Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs

First published:
15 August 2019
Last updated:

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Today I will be announcing Sir David Henshaw as the Welsh Government’s preferred candidate to become the chair of Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

Sir David Henshaw is currently NRW’s interim Chair and has been in post since 1 November 2018.

Before the chair of NRW is formally appointed, the National Assembly’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee will hold a pre-appointment hearing on 26 September to take evidence from Sir David as the preferred candidate.

Sir David’s announcement as the preferred candidate follows a fair and open recruitment exercise regulated by the Commission for Public Appointments.

Natural Resources Wales is the largest Welsh Government Sponsored Body - employing 1,900 staff across Wales with a budget of £180 million. It was formed in April 2013, largely taking over the functions of the Countryside Council for Wales, Forestry Commission Wales and the Environment Agency in Wales, as well as certain Welsh Government functions.

Pre-appointment hearings are sometimes used elsewhere in the UK to enable committees to take evidence from the government’s preferred candidate for certain key public appointments prior to the final appointment decision. 

The National Assembly’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee will publish a report setting out its views about the preferred candidate’s suitability for the post. I will make the final decision about the appointment, following this report.

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.