Following a comprehensive recruitment process, the Board of Water Resources East (WRE) are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Paul Leinster CBE as their incoming Independent Chair. Dr Leinster will succeed Henry Cator OBE, who has been the independent Chair of WRE since its inception in 2014.
Dr Leinster was Chief Executive of the Environment Agency between 2008 and 2015. He has also been a member of the Government’s Natural Capital Committee and of the Board of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, as well as Professor of Environmental Assessment at Cranfield University. His current roles include Chair of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and Chair of the bpha Housing Association.
Commenting on this appointment, our Managing Director Robin Price said “The Board of WRE are excited to be welcoming someone of the calibre and experience of Dr Paul Leinster to be our next Independent Chair. The next few years will be crucial for WRE, as we work with our 130 plus members and wider stakeholder network to prepare our Regional Plan and seek to transform the organisation into a new long-term operating model. The Board would like to pay tribute to Henry Cator for his energy, dedication and passion for Water Resources East over the last seven years and look forward to continuing to work with him as he becomes President of the Association of Drainage Authorities – an organisation which will continue to play a central role in the future of integrated water management across Eastern England”.
Dr Leinster said “I am delighted to be joining WRE as Chair of the Board at this time. WRE has already achieved a considerable amount bringing together a wide and diverse range of water users to help develop an integrated water management plan for Eastern England. The organisation is in good shape and I am really looking forward to leading the Board in this next phase as we co-create with partners and stakeholders the Regional Plan”.
WRE also announce the appointment of Andy Willicott, Managing Director of Cambridge Water (part of South Staffordshire Water Plc) to replace Pete Aspley, Wholesale Director, Cambridge Water on the WRE Board.
Commenting on the new appointment, Managing Director of WRE, Robin Price said, “Andy brings a wealth of global water industry experience and valuable knowledge to WRE and I’m delighted to welcome him to the Board at a critical time as we work with our stakeholders to co-create the first draft of the long-term, multi-sector integrated water resources plan for Eastern England by the end of this year.
Robin added, “I would like to thank Pete for his extensive and valuable contribution and direction on the WRE Board, helping in the transition of WRE from being part of Anglian Water to becoming an independent, not for profit, inclusive organisation with more than 130 cross-sector members”.
Andy commented, “The increasing demand for water, coupled with climate change is putting more stress on our limited supply, so we need to act now to ensure we have enough water both now and in the future. WRE is playing a crucial role in this. I have experience of managing a water-stressed region, from my time as chief operating officer at Sydney Water, so I’m very much looking forward to getting started. It’s an exciting time as I’ll be helping to steer the organisation through its next stage of development including the publication of WRE’s first draft plan for the region, also ensuring that it aligns with those of the other Regional Groups to form, for the first time, a coherent, joined up water resources strategy for the whole of England.”