Role details

Brecon Beacons National Park Authority - Appointment of Members (4)

Application deadline 10 October 2022

Summary

Organisation
Brecon Beacons National Park Authority
Sponsor department
Welsh Government
Location
Wales
Sector
Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Skills
Regulation, Transformation
Number of vacancies
4
Time commitment
44 day(s) per annum
Remuneration
£4738 per annum
Length of term
4 years
Application deadline
4pm on 10 October 2022

Apply for this role

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    8 September 2022

  2. Application deadline

    4pm on 10 October 2022

  3. Sifting date

    19 October 2022

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    8 November 2022

These dates are indicative and may be subject to change

Person specification

Essential criteria

To be considered, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria for appointment. We welcome applications from individuals who have no previous experience of working on public sector boards. Individuals are selected on merit, against the essential criteria and not as representatives of particular organisations or groups.
To succeed in this role, it is important you can apply your skills and experience in ways which help deliver the statutory purposes for which the National Parks were designated (see the second paragraph in Annex B).
The Authority will benefit from being able to draw on a wide range of skills and knowledge in its membership. You will need to be able to bring a national perspective to its work, acknowledging its role and contribution to Welsh aspirations (particularly for the well-being of future generations) whilst recognising the Park’s contribution to everyday environmental, economic, social and cultural life.
Essential Criteria
• The ability to make a strong contribution to the Park Authority through participating effectively and constructively on its committees and working groups, working in a collegiate manner at all times;
• The ability to operate effectively in a strategic or national role, providing a direction of travel for the Authority’s executive team;
• The ability to communicate clearly with a range of audiences;
• An appreciation of the current policy and practice of National Parks and an understanding of the Welsh legislative and political context in relation to landscapes and the environment;
• A clear understanding and commitment to the ten principles in The Conduct of Members (Principles) (Wales) Order 2001 (see Annex D);
• Knowledge or experience of promoting inclusion and diversity in a relevant context. Examples could include:
o lived experience of disadvantage or exclusion,
o proactively promoting equality for people with protected characteristics ,
o and/or individuals with professional experience such as tackling financial and health inequalities, or dismantling barriers to inclusion;
• Skills and experience in one or more of the following areas are also essential:
o The Climate and Nature emergencies – implementing practical solutions and working with local communities to take forward change.
o The new context for agricultural support and rural development after exit from the EU
o Balancing the need to manage tourism sustainably with the needs of local communities
o Audit, governance and finance, with an emphasis on public sector requirements
o Town and country planning

Desirable criteria

Desirable Skills
Experience of working for a charity, being a trustee, running a business or public administration at a senior level may be advantageous but is by no means essential

Role description

Role description

National Park Authority (NPA) members are responsible, individually and collectively, for promoting effective leadership for the NPA, for setting its policy and for ensuring it meets its objectives within the statutory, policy and financial framework laid down for it. Members have a duty to act at all times within the law, in good faith and in the best interests of the National Park, and to be scrupulous in ensuring their public position is at no time compromised in favour of private interests, or gives rise to suspicion this has been done. You have equal status on the Authority as all other members, whether appointed by Welsh Ministers or by a Local Authority, notwithstanding any specific experience or skills you or other members may bring.

Members Role

Members of NPAs are required to understand and demonstrate a commitment to National Park purposes and be prepared to commit the time necessary for regular attendance at full Authority and committee meetings, as well as member development events, working groups, events, and representing the Authority on outside bodies.

Key tasks include:

·       To help lead the National Park Authority in defining and developing its strategic direction and in setting challenging objectives.

·       To ensure the National Park Authority’s activities are conducted and promoted in as efficient and effective a manner as possible.

·       To ensure strategies are developed for meeting the National Park Authority’s overall purposes and duty, in accordance with the policies and priorities established by the Welsh Government.

·       To monitor the National Park Authority’s performance to ensure it fully meets its aims, objectives and performance targets.

·       To ensure the National Park Authority’s control, regulation and monitoring of its activities, as well as those of any other bodies which it may sponsor or support, provide value for money within a framework of best practice, regularity and propriety and to participate in the corporate planning process.

To help the National Park Authority to promote the Welsh Government’s sustainable development, equality and social inclusion objectives. 

