‘Is this the right man for the job?’

Plaid AM raises questions about new interim Chair of troubled quango

Llyr Gruffydd AM has questioned the Welsh Government’s appointment of a new interim Chair of troubled environment agency Natural Resources Wales.

He said Sir David Henshaw, 69, has no previous track record in the environmental field and has a controversial history of working in the public sector throughout the north-west of England.

Sir David, now living in the Ruthin area, has been appointed by cabinet secretary Lesley Griffiths after the NRW’s previous Chair resigned after a series of scandals.

Mr Gruffydd intervened in the Senedd after news emerged of the one-year appointment. He asked: “Is Sir David Henshaw the right person to steer NRW to calmer waters?

“He was chief executive at Liverpool City Council but was forced to leave under a cloud in 2006 – and with a £340,000 payoff – over allegations about sensitive documents being leaked to the UK Government.

“In the same year, he was appointed as chief executive to a North West NHS Trust. This prompted 22 MPs from the region to write an open letter saying they couldn’t work with him.

“In 2010, he was appointed as chief executive of Alder Hey hospital, promting the man tasked with rebuilding the hospital to resign in protest.

“And the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy had this to say about him: ‘A man in whom I have no confidence and for whom I have no respect’.

“Is this the right man for the job?”

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