Important

You cannot apply for this role

The application deadline has passed or the role has been closed for applications.

Role details

Non-Executive Directors - Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE)

Application deadline 7 November 2023

Summary

Organisation
Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE)
Sponsor department
Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
Location
London
Sectors
Public Administration
Skills
Audit and Risk, Communication, Technology / Digital, Regulation, Transformation, Consumer Advocacy
Number of vacancies
4
Time commitment
2 day(s) per month
Remuneration
£360 to £500 per day
Length of term
Up to 4 years
Application deadline
11pm on 7 November 2023

Share this page

The following links open in a new tab

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    29 August 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11pm on 7 November 2023

  3. Sifting date

    29 November 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    23 January 2024

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

Introduction from the Secretary of State

Dear Candidate, ​
Thank you for your interest in joining the Board of the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) – the Department’s free information and advice service for leaseholders and park home owners. ​
I am seeking to appoint members who can support the incoming Chair in scrutinising the day-to-day work of LEASE against the department’s objectives for the organisation, whilst also overseeing the next phase of the organisation's transformation into a modern, digitally-enabled service that also highlights the issues that leaseholders and park home owners face. ​
The challenge is clear: leaseholders and park home owners face unparalleled complexity and a lack of control or power over their homes. Freeholders also typically have more information and greater legal firepower such that the odds are stacked against consumers. That is why Government funds a free service for consumers through LEASE, which helps thousands of people each year. LEASE exists exclusively to help those leaseholders and park home owners by providing free information and advice; whether that’s to know their rights, or understand and challenge a complex bill. ​
As a member of the Board, you will be accountable to Ministers for LEASE’s performance, stewardship of public funds and how you manage the Board and Executive Team to deliver their priorities. You will be joining the Non-Executive team at a vital time, with a new Chair joining to deliver a clear mission that I have set - transforming LEASE so it is a more impactful, customer friendly and cost-effective operation that can use its position and voice to highlight the issues leaseholders and park home owners face. This important reforming mission requires speed so that LEASE is ready to help leaseholders harness the opportunities resulting from Government’s planned once in a generation legislative reforms. In light of this, you can expect a high level of interest from all stakeholders in leasehold, and rising demand from consumers for LEASE’s existing services. ​
You and the Board will be expected to manage that rising demand; reform LEASE’s operations; and work with others outside of LEASE on behalf of leaseholders and park home owners to deliver the objectives LEASE is set by Ministers. We hope to receive applications from a diverse range of individuals. A strong drive to improve the situation of leaseholders is essential, and we would welcome candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds. Full details of the roles and responsibilities are set out in this document and further information about LEASE can be found on its website. ​
Thank you for considering bringing your skills and energy to these important roles.​
The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations

Role description

Board members will be expected to:​
  • scrutinise LEASE’s performance in meeting agreed goals and objectives and take action to improve outcomes where necessary. ​
  • hold the Executive team to account for the effective and efficient delivery of the annual business plan and for the day-to-day management, delivery and performance of LEASE.​
  • ensure LEASE has the capacity and capabilities to deliver its objectives and take forward transformation.​
  • ensure that the Board operates within the limits of its statutory authority and in accordance with the authority delegated from its sponsoring Department and with guidance issued by it.​
  • ensure that effective arrangements are in place to provide assurance on risk management, governance, and internal control, and demonstrate high standards of corporate governance at all times.​
  • act as a champion for the work and role of LEASE and leaseholders and park home owner issues. ​
  • work effectively with a wide range of stakeholders and with consumers, using these skills to understand and champion issues. ​
  • provide knowledge and independent advice according to individual areas of expertise, based on their wider experience in other organisations. ​
  • contribute to specific aspects of work, including reviews of the organisational structure and oversight of the implementation of major strategic programmes as required.

Organisation description

LEASE is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body funded by DLUHC to provide free information and advice to leaseholders and park home owners in England and Wales, including on building safety issues. It currently aims to:​
  • improve general knowledge and understanding of the practical implications of being a leaseholder or park home owner;​
  • improve awareness and understanding of government actions and reforms on leasehold, commonhold, building safety and park homes;​
  • enable leaseholders and park home owners to make informed decisions on next steps as they embark on their journey towards an outcome; and​
  • support improved outcomes for leaseholders and park home owners who are facing an issue.​
These objectives are delivered through LEASE’s comprehensive range of online information and resources and its enquiry service which allows customers to receive advice by email or a fifteen-minute telephone call. LEASE’s current operating budget is c.£1.9m p.a and it has around 25 staff, mainly trained legal advisers who work alongside support staff. ​
Further information on LEASE can be found through its website: https://www.lease-advice.org   

Board composition

The Board comprises of a Chair and members appointed by the Secretary of State for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing  and Communities. A campaign is underway to appoint a new permanent chair for LEASE and these Board roles will provide LEASE with a Non-Executive Team needed to provide effective governance, performance scrutiny and leadership.  We are looking for a minimum of three Board members (and potentially a fourth member) with the range of skills outlined in this pack and for one of these to be a candidate who can Chair the Audit and Assurance Committee.​
Information about the current Board can be found here: https://www.lease-advice.org/about-us/lease-board/​ 
Both the Chair and the Board members are expected to abide by the Nolan values of public office and Cabinet Office’s Code of Practice on Corporate Governance in Central Government departments throughout their terms.​

