Thank you for your interest in the roles of Non-Executive Director and Non-Executive Director - Audit and Risk Committee Chair on the Board of East West Railway Company (EWR Co).
This is an important time for the Department for Transport. We are investing heavily in infrastructure and public transport to improve journeys, boost connections, level up the country and support economic growth. Central to our mission is delivering transport that works for everyone in our society.
We are recruiting for one Non-Executive Director, and one Non-Executive Director to also Chair the Audit and Risk Committee, to join our team on the Board of EWR Co. EWR Co is one of the most exciting and high-profile infrastructure projects in the UK. They champion a proposed new rail link between Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Cambridge (and potentially beyond) that will improve local connectivity and serve as a catalyst for economic development.
These positions require the post holder to provide advice, offer alternatives perspectives, challenge and scrutinise the Board and champion the vision and objectives of EWR Co.
We strongly welcome applications from all backgrounds. As part of the Department’s commitment to diversity, we believe our public appointments should reflect our customers – the travelling public – who come from all walks of life and have different experiences. We very much welcome fresh talent, expertise, and perspectives, to help us better understand the needs of the communities we serve and support better decision making for all. This includes people who may have never applied for a public appointment – but could bring new ideas, insights and energy.
If you are interested in the roles and work of EWR Co, I would like to encourage you to apply.
Our dedicated DfT Public Appointments Team would be happy to talk through the process and answer your questions.
Rt Hon Mark Harper MP
Secretary of State for Transport
Introduction from Neil Sachdev, Chair for EWR
Over the past year, the East West Rail Project (EWR) has
continued to grow in strength and support under the new leadership of Best West
as Chief Executive Officer. When Beth
joined at the start of April 2022, she was tasked with putting EWR Co. on the
right path to accomplish our aim of improving connections between businesses
and communities between Oxford and Cambridge, quicker than previous rail
projects and at good value for the taxpayer.
Over the past 12 months, Beth has brought a renewed energy and sense of
pace to EWR Co. and has accelerated progress.
The Government has been continuing its push for the UK
passenger rail industry to a move to a simplified model with delivery of
quality services for passengers at its centre. In the Spring Budget last year,
the Government set out its plans to return the country to growth and pledged to
provide an update on EWR by the end of May 2023. This route update announcement
(RUA) happened on Thursday 25th May 2023.
I’m pleased to say that with Beth at the helm, EWR Co. is
making strong advances towards its strategic goals and unlocking the combined
potential of Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge through a new train
About the Roles
Title: EWR Co Non-Executive Director and Non-Executive Director
- Audit and Risk Committee Chair
to: EWR Co Chair
Duration: An initial term of 3 years, with the possibility of
Remuneration: £20,000 (£15,000 base fee, plus £5,000 for chairing a
sub-committee) for an expected time commitment of circa 24 days per annum.
The EWR Co is seeking two Non-Executive
Board Members to join its Board. The successful candidates, through their
membership of the Board, will provide challenge and support to a wide variety
of management and operational issues and contribute to the effective strategic
and operational leadership of the EWR Co.
As a Non-Executive Board member
your key responsibilities will be to:
encourage and support the Leadership team, establishing a strong team empowered
to deliver EWR Co.'s strategic aims and objectives.
Provide advice to the organisation, representing the
interests of the customer within the expectations of Government, regulatory and
Champion the EWR Co. vision and objectives,
challenging Board decisions where appropriate to maintain the aspired strategic
direction and culture.
Provide constructive challenge and hold the
Leadership Team to account for effective and efficient delivery against the
agreed strategy and business plan.
Facilitate discussion on key programmatic issues,
balancing the legitimate interests of EWR Co. with external stakeholders
together with what is considered to be best for the customer journey. Knowledge
of the Oxford-Cambridge region would be an
Challenge and scrutinise the Board and the validity
of recommendations made, demonstrating sound independent judgement.
