Vacancy -- Member - Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales
Function of body
The Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales (“the Commission”) is an independent Welsh Government Sponsored Body whose statutory duties are set out in the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013.
These duties include:
- Ensuring principal area electoral arrangements are fit for purpose – developing and delivering a ten-year rolling programme of electoral reviews.
- Making Orders in relation to proposals from principal councils for changes to community areas following their reviews of community boundaries and electoral arrangements.
- As appropriate, ensuring the boundaries of principal council areas are fit for purpose.
- Maintaining a high level of Corporate Governance for the Commission.
In addition to its statutory duties the Commission may conduct reviews or provide advice and information at the request of local authorities or as directed by the Welsh Ministers.
In respect of principal area arrangements, the Commission makes recommendations to the Welsh Ministers, which it considers are in the interest of effective and convenient local government.
Over the next two years, the Commission will be undergoing a period of significant change, the details can be found in the Welsh Government’s Electoral administration and reform White Paper Electoral administration and reform White Paper | GOV.WALES
Commission meetings are held monthly. Typically the role involves one to two days a month but could be three to four days a month during the review programme. Meetings are held in person as well as via video conferencing.
The Welsh Ministers may appoint up to five members to the Commission, which comprises of a Chair, Deputy Chair and up to three other members. The quorum for meetings is three.
The secretariat to the Commission is provided by a chief executive and nine staff members. The staffing structure changes in line with the Commission's work programmes.
The Commission holds hybrid meetings and members can choose to attend in person at the Commission office at Hastings House, Cardiff, or virtually via MS
Teams. All Commissioners are provided with ICT equipment and support to enable them to attend meetings. Due to the nature of the work of the Commission, there may be occasions when in person meetings are required throughout Wales.
The post of members will be remunerated at £198 per full day, £99 per half day.
Members of the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales are regarded as holders of an office for tax and National Insurance purposes. Fees payable are chargeable to tax under Schedule E of the Taxes Act and subject to class 1 National Insurance contributions and will be paid through the Commission’s payroll. Fees are not subject to VAT.
Travel and other reasonable expenses that might be incurred in carrying out work on behalf of the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission can be claimed at rates approved by the Welsh Government. Members may also be eligible to claim reimbursement for costs in relation to childcare/care of the elderly/assistant carer, whilst carrying out work on behalf of the Commission.
Every effort will be made to provide whatever reasonable support members who have a disability need to help them carry out their duties.
The Commission and Welsh Government will provide induction sessions for the successful candidate.
- Develop the Policy and Practice and Council Size Methodology for the next Electoral Review Programme, reflecting learning from the previous programme and commissioning research on specific issues.
- Ensure there is wide ranging consultation with Welsh Government, county and county borough councils, community and town councils, and all other stakeholders as part of this.
- Assess a range of options for the numbers of councillors and the areas they represent, taking into account the complexities, and often contradictions, of the demography and infrastructure of the area under review and a wide range of opinions from consultation feedback.
- Act collectively in making draft and final decisions on individual electoral reviews.
- Work with principal councils to ensure community boundaries and electoral arrangements are regularly reviewed and coordinated with the programme of electoral reviews.
- Act collectively in making orders on individual community reviews.
- Be aware, at all times, of the risks, reputational and other, associated with the reviews and the potential consequences for the Commission, its members and Welsh Government.
- Provide governance and support to the Commission as it adopts new methodology in carrying out electoral reviews and expands its remit to carry out the work of the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales.
Each Member is assigned responsibility for overseeing a number of specific electoral reviews as Lead Commissioner. In carrying out this role a member will:
- Lead presentations and address engagement meetings with county and county borough councils including the leader, cabinet members, ward councillors, political group leaders, and senior council officers; community and town councillors and clerks; the public and other groups who will be interested in the review.
- Undertake visits to the locality under review.
- Participate in engagement events e.g. workshops, seminars.
- Assess an initial range of options for the numbers of councillors and the areas they represent.
- Propose preferred options and the reasons for those decisions to the Commission.
- Oversee the quality assurance process for the production of draft and final reports.
Members must also:
- Ensure that the organisation is run well and is accountable.
- Monitor the budget monthly, (£1,205,000 in 2022/23). This includes the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities budget for the Boundary Commission for Wales (relating to parliamentary reviews).
- Ensure that the Commission is working in line with legislation, its plans, procedures and policies and that these are regularly reviewed.
- Be aware of the Welsh Government’s aims and objectives and ensure that its principles in respect of sustainable development, equality and diversity and the Welsh language are embedded in the Commission’s work.
- Provide leadership and focus for the organisation in the delivery of its objectives and discharging its duties and ensuring the Minister’s Remit Letter is fulfilled.
- Support the Chief Executive in respect of HR matters, ensuring that the skills of the staff are developed and maintained.
- Work closely as a team of Commissioners and with the staff.
- Constantly engage with stakeholders to maintain a reputation for excellence.
In addition, a member might join the Audit and Risk Assessment Committee or the Workforce Sub Committee, both of which would involve a further time commitment.
Welsh language skills
The skills and experiences we are looking for are set out below. When submitting your personal statement you should show how your skills and experiences could be used in this role.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate:
- a reasonable knowledge and understanding of how local government operates in Wales;
- strong interpersonal and communication skills - be able to engage with a wide range of people on a one to one basis and collectively;
- the ability to exercise independent judgement – make decisions and explain how you have come to that decision;
- the ability to identify and formulate solutions using a methodical and analytical approach;
- the ability to evaluate a wide range of information, including geographical data, and formulate a reasoned conclusion;
- an understanding of the importance of effective corporate and financial management of an organisation;
- collective corporate responsibility and an understanding of risk; experience of working in organisational change management; and
- experience of utilising research and analysis to support effective decision making.
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’d like to apply for this opportunity in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.
If you need any further assistance in applying for this role, please contact the Welsh Government’s Public Appointments Team on PublicAppointments@gov.wales.
For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit www.gov.wales/publicappointments
This vacancy is closed to applications.