Regulation of appointment

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

Person specification

Essential criteria

  1. Experience of operating in a senior leadership or Board role. ​
  2. The ability to work effectively with others to challenge, support and hold an organisation and the Executive team to account for performance and delivery of strategic aims and delivery objectives ​
  3. Experience of shaping and championing good governance and approaches to risk. ​
  4. Excellent communication, engagement and interpersonal skills with the ability to use these to contribute to collective decision-making processes and to engage effectively with staff members and stakeholders.​
  5. Demonstrable skills in working with government or senior stakeholders to win the confidence of consumers and articulating their issues , meaning you will be able to have a material impact in highlighting the challenges leaseholders and park home owners face ​
In addition to the above, we are looking for:​
  • one individual who can serve as Chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) and therefore can demonstrate experience of sound financial risk and performance management by using performance information to scrutinise and approve the allocation of resources to achieve planned outcomes; ​
  • one or more individuals with detailed knowledge of the housing (and ideally leasehold and park homes sectors), with the networks and sector credibility to support strong stakeholder liaison and act as an effective Board level consumer champion and oversee LEASE’s work in highlighting leaseholder and park home issues​; and 
  • one individual who can provide support and oversight at Board level of the transformation of LEASE’s information and advice services can therefore demonstrate extensive experience of managing change programmes (and particularly digital change programmes), including ensuring that high quality customer services are developed and delivered at pace and in a manner which drives value for money.
Please state which of these roles you are applying for at the beginning of your supporting letter.

Application and selection process

How to apply

In order to apply you will need to create an account or sign in.

Once you are logged into your account, click on 'apply for this role' and follow the on-screen instructions. To apply, all candidates are required to provide:

  • a Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • a supporting statement
  • equality information
  • information relating to any outside interests or reputational issues

We will ask you to check and confirm your personal details to ensure your application is accurate.

You will also have the opportunity to make a reasonable adjustment request or apply under the disability confident scheme before you submit your application.

Overview of the application process

Public appointments are made on merit following a fair and open competition process which is conducted in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments. We will deal with your application as quickly as possible and will keep you informed at key stages. We aim to conclude the appointment process within three months of the deadline for applications – this is in accordance with the Governance Code.

The assessment process

  1. Ministers are responsible and accountable to Parliament for the public appointments made within their department. As a result, they must be consulted at every stage of the appointments process.

  2. An Advisory Assessment Panel (“Panel”) is appointed by Ministers to assist them in their decision making. The role of the Panel is to decide, objectively, which candidates meet the eligibility criteria for the role.

  3. At the shortlisting meeting the Panel will assess applications against the eligibility criteria and decide which candidates have best met the criteria, who should be recommended for interview. Ministers will then be consulted on the Panel’s recommended shortlist. If you have applied under the Disability Confident Scheme and you meet all the essential criteria, then you will also be invited for an interview.

  4. Once the shortlist has been agreed by Ministers, you will be advised (by e-mail) whether you have been shortlisted. Those shortlisted will be invited to an interview.

  5. The Panel will meet again to interview candidates and determine who is appointable to the role. The Panel may invite you to make a brief presentation at the start of the interview and will go on to question you about your skills and experience, including asking specific questions to assess whether you meet the criteria set out for the post. The Panel will also explore with you any potential conflicts of interest or any other issues arising from your personal and professional history which may impact on an appointment decision.

  6. Details of the panel’s assessment of interviewed candidates are provided to Ministers, including whether they have judged a candidate to be appointable to the role. It is then for Ministers to determine merit and decide who should be appointed. In some circumstances, Ministers may choose not to appoint any candidates and re-run the competition.

  7. Ministers may choose to meet with candidates before deciding the outcome. Candidates should therefore be prepared for a short time gap between interview and a final appointment decision being made. Candidates who have been interviewed will be kept informed of progress.

  8. Once the decision on the appointment has been made, interviewed candidates will be advised of the outcome of their application, including whom they may approach for feedback. Successful candidates will be issued with their Terms & Conditions and a letter of appointment should they agree to take up the position.

Further information about appointments, including tips on applying, can be found on our guidance pages on gov.uk.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Caroline Crowther/Charlotte Spencer (Job Share) Directors of Leasehold & Private Rented Sector, DLUHC
Martin Boyd - Chair of LEASE 
Lord Ian Austin - Independent Panel Member
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.

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@levellingup.gov.uk.

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. These are:
  1. Selflessness - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.
  2. Integrity - Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
  3. Objectivity - Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
  4. Accountability - Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
  5. Openness - Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
  6. Honesty - Holders of public office should be truthful.
  7. Leadership - Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

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 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

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 Department for Levelling Up Public Appointments Team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at PublicAppointments@levellingup.gov.uk. They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

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.
DLUHC's Privacy Notice is attached to this vacancy.

Contact details

If you have any queries, please contact the Public Appointments Team at PublicAppointments@levellingup.gov.uk.

Attachments