Whizz-Kidz boss joins Motability scheme in board reshuffle

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The chief executive of Whizz-Kidz, a charity that helps young people and children access mobility equipment, is one of the most recent directors to join Motability Operations amid an apparent board-level reshuffle.

A spokesperson for Motability told AMP that Ruth Owen OBE has joined the board of Motability Operations, the firm that runs the scheme, as an independent non-executive director.

This will mean Ms Owen will be involved in policy-making and planning exercises at Motability.

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Ms Owen joined Whizz-Kidz as chief executive in 2004 and led the charity to become one of the largest providers of mobility equipment for children outside of the NHS.

Ruth Owen OBE, chief executive of Whizz-Kidz. Image credit: Whizz-Kidz

Her appointment follows several recent changes at board-level which has seen the appointment of Alison Hastings, Ruth Prior and Michael Hordley as directors in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Christopher Lendrum left the company after several other directors exited between December and January.

The change in directors follows a period of intense scrutiny from the public, politicians and the industry after the Motability scheme’s operations were called into question.

It was shown that its chief, Mike Betts, was paid a salary of £1.7m and it was claimed that the group had stockpiled £2.4bn, calling into question the scheme’s position as a charity.

But Motability Operations maintained that the group, which is separate to the charity, is a commercial body rather than a charity and does not come under the Charity Commission’s jurisdiction as charity law regulator.

It released a statement and insisted the reported £2.4bn surplus is a necessary financial buffer. It also insisted that Mr Betts’ £1.7m salary is justified due to the scheme’s performance.

The matter is currently being debated and investigated in Parliament with the outcome expected to be heard soon.

Tags : motabilitywhizz-kidz
Joe Peskett

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