New interim chair of Leasehold Advisory Service appointed

A new interim chair has been appointed at the Leasehold Advisory Service, the government has announced today (7 January 2019).

Wanda Goldwag will lead LEASE, an executive body that provides impartial advice to people in leasehold properties and park homes.

She will provide support to the organisation’s Chief Executive, Anthony Essien, and its staff for a period of up to 18 months.

Wanda is also currently Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints, the board which controls the legal ombudsman service for England and Wales, and she brings extensive leadership experience and an in-depth knowledge of the legal advice sector to her new role.

Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Heather Wheeler MP, said:

LEASE has an important role in supporting leaseholders and helping them resolve problems, and I am pleased to appoint Wanda Goldwag as chair.

She will bring a level of expertise and knowledge from her previous roles which will be of real benefit to leaseholders.

The government is working hard to reform leasehold practises and ensure that the reality of home ownership can live up to the dream for those who purchase a leasehold home.

Wanda Goldwag said:

I am delighted to be able to help LEASE in this time of renewal of the organisation’s aims.

I hope to ensure that LEASE is the first port of call for leaseholders, potential leaseholders and park home owners in England and Wales and that the organisation provides high quality information and initial advice to lay people.

Anthony Essien, Chief Executive of LEASE, said:

It is a testament to the standing of LEASE that someone of Wanda’s calibre and experience sought, and has been appointed, to the role of interim Chair. We are all looking forward to working with Wanda as we move forward on the next step of LEASE’s journey.

Wanda will lead LEASE over the next year and a half, helping to continue to improve the service provided by the organisation and ensuring effective delivery of leasehold advice to leaseholders.

She will also work with LEASE, as well as the department and ministers, to shape and influence the future agenda for the provision of advice and support to leaseholders, and on the development and implementation of the government’s ongoing leasehold reforms.

Wanda has a portfolio of non-executive roles and has held a number of public appointments. She is a lay member of the Queen’s Counsels appointments panel, Chair at the Legal Ombudsman, and a non-executive director of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, amongst others.

Her previous roles include being a Civil Service Commissioner. She holds a BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics.

Further information

Wanda Goldwag has been appointed for a term of up to 18 months, commencing on 7 January 2019 and ending on 6 July 2020.

A photo of Wanda is available on request.

LEASE is an executive, non-statutory non-departmental public body which provides initial, impartial advice to leaseholders and park homes owners in England and Wales. It has also been given additional responsibilities to assist leaseholders affected by building and fire safety concerns.

It is sponsored and majority-funded by Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government although it also receives a small amount of funding from the Welsh government to support the provision of advice to Welsh leaseholders and park home owners.

It provides its services through the internet, by email and letter, by telephone and face-to-face, and by outreach surgeries in the field.

Further information about LEASE is available on its website: www.lease-advice.org/.

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