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Written Statement -  Appointment of Members to the Public Services Staff Commission

Leighton Andrews AM, Minister for Public Services

On 24 March, I announced that I would be setting up a non-statutory Public Services Staff Commission.  I subsequently announced that Gill Lewis had been appointed as Chair and I can now confirm the membership of the Commission following a full and open public appointments process.  

Joining Gill are Sally Ellis, Margaret Foster, Graham Jones, Martin Mansfield and Harry Thomas. I will be providing more details on public service workforce issues on 15 September in a Ministerial Oral Statement.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.


Biographical details

Sally Ellis

Sally’s background is in local government and community development. Following an early career in community development in the third sector, Sally joined Clwyd County Council Social Services in 1992, became an Assistant Director in Conwy at local government re-organisation in 1995 and then a Director with Denbighshire County Council in 2003.

Sally was a Corporate Director in Denbighshire for 12 years. During this period, she was the statutory Director of Social Services and the corporate lead, at different times, for a range of other services including Housing, Leisure, IT, HR and the Local Development Plan.

Since finishing full time work in 2014, Sally has become an advisor for Citizens’ Advice in Denbigh and Vice Chair of North Wales Housing Association. Sally has also chaired the Strategic Improvement Steering Group for Welsh Government, which has provided advice to the Health and Social Services Minister on social care improvement arrangements and priorities.

Sally has a degree in English from Oxford University and postgraduate qualifications in social administration and in leadership for collaboration from Bangor University.


Margaret Foster

Graduating in 1973, Margaret worked in the NHS in Wales from 1974 until her retirement in 2010. As an NHS Chief Executive for 14 years, she led the mergers of a number of organisations including the establishment of the Cwm Taf Heath Board in 2008.

She has served as a Board Member with the University of Glamorgan, Skills for Health and Principality Building Society, as the NHS Wales Equality Commissioner, and as a Commissioner for Welsh Government to Anglesey Council.

In 2012 she was appointed as Chair of the Wales NHS Shared Services Partnership, maintaining her interest in organizational development and human resources issues in the NHS and the wider Welsh Public Service. She is also a member of the Dewis Gyrfa/Career Choices Board.


Graham Jones

Graham Jones MA is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and has extensive experience of managing change and working with trade unions. He undertook a number of local authority management services and HR roles before being appointed as Neath Port Talbot Council’s Head of Strategic Personnel in 1995 during the last local government re-organisation in Wales.

Graham has twice been Chair of the local government HR Directors’ Network and has represented Welsh local authority HR Directors in a number of national roles, particularly in relation to HR improvement, social services and schools workforce matters. Graham was a HR Adviser to the Welsh Local Government Association for a number of years until 2014.

He is a strong advocate of public service employers and trade unions working in social partnership and has extensively championed this approach as a member of the local government Joint Council for Wales and JCW Executive Committee. He was a member of the Welsh Government’s Workforce Partnership Council between 2012 and 2014,

After leaving Neath Port Talbot Council, he became Strategic HR Director for the ERW regional school improvement consortium covering Mid and South-West Wales. Graham currently undertakes HR consultancy work, primarily for local authorities in Wales.

Graham also has extensive experience of multi-agency emergency planning and civil contingencies activity at local and regional levels. He was a member of the South Wales Local Resilience Forum and was Chair of the South Wales Local Authority Resilience Board from 2012 to 2014.


Martin Mansfield

Martin Mansfield was appointed as Wales TUC General Secretary in August 2008. Martin has played a leading role in the social partnership structures in Wales including as joint secretary of the public services Workforce Partnership Council and trade union lead on the Council for Economic Renewal.  He has chaired and participated in a number of Welsh government advisory boards including youth employment, government procurement, economic policy and employment & skills.

He is Chair of the board of directors of the Wales Social Partners Unit.

For over twenty years before becoming Wales TUC General Secretary, Martin was a full time trade union official covering a wide range of industries including advanced manufacturing and health services.  Before that he worked in further education and industrial skills research. In 2003-2005 he served as economic development special advisor to Wales’ First Minister and Cabinet.  

Martin has a Masters Degree in Industrial Relations (with Economics and Law), a BA Hons in History & English and a postgraduate diploma in Applied Research Methods.


Harry Thomas

Harry graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Economics and subsequently qualified as an accountant with the National Audit Office in South Wales before moving on to join Cheshire County Council. He has worked with the former Welsh Water Authority and Gwynedd County Council. After the 1996 Local Government reorganisation he was appointed Treasurer with Gwynedd Council and in 2003 was appointed Chief Executive where he remained until his retirement last year.