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Appointment of Vice Chairmen and Commissioners to The Sustainable Development Commission

12 July 2006

The UK Government and Devolved Administrations announced today the appointment of two new Vice Chairs, and three new Commissioners to the Sustainable Development Commission.

The two new Vice Chairs are Jan Bebbington, Vice Chair Scotland and Peter Davies, Vice Chair Wales. The three new Commissioners are Tim Lang, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Rural; Tess Gill, Work and Skills; and Waheed Saleem, Youth.

Jonathon Porritt, Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, said:

"This is excellent news for the Commission. We are delighted to have been able to secure an extended remit for the Commission in both Scotland and Wales, and our new Vice-Chairs will play a critical role in enhancing our effectiveness and our working relationships with both the Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly Government.

We are also very excited at having been able to appoint two new Commissioners for Work and Skills, and Natural Resources, at such an important time for the Commission, and to have brought on board a new Commissioner for Young People - enabling us to deepen our engagement with young peoples' organisations across the UK."

Ian Pearson, Minister of State for Climate Change and the Environment, said:

"The Sustainable Development Commission has established itself as a respected advocate of sustainable development and an important watchdog across all sectors of government. These new Vice Chairs and Commissioners will bring vision, energy and expertise to drive sustainable development forward, and promote sustainability in Wales, Scotland and the English Regions."

Biographical Notes:

Jan Bebbington, Vice Chair, Scotland

Professor Jan Bebbington was born in New Zealand but emigrated to Scotland in 1991. During her time in Scotland she has worked in the Universities of Dundee and Aberdeen before taking up a chair in Accounting and Sustainable Development in the School of Management at the University of St. Andrews.

Her research interests focus around the dual themes of corporate reporting on sustainable development and full cost accounting and modelling. In the area of full cost accounting Professor Bebbington has worked with many organisations who are seeking to model their sustainable development impacts.

She is also an external advisor to the Scottish Cabinet Sub-Committee on Sustainable Scotland, the Chair of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Committee on Social and Environmental Committee and Associate Director of the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research.

Peter Roger Davies, Vice Chair, Wales.

Peter Davies's career began in the education sector, initially as a teacher before being appointed Southern Area Director of the CBI Education Foundation. He was subsequently appointed by the DTI to set up the National Teacher Placement Service. It was here that he received an OBE in recognition of his work.

In 1995 Peter joined Business in the Community UK as a Managing Director and latterly has been its Deputy Chief Executive. He led the organisation's campaigning role in improving the social and environmental impacts of business and established an international reputation for his work on corporate social responsibility.

Peter returned home to Wales in 2005 and established the Project Development Partnership, a consultancy that provides project consultancy to business, government and the voluntary sector. Peter also coordinates the work of The Prince's Charities in Wales and is chair of the West Wales branch of The Institute of Welsh Affairs

Tim Lang, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Rural

Tim Lang is Professor of Food Policy at City University's Institute of Health Sciences in London. He specialises in how policy affects the shape of the food supply chain, what people eat and the social, health and civic outcomes.

Over 30 years, he has worked variously as a farmer, lecturer, researcher and campaigner. Since 1994 he has been an academic working on long-term strategic issues in food policy. He is chair of Sustain, the UK 100+ NGO alliance promoting better food, with members ranging across farming, food, consumer, health, animal welfare, social policy and environment interests.

He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health. He is a Vice-President of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. In 2003-04, he was a special advisor to the UK Parliamentary Health Committee Inquiry into Obesity. He is the author / co-author of 10 books and around over 100 articles, reports and briefings.

Tess Gill, Work and Skills

Tess Gill is a leading barrister. She specialises in employment particularly discrimination, industrial law, and human rights. She has appeared in many leading cases both in the UK courts and before the ECJ. She regularly advises the Statutory Equality Commissions and major trade unions.

She was the legal member of the Equal Pay Taskforce which reported in 2001 and recently assisted the Women and Work Commission on the legal aspects of their report. She was formerly an Assistant Secretary of the National Union of Civil and Public Servants and the Legal Officer of the GMB. Since 1995 she has been a part-time Employment Tribunal Chairman.

She is also a trained Mediator. She has held posts in a wide number of voluntary organisations concerned with issues of diversity and social justice, and tackling poverty and disadvantage.

Waheed Saleem, Young People

Waheed Saleem has held a number of management positions in different areas within the health service. A graduate of the London School of Economics in Social Policy, he has chaired a number of major regeneration programmes and as been an active member of the local community.

He has been a member of a number of national committees including NACRO Children and Crime Committee, NRF National Community Forum, National Crime Squad Service Authority, Rail Passenger Committee and the Meat Hygiene Advisory Committee. He has a background in chairing and representing young people in different forums.

His interests are in social policy and he is looking forward to contributing to the sustainable development agenda. He is a former Labour Local Councillor.

Political Activity:

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees' political activities to be made public. All five appointees have declared no current political activity, and do not hold other ministerial appointments.

Notes to editors:

The Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) is the Government's independent advisory body and watchdog on sustainable development, reporting to the Prime Minister and the First Ministers in Scotland and Wales.

It is led by a board of 19 commissioners, from a mix of academic, scientific, business and NGO backgrounds, chaired by Jonathon Porritt.

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