Organisation description

What are National Parks?

National Parks are landscapes of international importance.  Although predominantly rural in nature they are close to urban communities and have significant potential to enrich the lives of the people of, and visitors to, Wales and to contribute positively to the Welsh economy.  A key task of National Park Authorities is to help ensure that these special areas will in the future, be places with a richer and more diverse landscape, wildlife and heritage than today, enjoyed and cherished by a full cross section of society.

The National Park Authority will involve key stakeholders such as Natural Resources Wales, the Welsh Local Government Association and Town and Community Councils in the preparation of National Park Management Plans and will play a key role in the development of the Local Development Plan. The National Park Authorities are also the planning authority for their area and are responsible for producing development plans and for development control. 

Brecon Beacons National Park Authority is the local planning authority for the Brecon Beacons National Park. The Authority has to balance the demands of sustaining a prosperous economy and vibrant communities with the needs of this spectacular landscape. The Brecon Beacons National Park Local Development Plan provides a basis for meeting the Authority’s statutory purposes as well as promoting the social and economic well-being of its communities.

What is their Structure and Membership?

Under the Environment Act 1995 and the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 the three Welsh NPAs are special purpose Local Authorities.  They are corporate bodies with executive powers.  The purposes of the Parks are the same in England and Wales but the membership of the NPAs in each country differs.

In Wales two thirds of the seats are filled by councillors of constituent Local Authorities to reflect local interests and one third by appointments made by the Welsh Ministers to represent the national interest.  When appointing members to sit on NPAs, Local Authorities are encouraged to use councillors representing wards either wholly or partly within the Park boundary. All Members have equal status irrespective of who appoints them to the Authority.

Where do National Park Authorities get their money?

The Welsh Ministers provide NPAs with the majority of their funding in the form of the National Park Grant (NPG).  Two thirds of the NPG comes from the Welsh Ministers directly with the remaining one third levied by the NPAs from their constituent Local Authorities.  Additional grant is available from the Welsh Ministers for prescribed capital expenditure.  NPAs also have income from, for example, trading activities, car parking fees and planning application fees.  The Minister for Climate Change has recently issued a term of government  letter setting out agreed priorities and objectives for the NPAs. In addition, the NPAs attract substantial grant income from other external funding sources.

What is their role?

The National Park Authorities have two statutory purposes under the Environment Act 1995:

·      to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Parks;

·      to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities [of the Park] by the public.

As well as seeking to fulfil their two statutory purposes the National Park Authorities have a duty to foster the economic and social well-being of their local communities.

If it appears that there is a conflict between these purposes, greater weight shall be attached to the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area within the National Park.

National Park Authorities’ strategic context

In the current climate, National Park Authorities’ contribution to key strategic national policy priorities has seldom been greater; in terms of nature recovery and halting biodiversity loss; mitigating climate change; decarbonisation; the green recovery; and sustainable tourism, among others.

Ways of working

Each Authority is required to prepare a National Park Management Plan.  The Plan sets out policies for the management of the Park and for the organisation and provision of services and facilities by the National Park Authority to achieve National Park purposes.  It includes policies for the management of the land in the National Park and forms the basis for collaboration, not only with statutory and voluntary conservation organisations, but also with other public and private landowners.  Consultation during the preparation of the Plan allows people to contribute to achieving workable policies and is essential for sympathetic co-operation with residents and other interests in the Park.

Regulation of appointment

This post is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. For more information, please refer to the Commissioner’s website 

