Vacancy -- Brecon Beacons National Park Authority Appointment of Members (Welsh Desirable)
Travel and other reasonable expenses that might be incurred in carrying out work on behalf of the Brecon Beacons NPA can be claimed from Brecon Beacons NPA within the recognised limits. You 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 Brecon Beacons NPA. If you would like further information about whether you would be eligible for care allowances, please contact Brecon Beacons NPA:
Function of body
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.
National Park Authorities’ strategic context
In the current climate, National Park Authorities’ contribution to key strategic national policy priorities has seldom been greater; in terms of nature recovery and halting biodiversity loss; mitigating climate change; decarbonisation; the green recovery; and sustainable tourism, among others.
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.
Brecon Beacons National Park Authority is the local planning authority for the Brecon Beacons National Park. The Authority has to balance the demands of sustaining a prosperous economy and vibrant communities with the needs of this spectacular landscape. The Brecon Beacons National Park Local Development Plan provides a basis for meeting the Authority’s statutory purposes as well as promoting the social and economic well-being of its communities.
What is their Structure and Membership?
Under the Environment Act 1995 and the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 the three Welsh NPAs 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 NPAs 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 NPAs, Local Authorities are encouraged to use councillors representing wards either wholly or partly within the Park boundary. All Members have equal status irrespective of who appoints them to the Authority.
Where do National Park Authorities get their money?
The Welsh Ministers provide NPAs 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 NPAs 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 Climate Change has
recently issued a term of government letter setting out agreed priorities and objectives for the NPAs. In addition, the NPAs attract substantial grant income from other external funding sources.
National Park Authority (NPA) members are responsible, individually and collectively, for promoting effective leadership for the NPA, for setting its policy and for ensuring 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 their public position is at no time compromised in favour of private interests, or gives rise to suspicion this has been done. You have equal status on the Authority as all other members, whether appointed by Welsh Ministers or by a Local Authority, notwithstanding any specific experience or skills you or other members may bring.
Members of NPAs 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.
Key tasks include:
To help lead the National Park Authority in defining and developing its strategic direction and in setting challenging objectives.
To ensure the National Park Authority’s activities are conducted and promoted in as efficient and effective a manner as possible.
To ensure strategies are developed for meeting the National Park Authority’s overall purposes and duty, in accordance with the policies and priorities established by the Welsh Government.
To monitor the National Park Authority’s performance to ensure it fully meets its aims, objectives and performance targets.
To ensure 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 help the National Park Authority to promote the Welsh Government’s sustainable development, equality and social inclusion objectives.
Welsh language skills
What skills or knowledge do you need?
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 merit, against the essential criteria 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 (see the second paragraph in Annex B).
The Authority will benefit from being able to draw on a wide range of skills and knowledge in its membership. You will need to be able to bring a national perspective to its work, acknowledging its role and contribution to Welsh aspirations (particularly for the well-being of future generations) whilst recognising the Park’s contribution to everyday environmental, economic, social and cultural life.
The ability to make a strong contribution to the Park Authority through participating effectively and constructively on its committees and working groups, working in a collegiate manner at all times;
The ability to operate effectively in a strategic or national role, providing a direction of travel for the Authority’s executive team;
The ability to communicate clearly with a range of audiences;
An appreciation of the current policy and practice of National Parks and an understanding of the Welsh legislative and political context in relation to landscapes and the environment;
A clear understanding and commitment to the ten principles in The Conduct of Members (Principles) (Wales) Order 2001 (see Annex D);
Knowledge or experience of promoting inclusion and diversity in a relevant context. Examples could include:
o lived experience of disadvantage or exclusion,
o proactively promoting equality for people with protected characteristics1,
o and/or individuals with professional experience such as tackling financial and health inequalities, or dismantling barriers to inclusion;
Skills and experience in one or more of the following areas are also essential:
o The Climate and Nature emergencies – implementing practical solutions and working with local communities to take forward change.
o The new context for agricultural support and rural development after exit from the EU
o Balancing the need to manage tourism sustainably with the needs of local communities
o Audit, governance and finance, with an emphasis on public sector requirements
o Town and country planning
Experience of working for a charity, being a trustee, running a business or public administration at a senior level may be advantageous but is by no means essential.
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.