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Role details

Three Regional Flood and Coastal Committees (RFCC) Chairs for the English Severn and Wye, Thames and Wessex regions

Application deadline 9 January 2024

Summary

Organisation
Regional Flood and Coastal Committees
Sponsor department
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Location
Various
Sectors
Environment, Agriculture & Fishing
Skills
Audit and Risk, Business, Commercial, Communication, Media, Major Projects, Regulation
Number of vacancies
3
Time commitment
5 day(s) per month
Remuneration
£18927 per annum
Length of term
4 Years
Application deadline
2pm on 9 January 2024

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    14 November 2023

  2. Application deadline

    2pm on 9 January 2024

  3. Sifting date

    31 January 2024

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    19 February 2024

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

Introduction

Could you be the next dedicated and impact focused leader to help deliver on local ambitions to tackle flooding and coastal erosion? Do you have the combination of excellent chairing skills, strong strategic thinking and effective leadership across different organisations at a senior level?

If so, this is an exciting opportunity, to play a key role in working with other bodies to make a more resilient future. The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is looking to appoint Chairs to the English Severn and Wye, Thames and Wessex Regional Flood and Coastal Committees (RFCCs).

To support prospective candidates we will be holding two virtual events (via MS Teams) with speakers from Defra, the Environment Agency and a current RFCC Chair.  

We will give an introduction on flood and coastal erosion risk in England, the different roles that Defra, the Environment Agency and RFCCs undertake, the appointment process and will answer any questions. These events will be held on 28 November 2023 (10:00-12:00) and 11 December 2023 (14:00-16:00). If you wish to attend either of these events, please contact William Harrington at: william.harrington@defra.gov.uk 

Role description

RFCCs are an important part of the FCERM community, providing a link between government, risk management authorities and the communities they serve.

The three RFCCs we are appointing Chairs’ for are: English Severn and Wye, Thames and Wessex.

The English Severn and Wye RFCC covers an area of approximately 11,500km and a population of 3.3 million. It follows the England-Wales border and covers the counties of, or parts thereof, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. Whilst it is predominately rural, with 77% of the land being used for agriculture, it also includes major urban conurbations, such as Coventry, Telford, Gloucester, Cheltenham and Worcester.

The Thames RFCC covers the river Thames catchment and over a quarter of England’s population. It covers the counties of, or parts thereof, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Kent, London and Oxfordshire. This includes 54 lead local flood authorities, over a third of all the lead local flood authorities in England, which are split into 13 partnership areas.

The Wessex RFCC covers the eastern part of England’s southwest peninsula. It includes the Bristol and English channels, and covers the counties of, or parts thereof, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire. With a mix of rural and urban areas it includes the major conurbations of Bristol, Bournemouth, Poole, Bath and Weston-super-Mare.

As Chair of one of these RFCCs you will play a key role in working with local authority representatives, water companies and other committee members, helping to steer multi-million-pound investment in flood and coastal erosion risk management for the benefit of homes, businesses and local communities.

You will work in partnership to ensure that national policies and approaches are implemented whilst taking account of local circumstances and needs. Skilled in bringing together different voices and opinions, you will play a pivotal role in approving capital and revenue investment programmes, raising local levies, securing external contributions and ensuring effective community engagement.

To succeed in this challenging role, you will need strong strategic leadership, chairing and communication skills which bring together different voices, balance competing interests and embrace equality, diversity and inclusion. You will have also have a good understanding of how flood and coastal erosion risks affect local communities, working closely with the public and private sectors to deliver results.

The Environment Agency is also currently undertaking a recruitment exercise to recruit Independent Members for six of the RFCCs. If you, or someone you know, is interested please visit the Environment Agency’s dedicated careers website for more information at: https://environmentagencycareers.co.uk/regional-flood-and-coastal-committees-16-10-23/.

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

Candidates must be able to demonstrate that they meet the following criteria:

  • Provide effective leadership to the Committee, bringing together different voices and balancing competing interests, embracing equality, diversity and inclusion and demonstrating high standards of public accountability.  
  • Demonstrate clear and effective communication skills, including working effectively in partnership at a senior level, to inspire, empower and lead co-ordinated action.  
  • Able to make, and understand the implication of, effective strategic decisions (i.e. prioritising local FCERM schemes) at a senior level, taking into account economic, environmental, political and social factors, alongside financial and value for money considerations. 
  • Good understanding of an integrated approach to flood and water management and the catchment approach, including awareness of the government’s flood and water priorities, and the wide range of key bodies that need to work in partnership to contribute towards delivery of key flood and water policies in your RFCC region. 

Application and selection process

How to apply

To apply you will need to create an account or sign in to “Apply for Public Appointment Service” gov.uk by the deadline of midday on 9 January 2024 quoting reference APPT12-23 RFCC Chair. Once logged onto your account, click on ‘apply for this role’ and follow the on-screen instructions.

To apply, all candidates are required to submit:

  • A Curriculum Vitae (CV)  
  • A supporting statement or no more than 1,000 words, setting out how you meet the essential criteria – make sure you refer to the contents of this document and provide specific examples  
  • equality information  
  • information relating to any outside interests or reputational issues

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)


David Cooper - Floods and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Deputy Director, Defra- Departmental Official -Panel Chair

Robert Gould - Environment Agency, Non-Executive Board Member with responsibility for the RFCC network - Representative of Organisation

Jacqui Francis - Independent member - 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 publicappts@defra.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. 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

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.

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 publicappts@defra.gov.uk  public appointments team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application. They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

Data protection

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

Contact details

If you have any questions about the appointments process, please contact the Public Appointments Team: publicappts@defra.gov.uk  

Attachments