard
    Tony Stacey
    Michelle Reid (for all things housing and Star Wars)
    Tom Murtha
    Sasha Deepwell
    You’re “hors de concours”, Paul – but if you weren’t, I’d nominate you for your envy-inducing holiday updates (OK and all the good digital and housing stuff!). Serious point, I like people who share something of themselves – not just corporate messages and retweets – Power Players who are people, too…

    1. Thanks Janet – great shouts and thanks for the holiday mention too. You will forever be my first tweet on my pebble watch in a pool in Bali!

  26. I have thought long and hard about this and in the end have selected those who really inspire me. So here’s my list
    My fellow #SHOUTers – Alison Inman, Colin Wiles, Tom Murtha with a special mention for Martin Wheatley. Patrick Butler and Hannah Fearn for consistently great writing about wider social issues and not just housing. Jon Land and the team at 24 Housing. Also @simplicitly who has produced some of the most moving writing around welfare reform I’ve ever read. Tony Stacey and Carol Matthews for really authentic leadership. Michelle Reid and others from CouncilHomeChat and Lisa Pickard.
    Thanks for doing this Paul.

    Aileen (@bushbell)

  27. Hoping this works as have lost one post!

    My votes to to

    Thom Bartley, have loved his posts, enthusiasm, challenge and all round Midlandness for a while. His way of thinking is so interesting – loved his tech blogs over last couple of years and he was a star at the Summit last November. He’s prepared to say what he thinks, back himself up but listen to other voices – he was in part responsible for our ‘bring a new young leader’ ticket offer last year. Oh and the dude can yo-yo.

    Nick Horne – I worked for a while at Knightstone and loved my time there. Nick has interesting online presence – some sharing of management learning which is very interesting and focus on the value that KHA brings. I’d really like him to develop more of his own voice as I think it would be great to hear.

    One CEO who has got his voice sorted is Matthew Gardiner. His was one of the first CEO blogs I followed and many a time I’ve wondered whether Matthew is plugged into my brain as I’ve had a ‘he’s hp just explained what I’ve been trying to articulate’ moment. Great views on housing input into wider world too.

    Angela Lockwood gets my vote for her growing online presence, her twitter grounding has led to a couple of blogspots which were brilliant – especially the one on female leadership. She’s a huge asset to the NE housing voice. Plus she has a very cute dog on twitter!

    Non housing people – of course I’d like to nominate Immy Kaur. I once tweeted that I’d live to have a bio as cool as hers! I suspect that won’t happen… But I love reading Immys tweets and seeing how the wider world of soc ent, housing, local gov meets with challenges of innovation, creativity and authenticity – the latter being something of growing interest to me.

    Other non social housing people include @nearlylegal for his informed blogs on legal developments especially welcome his cool head. In similar vein, the work of @election-data is worth a follow given the value of exploring data in new formats

    Finally, must acknowledge those who have worked on @reallifereform in their efforts to show impact of welfare changes.


    1. Thanks Charlotte, appreciate the kind words and if I truly influenced your idea to get more young people along to housing events then I’m very happy about it!

  28. It’s very difficult to nominate for this list as I am regularly intrigued by those most vocal on twitter. But are they the power players or perhaps those who are quickest to share an opinion of theirs or others! Sorry, but ‘bandwagon’ chat just doesn’t do it for me! So I have decided to really focus on a few nominations of those who I feel are really trying to change and not just challenge opinion! I have been most impressed by the work of #councilhomeschat who have chosen, as far as I can tell to be fairly selfless in their campaign to create a collaborative opportunity to challenge and change perceptions and the opportunities of social housing. This actually changes stuff and isn’t based on anything other than wanting to change opinion! It feels very sincere and honest to me! I suspect that @michellerudman is deffo involved and I would love to see her on the list! And if you know of anyone else involved then they must qualify too!

