PUP’s Hutchinson on NRC Board of Governors

Pacemaker Press 13/3/2014 'Billy Hutchinson.
Pacemaker Press 13/3/2014 'Billy Hutchinson.

William ‘Billy’ Hutchinson, one of the most prominent PUP activists in recent years, has been apppointed as a Governor of the Northern Regional College.

The announcement was made this morning by Employment and Learning Minister, Dr. Stephen Farry.

Mr Hutchinson holds a post graduate qualification in Town Planning. His current professional role is as a Community Development Officer in North Belfast. He is also a former lay member of the Education and Training Inspectorate within the Department of Education. He has also been a member of an education and library board for a number of years. Mr Hutchinson does not currently hold any other public appointments.

In the last five years, Mr Hutchinson has obtained office as a District Councillor, MP, MEP, MLA etc, has stood as a candidate for one of the preceding offices, has spoken on behalf of the Progressive Unionist Party, has held office such as Chair, treasurer or Secretary of a local branch of this party and has canvassed on behalf of or helped at elections on behalf of this party.

He is joined on the College board by Mr Kevin Chambers, Mr Hugh Crossey, Miss Yvonne Mallon and Mr William McCluggage. The governor who is being reappointed for a second term is Dr David Lennox.

The governing body of a further education college is responsible for securing the efficient and effective management of the college, determining its strategic direction, appointing its senior staff and ensuring that the college acts as a responsible employer.

Northern Regional College (NRC) is one of the six, large further education colleges across Northern Ireland. It has campuses in Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Larne, Magherafelt and Newtownabbey. In 2013/14 academic year (the latest year for which full, validated statistics are available), NRC had over 24,000 enrolments and employed an average staff of 647 (expressed as full-time equivalents).

Appointments and reappointments to the governing bodies of further education colleges are for a period of four years and are not currently remunerated. However, plans to remunerate chairs and members of the college governing bodies are in train. It is anticipated that remuneration will be introduced during the early part of the term of these appointments.


Mr Kevin Chambers is a civil engineer by profession and spent most of his working life undertaking various posts at Belfast Metropolitan College, previously Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education. He retired from his most recent post as Head of Capital Projects in 2008 and subsequently provided consultancy advice to the College on major capital procurement and asset disposal projects between 2009 and 2014. Mr Chambers is currently Inspector for Public Inquiries, Department for Regional Development Road Service and a Member of the Conduct and Registration Committee for NI Social Care Council. He previously served as a Board Member for the Construction Industry Training Board and as Director of the Engineering Training Council. Mr Chambers does not currently hold any other public appointments.

Mr Hugh Crossey is currently non-executive Chair of Bryson Charitable Group, one of the largest social enterprises in the UK. He also serves as Chair of the Group’s Governance Committee. Prior to this role, he worked within PricewaterhouseCoopers for 32 years as a partner and managing partner within the company. Mr Crossey does not currently hold any other public appointments.

Miss Yvonne Mallon has worked in the industry sector in Northern Ireland for 23 years in the field of Human Resource (HR) Management. Since 2009 she has led the HR function at B/E Aerospace [UK] Ltd. She was the winner of the Institute of Directors’ Director of the Year Award in 2012 in the category of Corporate Responsibility, having been nominated for this by Business in the Community. Miss Mallon has previously served a two year term on the Council for the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce. Miss Mallon does not currently hold any other public appointments.

Mr William McCluggage is a senior civil servant and has held a number of high profile posts in the field of IT Strategy and Policy and Information Management in the Northern Ireland Civil Service, Cabinet Office and the Irish Government. He is currently the Chair of the Belfast Branch of the British Computer Society. He is a Board member of Momentum and is also a member of the Policy and Public Affairs Board of the British Computer Society in London. Mr McCluggage is a visiting professor at the Ulster University Business School at Magee. Mr McCluggage does not currently hold any other public appointments.

Dr David Lennox is a civil servant and has experience of the development and implementation of strategies and policies in the public sector as well as a range of corporate functions, including the sponsorship of arm’s length bodies. He previously held a joint appointment as a lecturer in the School of Agriculture and Food Science in Queen’s University Belfast whilst working in the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Dr Lennox is currently Chairman of the Management Committee of Abbeyfield & Wesley Housing Association and is a former chair of the BBC Northern Ireland Appeals Advisory Committee. He is a qualified statistician, a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and a former Fulbright Fellow. Dr Lennox has been a governor at the College since 2011 and has served as vice-chair of the Finance & General Purposes Committee. He does not currently hold any other public appointments.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity played no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published.