Appointment of Chair, Wales Committee - Consumer Council for Water (CCWater)

Closed
Body: Consumer Council for Water
Appointing Department: Welsh Government
Sector: Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Location: The post is based in Cardiff but the Chair will be expected to attend meetings across Wales and to attend board meetings which will be held across England and Wales.
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £36,045 for a 3 day a week commitment. The Wales Chair is likely to be regarded as a holder of an office for tax and National Insurance purposes. Fees payable will, as a result, be chargeable to tax under Schedule E of the Taxes Act and subject to Class 1 National Insurance contributions. These liabilities will be deducted via CCWater payroll system and the net fee paid to the office holder. Reasonable expenses will be paid in line with CCWater travel and subsistence policy. This appointment is not pensionable.
Time Requirements: 3 days per week

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched

    16/10/2018

  • Closed for Applications

    11/11/2018 at 16:00

  • Panel Sift

    03/12/2018

  • Final Interview Date

    20/12/2018

  • Announcement

    TBC

 

Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

Function of Body

CCWater is a statutory body established on 1October 2005 under the Water Industry Act 1991 as amended by the Water Act 2003. Ito represents the interests of consumers of water and sewerage services in England and Wales and works with the Welsh and UK Governments,   regulators (Ofwat, the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and the Drinking Water Inspectorate) and the water industry. CCWater is funded via a levy added to each water bill in England and Wales. This is passed from the water companies to Ofwat, the economic regulator and then on to the UK Government which is then paid to the CCW as a grant.

Organisational structure

 

CCWater consists of a Council for England and Wales, known as the Board which comprises the Council Chair, four chairs of the English regional committees, the Chair of the committee for Wales and three independent members plus CCWater’s Chief Executive.  Each of the Wales and English  regional committees are supported by between three and six committee members known as Local Consumer Advocates (LCAs).

CCWater is based in Birmingham city centre and has a Wales office in Cardiff.

The CCWater Board is the governing body of the organisation and is responsible for setting policy priorities and for promoting the efficient and effective use of staff and other resources, whilst ensuring that it fulfils the aims and objectives of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Welsh Government (WG), as set out in the agreed Framework Document http://www.ccwater.org.uk/aboutus/governance/governancedocuments/ NOTE: this document is currently under review.

Each year CCWater consults on and publishes its Forward Work Programme (FWP) for the forthcoming year.  The FWP sets out CCWater’s priorities for representing consumers over the next three years and is supported by an Operational Business Plan (OBP) that sets out how the FWP priorities will be delivered.  The current FWP and OBP can be viewed at https://www.ccwater.org.uk/aboutus/publications/fwp/

The Water Act 2003 sets out CCWater’s functions and duties. These are:

  • have regard to the interests of consumers of water and sewerage services in England and Wales, including certain customers who are vulnerable because their access to services may be compromised by their age, income, disability or geography and customers that are not able to switch supplier under the Act’s competition measures;
  • handle and investigate consumer complaints in respect of water and sewerage companies;
  • obtain and keep under review information about consumer matters and the views of consumers on such matters;
  • make proposals, provide advice and information and represent the views of consumers to public authorities, water and sewerage companies and others whose activities may affect the interests of consumers;
  • provide advice and information to consumers;
  • publish statistical information about complaints to and about water companies;
  • investigating any matters of interest to consumers that are not necessarily the subject of a complaint.

 

CCWaterBoard

The Board is responsible for setting CCWater’s policy priorities and for promoting the efficient and effective use of its staff and other resources, whilst ensuring that it fulfils the aims and objectives of the Secretary of State and Welsh  Ministers, as set out in the agreed Framework Document –  https://www.ccwater.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/CCW-Signed-Framework-document-May-2015.pdf between the three parties.

The Board consists of the Chair, four Regional Chairs for England, a Wales Chair, three Independent Members and the Chief Executive.

 

Committee for Wales

The Committee for Wales  consists of  the Wales Chair (who is also a member of the Council) and other members appointed by the Council under the Water Act 2003.

The Terms of Reference for the Committee for Wales are included in the Council’s Code of Governance (https://www.ccwater.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Code-of-Governance.pdf).

The functions of the Committee for Wales are to:-

  • provide advice and information to CCWater on water customer matters in Wales;
  • undertake risk based customer service assessments of customer complaint systems of the water and sewerage undertakers in Wales;
  • work in partnership with other key stakeholders in Wales to deliver co-ordinated, efficient, value for money services for consumers;
  • hold meetings in public to directly engage with customers;
  • any other functions delegated to them by CCWater.

 

CCWater’s work for consumers

CCWater champions household and non-household water consumers, and works to represent the interests of the customers of today and future generations.

CCWater is an evidence-based body.  It uses consumer research and direct customer feedback from household and non-household consumers to inform everything it does and as such, the water industry, regulators and associated organisations recognise CCWater as an informed, influential and effective consumer champion. It takes up the complaints of household and non-household business consumers where their water company or retailer has failed to resolve issues with their bills or payments, or their water or sewerage services.

 

Tailored Review

All Non Departmental Public Bodies  undergo a Tailored Review in each Parliament.

Cabinet Office Guidance on Tailored Reviews can be found at:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/633573/Tailored_Review_Guidance
on_public_bodies_V1.2_July_2017.pdf. 

CCWater is expecting its review to take place in 2019.

 

Further information

Further information about the role of CCWater, its priorities and achievements can be found on the CCWater website at: www.ccwater.org.uk.

“Regional committee” as referenced in the Water Industry Act 1991.

 

Role and responsibilities

The post-holder will lead the Committee responsible for representing the interests of water consumers in Wales, and as a member of the national CC Water Board  will  provide strategic direction and oversight from a Wales perspective.

