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Please allow me to introduce myself

Firstly, I’d like to say a big hello and to thank everyone who has already contacted me with their warm wishes and congratulations. It has been a joy to hear from you all and I already very much feel part of the CA.

This is my first monthly blog as the new Non-Executive Chair of the CA, a role I was delighted to accept and one which clearly has big shoes to fill as I follow Paul Smee, who I know has done an excellent job in the last three years and certainly leaves the CA in a very strong position.

As someone who has spent the last 30 years working in the property market, this really does feel like a natural fit for me, especially alongside the other Chair roles I have with both Propertymark and the PCCB Compliance Committee. I’m hoping that having that broad view of the market will be beneficial to the CA and can help push forward our agenda for the benefit of as many stakeholders as possible. 

I’ve been in the role now for a few weeks and have tried to spend that time talking to as many individual stakeholders within the CA as possible, including the Executive, members of the Policy & Strategy Board (PSB), and the third-party service providers we work with. I will be widening this out to as many CA member firms as possible, talking to those who play a significant role in supporting the CA with its work, other stakeholders, and essentially anyone who wants to share their views with me.

Of course, normally we would be attending physical events – which I’m aware the CA excel at – and this would help me ‘get round’ as many people as possible in as short a time as possible. That’s still not able to happen but I know it’s all our hope that we’ll eventually be able to reinstate these meetings hopefully later this year, and we are already planning for the CA Annual Conference in December. In the meantime, I am looking forward to ‘meeting’ members virtually at the range of sessions we have coming up over the next few months. 

I recently chaired my first Executive meeting and from this it was easy to ascertain the depth and breadth of the workstreams that further the CA’s work, the level of engagement we get from those active in the PSB and wider membership, and the key role the CA plays in delivering key solutions to some of the industry’s key problems.

The recent inclusion of Leasehold Reform in the Government’s Queen Speech is testament to the work the CA has done in this area. I know it has taken a concerted effort over a very long period of time, with the help of many other supportive individuals and organisations, but that commitment has clearly paid off, albeit with the caveat that there is still more to do.

Running through the workstreams of the CA at the Executive, it was obvious there is plenty to focus on across a wide range of areas, with the biggest focus on those solutions which can improve the home buying and selling process. I’ll be sitting on both the HBSG and the Conveyancing Taskforce and working on how we turn those solutions into a reality which delivers a much more efficient, transparent and cost-effective conveyancing process. 

Finally, one further area I’ll be reviewing is the CA’s strategy, following our recent successes and the initiatives that both Government and the market have introduced, we need to ensure our objectives are still relevant and we are working to the right priorities. 

I’ll leave this first blog here. If you would like to hear more from me and where I believe I can add value at the CA please have a read of the recent interview I carried out with Today’s Conveyancer – it’s available here

Thank you again for the welcome you’ve already given me and I’m looking forward to working with you all in the future.

Nicky Heathcote is Non-Executive Chair at the Conveyancing Association (CA)

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