Offer alternative perspectives to the rail industry
norm, based on an ability to consider strategic, complex and often sensitive
issues from an informed and balanced viewpoint.
successful candidate will be a Chair of the Health and Safety Committee and a
Member of EWR Co. Sub-Committees.
candidate will be required to Chair EWR Co.’s Audit Committee and be a member
of the EWR Co. Sub-Committees;
And ensure that governance, internal control and risk
management systems are effective and capable of delivering relevant, accurate
and timely management of financial information.
Information on EWR Co.
In 2018 the
DfT created EWR Co. to develop the East West Rail project. Our job at EWR Co is
to bring fresh thinking to the next stages of the Project. We’re responsible for planning the section of
EWR between Bletchley and Cambridge and taking a route-wide look all the way
from Oxford to Cambridge and beyond.
We’re also responsible for overseeing the East West Rail Alliance as it
continues to deliver work between Bicester and Bletchley.
significant work to test and refine the strategic case for East West Rail over
the past year, we have also updated the Purpose, Vision and Mission of the EWR
Co. This update is rooted in the pivotal
role that EWR plays in unlocking the economic opportunity in the
Oxford-Cambridge arc, which could be worth over £100 billion in additional value every year by
some of the key achievements for EWR Co. were:
Government backing for the full EWR scheme and made a recommendation on the
route for CS2 and CS3. The review of both the case for and
scope of EWR - Affordable Connections Project - was completed, and the
non-statutory consultation feedback was considered, which enabled a clear set
of recommendations on CS2 & CS3, and secured Government backing.
Consolidated support and advocacy for
EWR with businesses and local leaders within the region. We made significant progress with the business
community and local leaders. We won significant endorsements both
publicly and direct to Government for EWR from the private sector, including
the 50 largest employers in Cambridge. We supported the EWR Mainline
Partnership to publish a pamphlet of how EWR benefits businesses in the area,
complete with a set of business endorsements.
· Refreshed EWR Co’s Purpose, Vision and Mission,
and restructured the business. This created a
much stronger focus for the business going forward, and created a structure
that is more project driven as well as making the most of cross-functional
· Confirmed approach to delivering train operations on
CS1 with DfT. We
agreed that the DfT would lead on putting in place contractual arrangements
with an existing operator in the area while EWR Co would fulfil our function in
integrating the reporting across infrastructure, rolling stock and operations
to identify risks to timely and effective Entry into Service.
and plans for 2023-24
This financial year will see us proceed
at pace with the development of the business case, design and the consenting
process for the railway. Our ambition is to outperform benchmark timescales for
these activities, and to drive down the cost of the entire scheme as we
· We have
announced the route in May 2023, will continue
drafting the Outline Business Case for January 2024
and will launch a Statutory
Consultation in the first half of 2024. To achieve this, we will need to
mobilise a multi-functional design team from both EWR Co and our partners,
enact our Technical Assurance, as well as conducting significant environmental
assessments. Throughout this period, we will work closely with local leaders
and residents, taking a new approach to engagement so that our work is directly
shaped by the communities we serve.
· In 2023-24 we
will also develop our vision for EWR in more detail, bringing to life the
simple to use, easy to access, ‘on time’ railway service necessary to unlock
economic growth, that is affordable for the taxpayer. This will require us to
go beyond the status quo, and we will work with both DfT and the wider rail
industry to agree our integrated approach and identify where we can be a
trailblazer contributing to the wider rail reform agenda.
· We will
develop our Delivery Strategy for EWR, which will set out the capability we
need to design, deliver and bring into use the railway, unlocking the
innovation we need to do this in both an accelerated and lower cost way. The
Strategy will capture the role of EWR Co and the shape of our supply chain, and
we intend to seek approval to begin procuring that supply chain by the end of
the financial year.
· We will
continue to grow the capability of EWR Co over 2023-24. We have introduced a
new People Strategy to develop our team and will soon embark on a period of
Strategic Workforce Planning for the years ahead. We are strengthening the
leadership of the business with a more focused Executive team as well as a
broader Senior Leadership Team, and we will reach agreement with the DfT on a
new Framework Agreement, to ensure we have the agile governance relationship we
need to achieve results.
This post is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. For more information, please refer to the Commissioner’s website