Vacancy -- Appointment of Member - Brecon Beacons National Park Authority
Members of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority receive a basic salary of £3,625 per annum (the remuneration level is reviewed by the Independent Remuneration Panel and is based on an assumption of 42 days work per annum, with additional days regarded as the public service element). The Chair and Deputy Chair of the Authority and the two committee chairs receive an additional Senior Salary. Members of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority are regarded as holders 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 the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority payroll system and the net fee paid to the office holder. Fees are not subject to VAT.
Travel and other reasonable expenses that might be incurred in carrying out work on behalf of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority can be claimed from Brecon Beacons National Park Authority within the recognised limits. You may also be eligible to claim reimbursement for costs in relation to child care/care of the elderly/assistant carer, whilst carrying out work on behalf of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. If you would like further information about whether you would be eligible for care allowances, please contact Brecon Beacons National Park Authority:
Julia Gruffydd, Democratic Services Manager, Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Tel: 01874 620400 or email@example.com.
Function of body
The role and responsibilities of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority
What are National Parks?
National Parks are landscapes of international importance. Although predominantly rural in nature they are close to urban communities and have significant potential to enrich the lives of the people of, and visitors to, Wales and to contribute positively to the Welsh economy. A key task of National Park Authorities is to help ensure that these special areas will in the future, be places with a richer and more diverse landscape, wildlife and heritage than today, enjoyed and cherished by a full cross section of society.
What is their role?
The National Park Authorities have two statutory purposes under the Environment Act 1995:
- to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Parks;
- to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities [of the Park] by the public.
As well as seeking to fulfil their two statutory purposes the National Park Authorities have a duty to foster the economic and social well being of their local communities.
If it appears that there is a conflict between these purposes, greater weight shall be attached to the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area within the National Park.
Ways of working
Each Authority is required to prepare a National Park Management Plan. The Plan sets out policies for the management of the Park and for the organisation and provision of services and facilities by the National Park Authority to achieve National Park purposes. It includes policies for the management of the land in the National Park and forms the basis for collaboration not only with statutory and voluntary conservation organisations, but also with other public and private landowners. Consultation during the preparation of the Plan allows people to contribute to achieving workable policies and is essential for sympathetic co-operation with residents and other interests in the Park.
The National Park Authority will involve key stakeholders such as Natural Resources Wales, the Welsh Local Government Association and Town and Community Councils in the preparation of National Park Management Plans and will play a key role in the development of the Local Development Plan. The National Park Authorities are also the planning authority for their area and are responsible for producing development plans and for development control.
What is their Structure and Membership?
Under the Environment Act 1995 and the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 the three Welsh National Park Authorities are special purpose Local Authorities. They are corporate bodies with executive powers. The purposes of the Parks are the same in England and Wales but the membership of the National Park Authorities in each country differs.
In Wales two thirds of the seats are filled by councillors of constituent Local Authorities to reflect local interests and one third by appointments made by the Welsh Ministers to represent the national interest. When appointing members to sit on National Park Authorities (NPAs), Local Authorities are encouraged to use councillors representing wards either wholly or partly within the Park boundary.
Where do National Park Authorities get their money?
The Welsh Ministers provide the National Park Authorities with the majority of their funding in the form of the National Park Grant (NPG). Two thirds of the NPG comes from the Welsh Ministers directly with the remaining one third levied by the Park Authorities from their constituent Local Authorities. Additional grant is available from the Welsh Ministers for prescribed capital expenditure. NPAs also have income from, for example, trading activities, car parking fees and planning application fees. The Minister for the Environment issues an annual strategic grant letter setting out agreed priorities and objectives for the National Park Authorities for the year ahead.
Members of National Park Authorities are required to understand and demonstrate a commitment to National Park purposes and be prepared to commit the time necessary for regular attendance at full Authority and committee meetings, as well as member development events, working groups, events, and representing the Authority on outside bodies.
Role and responsibilities
National Park Authority members are responsible, individually, and collectively, to the Welsh Government for providing effective leadership of the National Park Authority, for setting its policy and for ensuring that it meets its objectives within the statutory, policy and financial framework laid down for it. Members have a duty to act at all times within the law, in good faith and in the best interests of the National Park, and to be scrupulous in ensuring that their public position is at no time compromised in favour of private interests, or give rise to suspicion that this has been done.
