Thank you for the interest you have shown so far in the post of Head of the Joint Inspection Team, I hope that with a little more detail and context you will see this as an compelling career opportunity.
Following the tragedy of the fire in the Grenfell Tower in 2017, and in memory of those who lost their lives, we must all commit to learning and acting upon the lessons this horrific experience has taught us. Collectively, we must ensure that our residential buildings are safe for people to live in. This requires actions from all those who have a role in building and maintaining residential buildings, as following the findings and recommendations of the Hackitt Review, “Transparency of information and an audit trail all the way through the life cycle of a building from the planning stage to occupation and maintenance is essential to provide reassurance and evidence that a building has been built safe and remains safe.”
The formation of Joint Inspection Team is a commitment from Welsh Government to help and support enforcing agencies to take action where this is necessary to make sure residential buildings above 11 meters are safe from fire risk and meet building regulations. The overall aim is to provide additional value to work already ongoing by councils and fire and rescue services at the local level, including providing solutions to complex and difficult situations, building good relationships and responding to identified needs.
This is an exciting opportunity for the right person – someone who enjoys establishing and helping shape new teams, providing leadership and direction for the JIT, building positive relationships and working in partnership to deliver improved outcomes. There is also a need for a broad knowledge and understanding of the technical aspects related to building and fire safety, and the regulations that govern these areas. One of the most important aspects for the right person is a real commitment to improve building safety in Wales, with a focus on the need to protect people and give them the peace of mind that where they live is safe.
I can also tell you that the WLGA is a great place to work – and I should know, having been employed by the WLGA for over 20 years in different roles. A recent IPSOS Mori poll reflected the WLGA is held in esteem by Senedd Members in Wales; the Association has a range of good working relationships with public, private and third sector bodies across Wales and with the UK Government; and we work well with our sister bodies across the UK, the LGA, COSLA and NILGA which enables us to have a common local government voice but also share our intelligence and experience. Brian Castle from the JIT based in the LGA in England has been a helpful sounding board in establishing the Welsh JIT and we are grateful for their support. Based at a central location in Cardiff, our agile working policy provides great flexibility in undertaking your role around the business needs, and at such a senior level, the postholder will have the opportunity to shape their own team and, in conjunction with others, agree their work programme. You will also be supported by an organisation that covers a huge range of subjects and staff willing to share their knowledge and contacts, both at officer and political levels. A high-profile role, you will also engage with Ministers who have a keen interest in the role of the JIT.
There are not many opportunities for a role such as this in Wales, so if you have the right knowledge, skills and commitment I hope you seriously consider applying for this role. Working with Welsh Government and partners, we are committed to making the JIT effective in helping improve the safety and confidence in high rise residential buildings across the nation.
I look forward to your application for the role.