The Board

  Chair: Councillor Elena Whitham

Elena Whitham is the Depute Leader of East Ayrshire Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Housing and Communities. 

 She was first elected to Ward 6, the Irvine Valley, in 2015 at a by-election and previously had Cabinet responsibility for the economy and regeneration. She is currently Vice Chair of the Planning Committee and has many external Council appointments including to the East Ayrshire Leisure Trust and Crossroads Community Hub.

 Her work experience stretches across the public and third sectors with a focus on supporting people. She worked within statutory and voluntary agencies to prevent repeat homelessness of young singles dealing with substance misuse and offending behaviour. She also spent a decade working with Women's Aid as a refuge worker and outreach worker, helping women and children fleeing domestic abuse.

 Elena has a degree in Journalism and Communications from Concordia University in Montreal where she grew up after emigrating to Canada at the age of six. She has a second degree in Social Sciences and is a fluent French speaker.

She lives in Newmilns with her husband and two children and they can be often found walking their dog in the beautiful Valley countryside.


    Vice Chair: Robin Hume

Robin retired from Deloitte in January 2010 having spent some 20 years as a senior VAT Consultant. Educated at Dumfries Academy and Glasgow University, Robin continued his training with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland qualifying in 1975.  He spent some years in general practice before specialising in taxation.  He has recently been appointed as a non executive director of the National Theatre of Scotland and chairs their Risk and Audit Committee.

 Married and living in Kilmarnock, Robin and his wife share a lifelong interest in the local amateur musical society. 


Council Trustees

 Chris McAleavey, Depute Chief Executive (Safer Communities), East Ayrshire Council

Chris joined East Ayrshire Council following local government re-organisation in 1996 having previously served with a number of former District Councils in Renfrewshire, Dumfries and Galloway, and Ayrshire.

As Depute Chief Executive, Safer Communities, Chris is responsible for a broad range of front-line services including: Housing and Communities; Facilities and Property Management; Human Resources; Ayrshire Roads Alliance; Health and Safety; and Transport Services.


   Councillor Iain Linton

Councillor Linton – has been an SNP Councillor since being elected in 1999.  He represents Ward 3, which takes in the west of Kilmarnock.  He is the Cabinet Member for Wellbeing. He is 54 years old, and has two sons. Cllr Linton is also a Telecommunications Engineer with BT, and in his spare time he enjoys sports and is a keen hill walker. 


   Councillor Clare Maitland

Clare has a degree in English and Film & Television from the University of Glasgow.

She has a background at senior level in Events, Retail and Marketing and was part of the founding team that set up the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the Celtic Connections festival. She owned her own marketing company specialising in driving business from the customer experience and until 2015, she owned and ran her own dress agency. 

Clare is the Councillor for Ward 5 in Kilmarnock and Cabinet Member for Equality, Inclusion and Poverty at East Ayrshire Council. She is the Council representative for several organisations.

Married with twin daughters, Clare lives in Kilmarnock and is passionate about music, politics and words. She is currently learning to draw.


  Joe McLachlan, Corporate Accounting Manager 

Joe trained as an accountant with Glasgow City Council and in 2001 was appointed Audit Manager at East Ayrshire Council with responsibility for managing internal audit client services.  In 2004 he was appointed Corporate Accounting Manager and is responsible for managing the Corporate Accounting function within the Council.  He is  heavily involved in the Council’s transformation strategy and in the monitoring and achievement of planned savings.  

Joe is an active member of his professional institute and has membership of UK and national accounting standards working groups.  

He is married with three boys, all of whom have a keen interest in football, and Joe spends large amounts of his weekend standing at the sidelines, usually in the rain!

    Councillor Neil McGhee                          

Neil McGhee was asked to stand as councillor for Labour Party in 2003 and has remained elected since. Previous jobs have included Carpet Inspector for BMK and Sports Officer for Sports Council, Glasgow (based in Cumnock Town Hall).

Neil became Scottish Indoor Bowls Champion in 1986 then Players champion, Number 6 ranked in world, and lost in the semi-final UK Championship and two quarter finals of both UK and World Championships. Neil is Chair of ACDI Local enterprise group (3rd sector) and was recently successful in acquiring funding of over £300,000.


  Councillor Ian Grant

Ian Grant lives with his wife, daughter and their family dog in the heart of his ward of North Kilmarnock.He is a published author who started his writing career working for the Herald newspaper. Ian is chairman of the Type2 Diabetic Association and a Director of a Mineral Company. He is the current Treasurer of The East Ayrshire Conservative and Unionist Association.

As an East Ayrshire Councillor, Ian serves on the Licensing Board, The Grants committee and is Vice Chair of the Governance and Scrutiny Committee as well as being a Director of Ayrshire Community Enterprise. He has a lifelong interest in cars, the arts and travel. He has many business and social contacts worldwide, in particular in the Republic of Ireland, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Australia. Ian is very comfortable as a public speaker and enjoys sharing his business and life experiences with others.


Independent Trustees:

  Jean Brown

Jean has been a business partner in own business since 1975 and is a retired Home Economics Teacher. She is a member of East Ayrshire Community Partnership Board, involved in a voluntary capacity with East Ayrshire North Communities Federation and was previously a member of NHS Ayrshire and Arran Health Council.


  Jackie Livingston

Jackie has a BA (Hons) in Human Resources & Business Administration. She worked in the HR profession for 14 years managing the recruitment of staff for both the health service and retail industry in Scotland and Canada. She is currently Parent Representative on East Ayrshire Council Cabinet, Chairperson of St Andrew’s Parent Council and a member of the Parent Steering Group with East Ayrshire Council. Jackie and her family are frequent users of East Ayrshire Leisure’s facilities and she is keen to use her experiences as a customer to drive forward improvements and developments within the Trust.


Robbie Mann: Biog and image to follow.


The Trade Union nominated Trustee:

  June Minnery

June has worked in various departments of the Council, including providing admin support to the very first Entertainments officer for Kilmarnock & Loudoun District Council and has also worked at the Palace Theatre.  After having her children, June spent 10 summers as a seasonal attendant at the tennis courts in Stewarton where she encouraged people from all walks of life to take part in tournaments.  June has been a member of the GMB and has been active in the Trade union movement for about 30 years. Before retiring from East Ayrshire Council in 2009 June represented members in her capacity as Shop Steward and on Council committees.