    I have also been incredible impressed by the work of @actinonimpulse – although as individuals not necessarily prominent on twitter – their videos are so impressive and changing the perception of homelessness in UK.

    I am also a huge Fan of @shirleyayres – she is tireless in her campaign to change social care in the UK – her personality is as powerful in a real room as well as on twitter!

    So there you go! Sorry for the long post! Good luck to all and remember it ain’t what you say but what you say and do that really makes you a true #powerplayer and that might not mean your name is even involved! That’s true power!

  29. Cutting it fine and twitter has been down for last 30 minutes but here are my nominations for #powerplayers14 …. First to say a big thanks Paul, this is a brilliant initiative, really gets the twitter chat even more animated and secondly to say thanks for those who have nominated me. I keep seeing my name pop up and I am well humbled!!

    So… There is no methodology to my entries… Just people and names that catch my attention, make me stop and think, who fire up my passion and enthusiasm, people who I share values with and some who challenge mine! Individuals who’s twitter activity really says what they are about and who they are….

    Helen Reynolds… You inspired and made me laugh me in real life, and you do so on twitter
    Nick Atkin … For nagging at me to tweet, I thank you but your continued raising of the bar and constant thought provoking gets my vote. And your love for Donnie Rovers!!
    Jane Hilditch … One of my early doors “one to watch”
    Asif Choundry … Your networking is 2nd to none and #commshero
    Real Life Reform… I know I have a vested interest but should also name check Andy Williams, for really helping make it happen and can’t name everyone who has supported it so far, you know who you are
    Patrick a Butler, Guardian… Automatically follows here as his support of RLR has been amazing and the coverage of welfare reform and poverty really helping to bust myths.
    Tim Morton… You’re always there, tweeting hot of the press issues and retweeting
    Aileen Evans aka Bushbell… Star campaigner!
    Sasha Deepwell … Strong women and loved our Women In Housing twitterthon
    Michelle Reid is a legend and Wales are lucky to have her
    John Popham … Guru
    Shaun Tymon … Poverty champion
    Anne McCrossan … Makes me step back and think
    Both Kathleen Kelly and Julia Unwin from JRF get my vote… Am loving the campaigns this year, real emphasis on housing and poverty, right up my street
    Lucy Ferman & Placeshapers… Wow!
    Janet Hale…. Straight talking and always there on the big ticket issues
    Vicky Bannister … Straight talking and funny but her tweets about her experiences of dementia through her parents, struck a chord.

    Richard Crossley who sadly died a few weeks ago… His blogs always gave me courage and hope.

    There are so many to choose from..
    Lots of people I have missed who make a difference…
    safe to say, I love twitter…the conversation, the sharing of information, the opening of doors has opened my eyes… Its helped me be a better CEO…. It’s helped me be much better connected! Thanks to everyone who I’ve connected with… You are all in my list!


  30. I’ve finally clicked on the link to Power Players ’14 to see what all the Housing people that I now follow on Twitter are talking about.

    I’m a bit surprised to see that I’m mentioned in it, though relieved that this is only twice!

    I’d rather not have those nominations, if I’m honest. I only started blogging in a vaguely-connected and small way in relation to housing after the bedroom tax was introduced last year, and I’ve been trying to understand the policy and its implications ever since. I’ve had a lot of help from selfless, giving people who work in housing, and I appreciate that this list gives a way of recognising their work.

    I haven’t achieved anything this year. The bedroom tax still exists. To me, it’s the thing that underpins everything I have come to understand about housing. It touches on the reasons that social housing exists. it frames the debate about the Affordable Homes Programme and the removal of grants for social housing. It also frames the debate which #councilhomeschat is trying to address, about the way that people who live in social housing are portrayed in the media. Disingenuous stories of large empty properties occupied by single people or couples who don’t know how lucky they are persist, despite all the evidence that has now come to light about who is affected.

    I won’t lecture, I’m sure you know all this already, and some days I even bore myself with it.

