Transport Committee seeks a Specialist Adviser on the National Policy Statement for National Networks

The Transport Committee is inviting applications from individuals interested in being a Specialist Adviser for prospective committee scrutiny of the draft National Policy Statement for National Networks. The deadline is 5pm on Thursday 2 February 2023.

The purpose of National Policy Statements is to help reduce delays for major infrastructure projects in the planning system.

The National Policy Statement for National Networks (NN NPS) sets out the need for, and Government’s policies to deliver, development of nationally significant infrastructure projects on the national road and rail networks in England. It provides planning guidance for promoters of nationally significant infrastructure projects on the road and rail networks, and the basis for the examination by the Examining Authority and decisions by the Secretary of State. The current NPS was published in 2014.

In July 2021, then Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced that a review of the NN NPS would take place, in order to “ensure the road network meets today’s demands”, with the process intended to be completed by spring 2023.

Scrutiny of draft National Policy Statements is one of the tasks of select committees. This scrutiny could involve calling for written evidence, taking oral evidence in public and publishing the Committee’s recommendations. The Liaison Committee allocates National Policy Statements to existing or ad hoc committees for this scrutiny.

The Transport Committee is a cross-party select committee of MPs chaired by Iain Stewart MP. Its remit is to scrutinise the Department for Transport, hold Ministers and Departments to account, and to investigate matters of public concern where there is a need for accountability to the public through Parliament.

What they are looking for

The Committee would like to hear from applicants who:

  • can demonstrate expert knowledge and experience of the regulatory frameworks governing transport planning and planning applications for major road and rail infrastructure;
  • can demonstrate knowledge of the specific policy and statutory roles of National Policy Statements;
  • can demonstrate knowledge of how future travel demand is forecast and the Government’s strategies to meet this, including rail and strategic road investment;
  • can demonstrate expert technical and practical understanding of the major infrastructure planning system and its requirements in relation to transport planning; 
  • can demonstrate knowledge of the domestic and international climate change and sustainable development commitments that the UK is legally obliged to adhere to in its transport policy, and other policy that interacts with transport planning;
  • can demonstrate knowledge of other environmental, social and economic policy areas that interact with transport planning;
  • can demonstrate knowledge of a wide range of individuals and organisations which the Committee should hear from on national transport planning issues;
  • are familiar with the advocacy positions or political affiliations that are held by these individuals and organisations, and with the policy debates relevant to the inquiry terms of reference; and
  • are able to provide clear, concise, professional and impartial advice orally and in writing to politicians and/or senior decision-makers.

The Committee values diversity and encourages applications from people from a wide range of backgrounds.

The role

As a Specialist Adviser, you will be working with Committee staff on an ad hoc basis to provide authoritative advice in relation to this subject. Examples of the types of work you may be asked to do include:

  • working with the Committee staff, in particular the inquiry manager, on the planning and conduct of scrutiny for the inquiry, including the terms of reference;
  • analysing written evidence;
  • contributing to and reviewing briefing material for the Committee; and
  • attending Committee meetings at Westminster and providing oral briefings when required.

Work demands from the Committee may be irregular and occasionally unpredictable. Only in exceptional circumstances would you be asked to do more than two days’ work in a particular week and it would normally be less than this. We expect a total commitment of up to 10 days over the course of any inquiry on the draft National Policy Statement.

You would be paid a daily fee based on work done.

The Committee will meet connected, necessary expenses, for example for travel to and from Westminster when necessary. Much of the role can be done remotely.

Specialist Adviser appointments are in the public domain.

How to apply

To apply, please send a CV, covering letter and a declaration of relevant interests to the email address below.

In your covering letter you should indicate how your expertise and experience is relevant to this role, including any previous work you have done in a policy and advisory context, the amount of time you could realistically devote to Committee work, and your ability to take on work at short notice if required.

Your declaration of interests should include anything that a reasonable person might consider could influence the advice you give the Committee. Examples include a relevant financial interest, active membership of a relevant campaign group or political party, or the involvement of a close family member in the area of specialism.

Declared interests from successful applicants will be published. Regardless of an applicant’s interests, they must be able to advise the Committee in a balanced and politically impartial manner.

Contact and deadline

Applications should be sent to transcom@parliament.uk no later than 5pm on Thursday 2 February January 2023.

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