Application and selection process

How to apply

To apply for this role, click on the ‘Apply’ button on the Welsh Government online recruitment centre. The first time you apply for a post, you will need to complete a registration form for the Welsh Government’s online application system. You will only need to register once, and you will be able to keep yourself updated on the progress of your application, and any other applications you make, via your registered account.
Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to access the application form. To apply you will need to submit two supporting documents. The first, a document outlining how your knowledge, skills and experiences meet the criteria for the role as outlined in the information for candidates. This document should be no more than 2 sides of A4. Your application may be rejected if you exceed this limit. The second document is a full, up to date CV. The two documents should be uploaded to the ‘Reasons for applying’ section of the online application form.
In your application, you will also be asked to provide details of any activities which have helped you to develop skills that would be useful in a public appointment role, and list the organisations for which you undertook these activities. We also need to know about any political activity that you’ve undertaken over the last 5 years.
It is recommended that you register for an account and access the application form as soon as possible so that you see how the application form is structured, before starting to prepare your evidence. You don’t have to complete the application form all in one go. You can save your responses, and log in and out as required, until you’re ready to submit – just follow the guidance in the application form.
If you’d like to apply for this opportunity in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.
If you need any further assistance in applying for this role, please contact the Welsh Government’s Public Appointments Team on: PublicAppointments@gov.wales.
For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit www.gov.wales/publicappointments.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Advisory Assessment Panels (AAP) are chosen by ministers to assist them in their decision-making. These include a departmental official and an independent member. For competitions recruiting non-executive members of a board (apart from the Chair), the panel will usually include a representative from the public body concerned.
AAP’s perform a number of functions, including agreeing an assessment strategy with ministers, undertaking sifting, carrying out interviews in line with the advertised criteria and deciding objectively who meets the published selection criteria for the role before recommending to ministers which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the minister to decide who to appoint to the role.
The selection panel will be chaired by Ceri Witchard, Deputy Director of Landscapes, Nature and Forestry Division, Welsh Government and will also comprise Rev Canon Aled Edwards OBE, Chair of Brecon Beacons NPA; Dr Rosie Plummer, Board Member of Natural Resources Wales and Independent Panel Member. 

Eligibility criteria

In general, you should have the right to work in the UK to be eligible to apply for a public appointment.

There are a small number of specialist roles that are not open to non-British citizens. Any nationality requirements will be specified in the vacancy details.

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. 

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director  (under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986);

  • have an unspent conviction on your criminal record;

  • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors.

When you apply, you should declare if:

  • you are, or have been, bankrupt or you have made an arrangement with a creditor at any point, including the dates of this. 

  • you are subject to a current police investigation.

You must inform the sponsor department if, during the application process, your circumstances change in respect of any of the above points. 

When you apply you should also declare any relevant interests, highlighting any that you think may call into question your ability to properly discharge the responsibilities of the role you are applying for. You should also declare any other matters which may mean you may not be able to meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct of Board Members (see Outside interests and reputational issues section below)
If you need further advice, please contact publicappointments@gov.wales

Security clearance

The successful candidate will be required to undertake Baseline Personnel Security Standard checks in line with the Civil Service guidelines. Additional Security Clearance may also be required for certain roles. However, where this applies, candidates will be notified during the appointment process. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the Gov.uk website here.

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

We encourage applications from talented individuals from all backgrounds and across the whole of the United Kingdom. Boards of public bodies are most effective when they reflect the diversity of views of the society they serve and this is an important part of the Government’s levelling up agenda.
We collect data about applicants’ characteristics and backgrounds, including information about people’s educational and professional backgrounds, so that we can make sure we are attracting a broad range of people to these roles and that our selection processes are fair for everyone. Without this information, it makes it difficult to see if our outreach is working, if the application process is having an unfair impact on certain groups and whether changes are making a positive difference.
When you submit your application, your responses are collected by the Cabinet Office and the government department(s) managing your application. The data is used to produce management information about the diversity of applicants. You can select “prefer not to say” to any question you do not wish to answer. The information you provide will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel who review applications against the advertised criteria and conduct interviews.

Disability confident

We are a member of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme. We use the Disability Confident scheme symbol, along with other like-minded employers, to show our commitment to good practice in employing people with a disability. The scheme helps recruit and retain disabled people. 
As part of implementing the scheme, we guarantee an interview for anyone with a disability whose application meets the essential criteria for the role, set out in the advert, and who has asked that their application is considered under the scheme. Indicating that you wish your application to be considered under the scheme will in no way prejudice your application. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria, as set out in the job-advert.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to select if you would like your application considered under this scheme.

