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Canal & River Trust seeks Head of Policy & Public Affairs

Canal & River Trust 5<y Senior Level  London, England, United Kingdom 13 Aug 2018

Job Description

Head of Policy & Public Affairs

We are the charity looking after 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales, we believe life is better by water. Every role across the Trust plays it’s part in transforming our canals and rivers into spaces where local people want to spend time and feel better, bringing wellbeing benefits to millions. We are now looking for our future Head of Policy & Public Affairs.

This is a time of significant change at the Trust. We are reaching out across towns, cities and villages to introduce new users to our waterways. We want everyone to discover the wellbeing benefits achieved by our waterways.

In this role, you will re-position the Trust as a recognised, highly respected and valued waterway and wellbeing charity. This is an exciting, influential role that will harness our heritage & develop our future legacy. Influencing the development of public policy, legislation, guidance and regulation in England and Wales for the benefit of waterways and their communities whilst protecting assets and interests of the Trust and promoting our ambitions.

Knowledge, Skills/Qualifications & Experience

About the Role:

This role will lead on driving the development, delivery and evaluation of the Trust’s policy and public affairs strategy across England and Wales. We are seeking to expand our engagement with the UK and Welsh Governments, and others, to establish the Trust as a relevant strategic partner. Building extensive political influence, policy support and advocacy, ahead of the re-negotiation of our contract with Government in 2021/2.

Key Accountabilities

  • Drive the development and delivery of comprehensive and fully integrated policy and public affairs strategy (P&PA Strategy) for the Trust, responding to national and devolved public policy and decision making in England and Wales.
  • Strategic relationship building and management with UK and Welsh Government Ministers, key politicians, “SPAD”s, special policy advisor’s and civil servants, etc to deliver required outputs and outcomes set out in the P&PA Strategy.
  • Orchestrate a programme of national and devolved policy and public affairs activity which is fully aligned with the P&PA Strategy (including the development of evidence based policy position statements, influencing campaigns and initiatives) and regularly evaluate and review the effectiveness the programme outputs.
  • Design and deliver a collaborative and joined-up approach with the Regions on devolved policy and public affairs matters and build strong and effective working relationships with the Regional Advisory Board Chairs and the Regional Directors.
  • Shape and influence national policy development, through:
  • Making timely, robust and defendable formal responses to consultations from UK and Welsh Governments, Whitehall and Welsh Government Departments and their sponsored bodies on policy, procedural changes, legislative reforms and technical matters (including giving oral and written evidence to select committees);
  • Production of public policy advisory notes and other documents for national and devolved policy makers; and
  • Being a representative on Government inter / department working groups or sponsored steering / advisory groups for key policy issues.
  • Engaging with the Trust’s Welsh Board on Welsh policy matters and translating Trust‘s policy ambitions into the Welsh context.
  • Developing a forward engagement programme supported by production of briefings, presentations, speeches for CEO.
  • Caseload management of formal responses to policy, procedural changes, legislative reforms and technical consultations.
  • Team and line management responsibility and relationship manager for the external Public Affairs Agency.

About you:

  • Sound knowledge of political system, policy making at different spatial levels and a wide range of policy issues in UK and Wales.
  • You will be a proven policy and public affairs professional with a solid track record of success in:
  • Driving the development, execution/delivery and evaluation of comprehensive and integrated public policy and affairs strategy for multi- faceted organisation that fully encompasses engagement and influence at the different spatial levels.
  • Leading national public policy, public affairs and political engagement campaigning in England and Wales, with extensive experience in strategic relationship building and management with Ministers, key politicians, “SPAD”s, etc.
  • Engaging and influencing on national debates with tangible impacts achieved as a result.
  • Developing and delivering effective political advocacy for an organisation and for a range of specific policy issues including experience of building awareness and support from across all political parties.
  • Developing evidence based policy position statements and advisory notes, influencing campaigns and initiatives.
  • Influencing the development of public policy, legislation, guidance and regulation including making formal responses to different types of Government consultations and giving oral and written evidence to a range of select committees
  • Working across Government Departments, with a well-established network of productive working relationships with special policy advisor’s and civil servants at a senior level and demonstrable experience in influencing Government policy across wide range of policy areas.

You will be:

  • Degree or postgraduate qualification in public policy or politics or equivalent in a relevant subject.
  • Strategic thinker with analytical skills relevant for understanding the challenges of public policy linked to policy making and analysis, governance and public management as well as public policy implementation and evaluation.
  • Advanced influencing, persuasion and negotiation skills, with high levels of integrity
  • Excellent written and verbal communications, networking and presentation skills, including attention to detail; the ability to successfully communicate a range of technical and complex issues effectively to a wide range of audiences.
  • Strong interpersonal and people management skills with experience of leading, managing and developing a team of policy specialists.
  • Flexible, creative and collaborative approach to work, able and willing to both lead and be a ‘hands on’ member of a team as well as work with colleagues from across the organisation.

What We Offer

In addition to your annual salary, you will benefit from car cash allowance, private medical, generous holiday entitlement and a competitive contributory DC Pension scheme. Other benefits can be found here.We are striving to represent the diverse communities that we are a part of. All applicants will be treated on the basis of their merits, skills and abilities and solely by being assessed against the requirements for the job. Many of our vacancies can be considered for people who wish to work flexibly, job share or part time.


Closing Date: 26/8/2018
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