Interim Chair - The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE)

Closed
Body: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Appointing Department: Department for Communities & Local Government
Sectors: Charity & Public Sector, Communities, Regulation
Location: London
Skills required: Change Management, Communication / Media / Marketing, Legal / Judicial, Regulation, Transformation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £654 per day
Time Requirements: Approximately 4 days per month

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched

    19/09/2018

  • Closed for Applications

    07/10/2018

  • Panel Sift

    17/10/2018

  • Final Interview Date

    21 & 28 November 2018

  • Announcement

    January 2019 TBC

 

Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Minister for Housing and Homelessness on behalf of the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government is seeking to appoint a new non-executive Chair to the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) Board on an interim basis.

LEASE is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), whose main purpose is to provide information and initial impartial advice on problems or issues relating to leasehold housing and Park Homes in England and Wales. Customers are leaseholders and park home owners. This is a front-line service in a housing sector where more than one person has a legal and financial interest in the property, and where there are a wide range of representative and other organisations holding differing views and perspectives. LEASE has also been given additional responsibilities to assist leaseholders affected by building and fire safety concerns. LEASE provides its services through the internet, by email and letter, by telephone and face-to-face, and by outreach surgeries in the field.

LEASE is funded by, and accountable to, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). It also receives some funding from the Welsh Government (WG). It is important to note that its services are provided independent of Government. LEASE is subject to a Framework Agreement setting out its agreement with the MHCLG and it has a separate agreement with the WG. MHCLG recently undertook an internal review of the advice and support required by leaseholders. The Chair will play an important role in supporting the organisation to implement changes recommended by the review and agreed by Ministers. At this stage we are seeking to appoint a Chair on an interim basis only. This is because Ministers wish to give more thought to the future form and function of the delivery of advice and support to leaseholders. The interim Chair will lead the organisation through the post review implementation stage while ensuring that the provision of advice and support to leaseholders is maintained. We expect the appointment to be for between 12-18 months initially. We expect that there will be the opportunity for the Chair to work with the organisation, as well as the Department and Ministers, to shape and influence the future agenda for the provision or advice and support to leaseholders in the long term.

The day to day management of LEASE is carried out by the Chief Executive, Anthony Essien, with a staff complement of approximately 25, mainly consisting of legally qualified advisers, supported by a small administrative team. Further information about LEASE is available on its website: www.lease-advice.org.

Following an internal review of advice and support to leaseholders, consideration is being given to the future form and function of LEASE. We are seeking an interim Chair who can lead the organisation through a period of potential change. The interim Chair is expected to be available for at least four days per month.

Job Description
The interim Chair will be required to:
• Provide strong, clear, leadership and direction at a strategic level, moving the organisation forward in light of the outcomes of the review.
• Ensure that LEASE maintains an effective and efficient free advice service that meets the needs of its customers, stakeholders and others.
• Play a full part in representing and promoting LEASE’s activities in discussions with Ministers, officials, stakeholders and to the wider public. Assist the department in the development of residential leasehold and park homes policy.
• Lead an effective Board, taking the initiative in formulating the Board’s strategy, and encouraging all Board members to make a full contribution to the Board’s affairs.
• Ensure that high standards of corporate governance and sound, effective financial management are maintained, and that the ‘Nolan’ principles and relevant Codes of Conduct are complied with.
• Ensure that strategic aims, policy, plans and targets are developed seeking guidance from sponsor departments where appropriate, and that objectives as set out in the Corporate and Business Plans are met, providing regular feedback to the sponsor departments (through the Chief Executive) as required.
• Ensure that the Secretary of State’s priorities are observed, and that LEASE complies with its Framework Agreement with sponsor departments as well as other relevant controls issued by Government, and that accountability, transparency, reporting and other obligations of a NDPB are met.
• Ensure that systems are in place to maintain propriety and regularity (including the approval of expenditure), probity and financial viability, and that LEASE keeps within budget and meets its contractual duties and other obligations.
• Support the Chief Executive Officer, including in respect of their Accounting Officer role, agree objectives for and carry out an annual appraisal of the Chief Executive Officer, seeking feedback and referring to sponsor departments as necessary.

The Government is committed to reforming leasehold and the interim Chair will need to ensure that the organisation is responsive to reforms in the sector and is able to give high quality advice that is up to date with the changes.

Person Specification

We are looking for someone with the ability to provide strong leadership skills, sound judgement and sensitivity, as well as sound financial management and political awareness. They will need to lead the organisation to ensure that it meets Ministerial expectations. These will include establishing new objectives and repositioning LEASE so that it is more outward facing and collaborative with other bodies in the housing and advice sector.

The successful candidate will have a proven ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of people, and be able to Chair at senior Board level.

Essential Criteria:
1. The ability to provide strong leadership skills, strategic direction, and to Chair effectively at a senior Board level.
2. Sound judgement, decision making and successful delivery against tight timescales.
3. Experience of providing strong corporate governance and effective financial oversight.
4. Experience of leading bodies through periods of change both to the organisation and the wider legislative context in which LEASE works.
5. The ability to grow the profile of the organisation as well as handle and respond to challenging issues and manage stakeholder engagement and relationships across the sector.
6. A proven ability to communicate effectively, build strong relationships and influence at senior levels including with the sponsoring department.

Additional Information

Attachments
180918 Lease Interim Chair Candidate Information Pack - Final
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