Lengthy search finally yields a chief
Gareth Swarbrick, 41, is the new head of Rochdale Boroughwide Housing after acting as managing director since May last year.
Between 2002 and 2007 Mr Swarbrick was business support director at the ALMO and he originally stepped up temporarily to fill the shoes of Paul Neate, who retired as managing director in April last year.
The appointment follows the ALMO’s two unsuccessful attempts to recruit last year. The council and ALMO staff interviewed several potential chief executives - but split irreconcilably over which applicant they wanted to appoint (Inside Housing, 25 October 2007).
They even called in the Audit Commission to examine why they could not agree.
Mr Swarbrick was in the running during the first round of interviews but was not shortlisted for the second round.
He explained that he and his team had worked hard to rebuild the relationship with Rochdale Council over the past few months, and had managed to bring the proportion of empty homes in the area down to 1 per cent.
He said: ‘As a round one ALMO, 98 per cent of the properties we manage meet the decent homes standard.
‘We have the lowest number of empty homes in living memory. In terms of going forward, what we aim to do is help the council in regenerating the borough.’