    Given that I don’t want to be on the nominations, I’d also understand it if you didn’t want to include the ones I’m about to make.

    Aileen Evans – @bushbell. I promise this isn’t because Aileen has nominated me. Back when I’d applied for an exemption from bedroom tax, the reply from my local authority came in a brown envelope that arrived while I had a week of respite. This meant Mrs G wasn’t home, and I couldn’t face opening it alone. Aileen offered to be at the end of twitter for me if it was bad news, or good news, and although I put the envelope to one side, it was a kindness I’ve not forgotten. Aileen has also helped me on a number of occasions when I’ve had questions when researching my blog – particularly with regard to my comparison of bedroom tax and LHA, and Aragon Housing’s 3 month and 6 month bedroom tax reports have always reassured me that people in housing are still taking addressing the policy seriously.

    Giles Peaker – @nearlylegal. Giles is another person that I’ve met through twitter who has given selflessly to the bedroom tax ’cause’. As I am a complete idiot when it comes to the law, I’ve come to appreciate his ability to break down complicated housing law issues into understandable language. Even though I am regularly wrong about legal terminology and the implications of tribunals, court cases and appeal case outcomes, @nearlylegal always comes up with a way of making that Ok.

    Jules Birch – @jules_birch. I nominate Jules because he is another communicator whose knowledge is accessible, and for whom social media isn’t just a flow of information in one direction. Like many of the other writers nominated by other people above, I can’t pretend to understand *everything* he writes about – I am after all, a complete novice. However, his ability to put things into the context of related subjects is really helpful for understanding why things are important. Jules also seems to be selfless in the links he shares to the work of other people.

    So that’s it. Please, again, feel free to leave my noms out if I’ve stumbled into something I shouldn’t have a vote for!

    There is a long list of other people I’d like to nominate, who have been informative, funny, giving and accepting in equal measure. I would nominate @councilhomeschat and everyone associated with it, and @4socialhousing too, but I think their times are coming next year for the 2015 list. Similarly, I’d like to placeholder a nomination for 2015 for @fielsted, who as an informed, interested PRS tenant provides invaluable stories about what it is like for her and her family in the rental market that’s another piece of the housing puzzle. You should probably all follow her on twitter, ready for next year’s list.

    1. Thanks Rob – great list for someone who doesn’t understand it. PS – I think the @councilhousechat group might surprise people this year.

  31. Oh and big shout to Alison Inman, Tony Stacey, A girl called Jack! And finally Jon Land… I admire your support of this alongside your own list!

  32. Paul thanks for the organisation of this list and those behind #PowerPlayers14 event.

    There are already some exceptional nominations and I apologise in advance for all the fantastic people working in the sector that you can’t fit on a blog list. As a housing newcomer I’m still getting to see and understand all the housing heroes out there. And coming from a background in marketing and communications – we need to see more front line housing professionals engaging over social media.

    Here goes, in no particular order:

    Comms2Point0 (Dan & Darren) @Comms2Point0 @Danslee @darrencaveney
    Helen Reynolds @HelReynolds
    Kate Reynolds @Kate_reyn
    Anne McCrossan @Annemcx
    Matt Leach @matt_leach
    John Popham @JohnPopham
    Jarrod Williams @jarrodwilliams
    Andy Johnson @andyatbromford
    Thom Bartley @ThomBartley
    Jayne Hilditch @JayneHilditch
    Lisa Pickard @lyha_LisaP
    Tom Murtha @Tomemurtha
    William Shortall @MerseyNorthBM
    Michelle Reid @MichReid2014
    Council Homes Chat @CouncilHomesChat
    Carl Haggerty @carlhaggerty
    Nick Atkin @nickatkin_hht

