Russell Hewitson initially qualified as a solicitor and practised with Ward Hadaway before moving to Northumbria University where he is an Associate Professor of Law. Russell is a magistrate on the South Northumbria Bench. He is Chair of Law Society’ Conveyancing and Land Law Committee and a centre fellow of the Cambridge Centre for Property Law at the University of Cambridge. Russell is also a trustee of Netherton Park Trust.
I have over 40 years of experience in Local Government finance having worked in a variety of roles in local authorities across the North East. There are not many areas of finance that I have not been involved in at one time or another but my specialism is in regeneration finance.
My major role was that of Head of Finance at Bridging NewcastleGateshead. This was the cross-authority Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder programme with a principal focus on housing market renewal and growth. BNG was classified by The Audit Commission as ‘performing strongly’ overall for three years in succession and particular comment was made in terms of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Partnership. This is an area of work that I took the lead on and encompassed programme and performance management, efficiency planning, business planning, financial modelling, risk management and all things ‘value for money’.
I have spent many years working with and advising a range of management teams, regeneration boards, council committees, boards of governors and trustee boards and I fully understand the difference between governance and management.
Since taking early retirement in 2015 I have utilised my skills in the charity sector initially working with the Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust in a voluntary capacity. I currently work with The Lawnmowers Independent Theatre Company, a small charity run by and for adults with learning difficulties, providing financial support.
I am a Trustee and Vice Chair of Citizens Advice Newcastle where I have been helping to develop financial management, business planning and fundraising strategies to help improve the lives of vulnerable people in Newcastle.