Candidates do not need to be water industry experts but should have senior level experience in the private, public or voluntary sector.  Candidates should also demonstrate an understanding of the socio-economic context within which the CCWater operates.

The Wales Chair reports to the Council Chair, is a member of CCWater’s Board and has the following strategic leadership responsibilities:

  • ensuring that the CCWater Board, in reaching decisions, takes full account of  differences in the legislative, regulatory and policy framework in Wales;
  • keeping  the Welsh Government  informed of any changes which are likely to impact on the strategic direction of CCWater Wales or on the attainability of its targets, and determining the steps needed to deal with such changes;
  • promoting the efficient and effective use of staff and other resources;
  • negotiating and managing the relationship with stakeholders in Wales, including water companies, to produce tangible benefits for water customers;
  • representing the views of the Wales Committee to the CCWater Board;
  • representing CCWater’s views to water companies, other appropriate bodies and the general public including via the media;
  • ensuring that the Wales Committee, in reaching decisions, takes  account of any policy and guidance provided by the CCWater Board;
  • providing an assessment of performance of Wales Committee members on an annual basis, including when they are being considered for re-appointment to the Wales Committee, or for appointment to another public body;
  • delivering high standards of regularity and propriety;
  • representing CCWater Wales at the Welsh Government’s Water Forum meetings;
  • ensuring CCWater’s research and work programme takes into account the policy direction of the Welsh Government and includes evidence originating from Wales; and
  • Chair meetings of the Wales Committee at regular intervals throughout the year, and at least once a year in public.

A more detailed role description for the position of Wales Chair is available from the CCWater website at https://www.ccwater.org.uk/aboutus/our-people/board/meettheboard/

Person Specification

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:-

 

Essential Criteria

Candidates should be able to demonstrate the following:

  • the ability to act as an effective Board member and a demonstrable ability to manage organisational change;
  • a strong commitment to representing consumer interests and using an evidence-based approach to deliver tangible benefits;
  • understanding of the important social, economic and environmental issues impacting on customers of the privatised regulated utilities;
  • experience of negotiating with and managing stakeholders to produce change and the ability to be an excellent ambassador to represent the organisation at the highest level;
  • excellent communication and influencing skills, and experience of dealing with the media effectively;
  • a clear understanding and commitment to equality issues and challenging discriminatory practices when appropriate;
  • an understanding of the importance of maintaining high standards in public life.

Desirable Criteria

 

  • Strong communication skills to ensure effective communication with water companies, other regulators, Welsh Government policy officials, Ministers and, on occasion, the media;
  • An interest or knowledge of the Water Industry.

 

Welsh Language 

  • The ability to communicate through the medium of Welsh is desirable but not essential.  However all candidates will be expected to display an empathy towards the language and support decision making to strengthen bilingual service provision within the Consumer Council for Water.

Additional Information

Key facts about the post

 

Time Commitment

A minimum of 3 days per week.  The Consumer Council for Water Board will normally meet eight times a year.  Meetings are held, at its office in Birmingham and at various locations in Wales and CCWater’s four English regions. The Board also has three standing committees; all Board members are expected to serve on at least one of these.

 

Tenure of office

The appointment is expected to be for 4 years.  In accordance with the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointment to Public Bodies, Ministers may reappoint or extend the terms of public appointees.  However, any reappointment will be subject to a satisfactory performance assessment and will be at the discretion of Ministers.

 

The appointee may resign at any time by giving three months’ notice in writing to the Minister for Environment. The Minister for Environment may terminate the appointment under certain conditions, which will be notified to the successful candidate on appointment.

 

A copy of the terms and conditions, which the successful candidate will be expected to accept, is available from the Welsh Government upon request.


Eligibility

Applicants should be persons who conduct themselves at all times in a manner which will maintain public confidence.

 

Candidates invited for interview will be asked to complete a conflict of interests questionnaire. In principle anyone who is currently, or has within the last 12 months, worked for or been involved with any of the English or Welsh water companies (i.e. water and sewerage undertakers, inset appointees and licensed water suppliers) or a water regulator will not be eligible.

 

Current membership of the House of Commons or the Welsh Government and appointments with Ofwat, the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and Drinking Water Inspectorate or similar organisations with a strong interest in water are not compatible with an appointment on the CCWater board.  Please contact publicappointments@gov.wales  to check eligibility.

 

Applicants should also note that being a member of the CC Water is a disqualifying post for membership of the National Assembly for Wales under the National Assembly for Wales (Disqualification) order 2015. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/1536/contents/made

 

If appointed, any shares in water companies or any companies within their respective groups must be sold. However this restriction does not apply where the choice of shares held is made exclusively by a fund manager.

 

Conflict of Interests

You will be asked to declare any private interests which may, or may be perceived to, conflict with the role and responsibilities as CCWater Wales Chair, including any business interests and positions of authority.

 

Any conflicts of interest will be explored at interview.  If appointed, you will also be required to declare these interests on a register which is available to the public.

 

Standards in public life

Members must observe the highest standards of impartiality, integrity and objectivity in relation to the stewardship of public funds and governance of CCWater. Any appointment can be terminated early and without notice by the Minister for Environment if the appointee fails to perform his or her duties to a satisfactory standard.

 

The successful candidate must also uphold and be seen to uphold the 7 principles of public life – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life/the-7-principles-of-public-life–2

 

The Wales Committee Chair is subject to annual appraisal by CCWater’s Chair.

 

You will be expected to demonstrate high standards of corporate and personal conduct. All successful candidates will be asked to subscribe to the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies, you can access this document at:

http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/governance/blboard/Board%20Code%20of%20Practice%202011.pdf

Attachments
Wales Chair - Consumer Council for Water - Information for Candidates (English)
Wales Chair - Consumer Council for Water - Information for Candidates (Welsh)
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