The Board provides leadership within a framework of prudent and effective controls, which enables risk to be properly assessed and managed. The Board sets the strategic aims, ensures that the necessary financial and human resources are in place to meet its objectives, and reviews management performance. The Board also sets values and standards, and ensures that the obligations to its stakeholders are understood and delivered.
The Board has a total of 39 members, 19 of which are elected by occupiers of agricultural land who pay Drainage Rates directly to the Board for the services they receive (the elected members), and 20 members are appointed by the constituent Councils to represent the extent of other interests in the Drainage District (the appointed members).
The Board is democratically accountable to those that pay for the service in its Drainage District. Consequently all money that we raise to do work in our Drainage District is spent actually doing work that benefits the Drainage District. All Board members are bound by the Members Code of Conduct and should also Register their Interests before taking office.
The number of elected members is set out in the constitution. The number of elected members as compared to the number of appointed members that each constituent Council is entitled to appoint depends upon the proportion of expenditure that is paid in total by the occupiers of agricultural land, as compared with what is paid by the constituent Councils. Elections for membership of the Board are held every 3 years, so if you’re not happy with our performance you have the opportunity to do something about it; either by exercising your vote as a drainage ratepayer or standing for election yourself. For more information please visit our Elections webpage.
The number of members that each constituent Council is entitled to appoint is determined by the Board every 3 years, in accordance with Schedule 1, Section 6(1) of the Land Drainage Act 1991. The Councils cannot just appoint anyone: they should appoint persons who have relevant knowledge or experience and have shown capacity in such matters. The Board may not approve the appointment of persons that do not fulfil this legal requirement, so please check out our guidance for Local Authorities when making appointments to IDBs. It is also important to note that the appointed members do not represent the Councils themselves. As members of the Board they are duty bound to consider all proposals in the context of what is in the best interest of the Board, which may occasionally be different to what is in the best interest of their Council.
The Board make the key decisions and have reserved those matters that only it can take. Such decisions are made at Board meetings that take place at least 4 times a year and are recorded in the Minutes. Board meetings are public meetings at which anyone can attend the general business sessions. All other matters which, by definition, the Board considers suitable for delegation or may otherwise need to be dealt with between Board meetings have been delegated to its Plenary Committees and to the Consortium Management Committee, in accordance with the Board’s Standing Orders, Scheme of Delegation and Financial Regulations. In addition to this the Board is represented on a number of Joint Advisory Committees, which make recommendations on various matters. Decisions and Board policy are then implemented by the Chief Executive and his/her Management Team. All staff are bound by the Employees Code of Conduct.
The Board has put in place a number of plans policies and procedures to reduce the risk of fraud and to manage the key risks around delivering its strategic objectives: Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy, Risk Management Policy, Employers Pension Policy Statement and Whistle blowing Policy.
The Board’s Minutes are published on our website along with the Reports that have helped inform these decisions. We aim to comply with most aspects of the Government’s Transparency Code for those Smaller Authorities that are not externally audited, and have also implemented the following policies to explain the types of information we have and when we can make this info. available, if requested: Data Protection Policy, Document Retention/Destruction Policy and our Freedom of Information Publication Scheme. Most information is freely available and can be accessed from our website. Other news and live updates are regularly communicated through Twitter, Instagram and our Facebook page, in accordance with the Board’s Information Security and Systems – Acceptable Use Policy.
Following closure of the Audit Commission on 31 March 2015 and expiration of its audit contracts, the Government’s Specified Person (Smaller Authorities Audit Appointments Ltd) now appoints an External Auditor each year to review the Board’s Accounts and governance arrangements (the Appointed Auditor). The Appointed Auditor reports directly to the Board and therefore provides independent assurance to the Board and its stakeholders that the Accounts have been prepared in accordance with proper practices and that governance arrangements are sufficiently robust. Furthermore the Internal Auditor checks that the Board’s management team are fully complying with these governance arrangements and reports directly to the Board on this every year. All of the Board’s business processes are ISO 9001 and 14001 quality assured.