- To lead the National Park Authority, in particular in defining and developing its strategic direction and in setting challenging objectives;
- To ensure that the National Park Authority’s activities are conducted and promoted in as efficient and effective a manner as possible;
- To ensure that strategies are developed for meeting the National Park Authority’s overall purposes and duties, in accordance with the policies and priorities established by the Welsh Government;
- To monitor the National Park Authority’s performance to ensure that it fully meets its aims, objectives and performance targets;
- To ensure that the National Park Authority’s control, regulation and monitoring of its activities, as well as those of any other bodies which it may sponsor or support, provide value for money within a framework of best practice, regularity and propriety and to participate in the corporate planning process;
- To promote the Welsh Government’s sustainable development, equality and social inclusion objectives.
Welsh language skills
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. We welcome applications from individuals who have no previous experience of working on public sector boards. Individuals are selected on their personal qualities and experience and not as representatives of particular organisations or groups.
To succeed in this role it is important you can apply your skills and experience in ways which help deliver the statutory purposes for which the National Parks were designated.
The National Park Authority will benefit from being able to draw on a wide range of skills and knowledge in its membership and you will need to be able to bring a national perspective to the work of the Park Authority.
It may help if you have experience of public administration at a senior level, running a business, being a trustee or working for a charity or other knowledge in an area of direct relevance to the diverse work of the National Park Authority.
In this current selection round we are particularly interested in individuals who have strong experience in land use planning and the development control process but experience in one or more of the following areas will also be advantageous:
- conservation of the natural , historic, built and/or cultural environment
- communications and marketing (in particular digital technology)
- regulation and governance
- the arts
- recreation and sport
- renewable energy
- sustainable development
- business sector
- working with communities and community groups.
- The ability to make a strong contribution to the leadership of complex organisations or programmes utilising appropriate performance information to drive improvement and delivery;
- The ability to operate effectively in a strategic or national role which influences and translates policy into practice;
- The ability to build and contribute to effective teams and communicate clearly to a range of audiences;
- An appreciation of the current policy and practice and the business of National Park Authorities;
- A clear understanding and commitment to the ten principles in The Conduct of Members (Principles) (Wales) Order 2001;
- The Authority conducts all its business electronically and members are expected to be sufficiently proficient in IT to manage calendars, email and all agendas and papers via an electronic committee management system.
The ability to speak Welsh is desirable.
Members will be expected to be available to work a minimum of four days per month as members of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. Successful candidates are required to attend the necessary induction training and, as appropriate, attend development sessions throughout the term of their appointment. Members will have the opportunity to sit on informal working groups with officers, and may become member Champions for specific areas of work.
Tenure of Office
The appointment will commence on 1 July 2018 and will expire on 31 May 2022, following which the Minister may consider reappointment without competition for a further term.
Persons who have previously served on a National Park Authority are eligible to apply. This includes past or current members who have served, or will have served, a 10 year term.
Applicants should be persons who conduct themselves at all times in a manner which will maintain public confidence.
The Environment Act 1995 (Schedule 7, paragraphs 7 and 19) sets out the circumstances in which someone is disqualified from being a member of a National Park Authority. This applies to existing members and those who are considering membership.
Essentially if you are employed directly by a constituent Local Authority which nominates members to a National Park Authority, or if you hold any politically restricted post in any local authority in Great Britain you are ineligible to apply.
Applicants should also note that being a member of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority 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.
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 a member of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, including any business interests and positions of authority outside of the role in the National Park 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 and is held on the Authority’s website.
Standards in Public Life
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:
How to apply
To apply for this role, click on the ‘Apply’ button below. The first time you apply for a post, you will need to complete a registration form for the Welsh Government’s online application system. You will only need to register once, and you will be able to keep yourself updated on the progress of your application, and any other applications you make, via your registered account.
Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to access the application form. To apply you will need to submit two supporting documents. The first, a document outlining how your knowledge, skills and experiences meet the criteria for the role as outlined in the information for candidates. This document should be no more than 2 sides of A4. Your application may be rejected if you exceed this limit. The second document is a full, up to date CV. The two documents should be uploaded to the ‘Reasons for applying’ section of the online application form.
In your application, you will also be asked to provide details of any activities which have helped you to develop skills that would be useful in a public appointment role, and list the organisations for which you undertook these activities. We also need to know about any political activity that you’ve undertaken over the last 5 years.
It is recommended that you register for an account and access the application form as soon as possible so that you see how the application form is structured, before starting to prepare your evidence. You don’t have to complete the application form all in one go. You can save your responses, and log in and out as required, until you’re ready to submit – just follow the guidance in the application form.
If you need any further assistance in applying for this role, please contact the Welsh Government’s Corporate Shared Service Centre Helpdesk on 03000 255454 or SharedServiceHelpdesk@wales.gsi.gov.uk.
For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit www.gov.wales/publicappointments.
This vacancy is closed to applications.