Chair of Policy Committee

Southwark, London (Greater)
06 Sep 2017
06 Oct 2017
Contract Type

The role

It is an exciting time to join CPRE.  We have a new strategic plan, we are looking at how to reach new audiences and supporters, and we are expanding our campaigns function.  In September we welcome a new Chief Executive.  During this time of both opportunity and challenge, you will play a pivotal part in applying your skills, experience, knowledge and networks to contribute to our development and effectiveness.

The primary focus of this trustee role is leadership of the Policy Committee (PC), an advisory sub-committee of the Trustee Board. Its broad purpose is to provide a body of expertise to assist CPRE in all aspects of its external policy.  Including the Chair, the Policy Committee has 10 members drawn from a variety of backgrounds.  The Chair of Policy Committee acts as a link between the Policy Committee and the board.

The board is made up of at least three and not more than ten individuals and includes the Chair, the Chair of Policy Committee and the Treasurer.

Trustees acting individually and collectively have an overall stewardship responsibility for the wellbeing of CPRE, ensuring that it works effectively towards its vision and mission, while upholding its core ethos and values. The board approves policies for the organisation, and works closely with the Chief Executive and colleagues on the Senior Management team, which is charged with the implementation of policy.

A review of the role of PC has recently begun, and the new Chair can expect to be closely involved in the review.

The Policy Committee periodically commissions Task and Finish Groups to update our Policy Guidance Notes on topics such as Transport, Shale Gas and Housing.  Group members are drawn from our network of county branch volunteers.

Person description

An ability to chair meetings effectively, promote and manage quality discussion, a sensitive approach to balancing conflicting views and good independent judgement are all required in this role.  A good understanding of the environmental agenda would also be valuable.

We are looking for a volunteer with relevant high-level policy and influencing experience across a wide range of environmental policy and campaign issues. You will be able to manage a wide range of stakeholder views, and be able to chair meetings and debates effectively. You will also have strong strategic vision and effective communication skills, and an ability to network and build effective working relationship with a wide range of people, including policy makers and wider political audiences.

What impact the opportunity will have

The last year has been a time of change for CPRE, and the Chair of Policy Committee will play an important role in further internal change under the leadership of our new Chief Executive, Crispin Truman.

Policy making is central to ensuring that CPRE is able achieve its mission to promote, enhance and protect the English countryside. Our campaigning is evidence-based and reasoned, and we are experts in the planning system and landscape character, locally and nationally.  We want to have greater impact, and to be able to demonstrate that impact.

The Chair of Policy Committee has a key role in helping steer CPRE’s policy-making processes, interrogating and challenging our policy positions and acting as an internal sounding board. The review of the role of Policy Committee provides an opportunity to look afresh at what PC is intended to do, how it does it, and how that relates to the wider organisation.

What’s in it for the volunteer?

This is an opportunity for someone with wanting to play a role in influencing, at the highest levels, what happens to our countryside – whether roads should be built; where houses are built, and what kind of housing; how farming responds to the opportunities of Brexit; and many other issues.

In joining our board, you would become part of a committed and expert team working towards our vision of a beautiful and living countryside.

Time commitment

Mostly during office hours

The time commitment is at least 11 days each year - five Trustee Board meetings, five Policy Committee meetings, and the AGM.

Additional application instructions

Candidates should also include a supporting statement explaining why they are suitable for the role, and addressing the criteria in the Person Specification. All applications will be reviewed by the Nominations Committee, a sub-committee of the board, and shortlisted candidates meeting the role criteria will be interviewed by the committee.

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