  33. Evening! As someone who doesn’t directly work in housing, I thought I’ll stick to just nominating those who do. These people have influenced the way I think and feel not just about the housing sector but also about communications, innovation and new ways of working. If I hadn’t left this so late I’d have written exactly why I’ve nominated each person – I’ll do that later! Lots of the people I mention here I have met in person after thinking they sound cool on Twitter, which as a former council bod in South Wales goes to show the power of social media for networking. Sorry to people I missed, I ran out of time to complete the list and I’m adding you to a twitter list as I go (

    Here we go:
    Ben Black @BenBlack
    Paul Taylor @PaulBromford
    Nick Atkin @nickatkin_hht
    Kate Reynolds @Kate_reyn
    Lisa Pickard @lyha_LiaP
    Adrian Capon @AdeCapon
    Ailin Martinez @ailinmartinez
    vicky bannister @vmbannister
    Asif Choudry @AsifChoudry
    Shaun Tymon @ShaunTymon
    Andy Johnson @andyjatbromford
    Paul Diggory @PaulDiggoryNWH
    Cheryl Tracy@Ctracy861
    Matthew Gardiner @TeamTHT
    Andy Williams @AndyWilliamsLHT
    Jacqui Grimes @JacquiNHC
    Tim Pinder @PinderTim
    Amy Lythgoe @AmyL_BaH

  34. Paul – i missed the deadline, was recovering from the sheer concept that we have power players – sometimes wish we could assert that power more. Question – does housing have power?

    Anyhow my late nominees and apologies for missing a few people out but I restricted myself to one 15 minute list making session…

    @nickatkin – he has revolutionised our thinking on social media
    @paulbromford – just because you seem like the Malcolm McClaren of the medium….there at the start and saw its potential and still pushing the boundaries
    @v.bannister- pearls of common sense
    @lisapickard – for her work on @reallifereform and raising issues around poverty
    @bushbell @alison_inman @colinwiles @knightsinwhites @LaraOdedele @jules_birch….consistently brilliant contributors
    @shaunTymon @TonyStacey @AndyOrrey…for being so spot on in so many ways

    And last but not least, the most wonderful and passionate follower of @reallifereform (amongst other things) @TimMorton2

  35. Paul here are the votes of the Devizes Jury (actually I am in Wells today)

    Housing Grunt
    Jules Birch
    Alex Marsh
    Joe Halewood
    Matt Leach
    Tony Stacey

  36. Doh missed the deadline as had a weekend off social media (must try harder!) – but wanted to let my nominees know I think they’re ace even if you decide not to count the votes. So here goes – these are the people who influence me personally:

    @nickatkin_hht – the epitomy of the social CEO
    @ThomBartley – for his brilliantly belligerent refusal to accept the status quo and generally shaking things up
    @Alison_Inman – someone who completely gets that social media is about having conversations and making connections and is consistently interesting, whether she’s posting about housing or not
    @JulieNCIH Ditto!
    @AsifChoudry – the consummate social networker, always bigging up #ukhousing comms and generally trying to make us better!
    @RaeWatson_ – for tireless efforts to bring #ukhousing comms people together
    @AdeCapon – for #housingday and exciting plans in the pipeline – watch this space!
    @MichalaRudman and all behind @councilhomechat – still in its early stages but a great campaign telling the stories of and showcasing the brilliant people who live and work in social housing
    @HelReynolds – for sharing brilliantly creative comms work for #ukhousing to learn from, and someone whose personality shines through every tweet and blogpost
    @danslee and @comms2point0 – for sharing fab comms content from loads of sectors, not just housing, and probably the first person to make me realise what a generous place Twitter can be (and what a great learning resource it is)
    Top housing bloggers @jules_birch, @colinwiles and @ShodanAlexM – for making me think and having that knack of articulating exactly what I wanted to say – only much more elegantly
    @AilinMartinez – for sharing really useful comms content, doing great stuff with digital at SYHA and general sunny positivity!

    That’s it – would have nominated @Simplicitly for his incredibly moving blog if he’d not asked not to be included above, and I think nominations for you Paul and Shirley go without saying 🙂

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