Reasonable adjustments

We are committed to making reasonable adjustments to make sure applicants with disabilities, physical or mental health conditions, or other needs are not substantially disadvantaged when applying for public appointments. This can include changing the recruitment process to enable people who wish to apply to do so.
Some examples of common changes are:
  • ensuring that application forms are available in different or accessible formats;
  • making adaptations to interview locations;
  • allowing candidates to present their skills and experience in a different way;
  • giving additional detailed information on the selection / interview process in advance to allow candidates time to prepare themselves;
  • allowing support workers, for example sign language interpreters;
  • making provision for support animals to attend.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to request reasonable adjustments to the application process.

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life/the-7-principles-of-public-life--2. These are:

  1. SELFLESSNESS - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends;
  2. INTEGRITY - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties;
  3. OBJECTIVITY - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit;
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office;
  5. OPENNESS - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands;
  6. HONESTY - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest;
  7. LEADERSHIP - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Code of conduct for board members

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all non-executive board members of UK public bodies must abide by the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the boards of UK public bodies and will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

Holders of public office are expected to adhere and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. Before you apply you should consider carefully: 
  • any outside interests that you may have, such as shares you may hold in a company providing services to government; 
  • any possible reputational issues arising from your past actions or or public statements that you have made; 
  • and/or - any political roles you hold or political campaigns you have supported; 
which may call into question your ability to do the role you are applying for.
You will need to answer relevant questions in relation to these points when making an application. Many conflicts of interest can be satisfactorily resolved and declaring a potential conflict does not prevent you from being interviewed. If you are shortlisted for an interview, the panel will discuss any potential conflicts with you during that interview, including any proposals you may have to mitigate them and record that in their advice to ministers. Alongside your own declaration, we will conduct appropriate checks, as part of which we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This may include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. The successful candidate(s) may be required to give up any conflicting interests and their other business and financial interests may be published in line with organisational policies. 
Details of declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced, as required by the Governance Code (political activity is not a bar to appointment, but must be declared).

Status of appointment

As this is an office holder appointment, you will not become a member of the Civil Service. You will not be subject to the provisions of employment law.

Appointment and tenure of office

Appointments are for the term set out in this advert, with the possibility of re-appointment for a further term, at the discretion of Ministers.  Any re-appointment is subject to satisfactory annual appraisals of performance during the first term in the post. There is no automatic presumption of reappointment; each case should be considered on its own merits, taking into account a number of factors including, but not restricted to, the diversity of the current board and its balance of skills and experience. In most cases, the total time served in post will not exceed more than two terms or serve in any one post for more than ten years

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

Remuneration for this role is treated as employment income and will be subject to tax and National Insurance contributions, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid.
You can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs which are properly and necessarily incurred on official business, in line with the travel and subsistence policy and rates for the organisation to which you are applying. However these payments are taxable as earnings and will be subject to tax and national insurance, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid.  

Pension and redundancy

This is an office holder appointment and does not attract any benefits under any Civil Service Pension Scheme. You will not be eligible for redundancy pay as you are not an employee. No other arrangements have been made for compensation upon the end of your term of appointment because an office holder who is appointed for a limited duration would have no expectation of serving beyond that period.

Application feedback

We will notify you of the status of your application. We regret that we are only able to offer detailed feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.

How to complain

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy.
Please contact the public appointments team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at publicappointments@gov.wales

How to complain to Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA)

If you are not content with the appointing department’s response you may wish to further complain to the Commissioner at publicappointments@csc.gov.uk.Further information on how the Commissioner handles complaints can be found on the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ website https://publicappointmentscommissioner.independent.gov.uk/regulating-appointments/investigating-complaints/

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.

Contact details

Contacts:
For further information regarding the selection process, please contact publicappointments@gov.wales.
For further information regarding the role of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and the role of Members please contact:
Geraint Evans, Landscapes, Nature and Forestry Division, Welsh Government
Tel: 0300 062 2097
E-mail: geraint.evans@gov.wales
Or
Stephanie Davies, Democratic Services Manager
Brecon Beacons National Park Authority
Plas y Ffynnon,
Cambrian Way,
Brecon,
Powys LD3 7HP
Tel: 01874 620477 or 07976 812832 / E-mail: stephanie.davies@beacons-npa.gov.uk
If you need any further assistance in applying for this role, please contact publicappointments@gov.wales.
For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit www.gov.wales/publicappointments