Appointment of the Members of the Board of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency

  18 December 2019
Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, today announced the appointment of Craig Hume, Julie Hutchison, Dr Harpreet Kohli and Philip Matthews as Members of the Board of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

Appointments

Craig Hume heads up Utopia, a computer manufacturer in Ayrshire who have built a reputation for an innovative company culture that puts people and the environment first. Away from Utopia, Mr Hume is a committed supporter of the Living Wage, working for both the Scottish Leadership Team and as a Commissioner for the UK Living Wage Foundation. He joins SEPA with the belief that now is the time for businesses to unite behind SEPA’s One Planet Prosperity strategy.

Julie Hutchison holds a first class degree in Law from the University of Edinburgh and supports charity boards on matters of governance and strategy in her role at Aberdeen Standard Capital. She was a Committee Member of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association and a Trustee of Youth Scotland. Ms Hutchison is a guest lecturer at various universities on themes including cross-sector working, and co-hosts an online community of practice for trustees. Her public sector experience includes a role with the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), where she co-authored new regulatory guidance. She is also the Chair of the Review of Governance of NHS Endowment Funds in Scotland.

Dr Harpreet Kohli retired in March 2017 as Director of Public Health (DPH) and a Board Member of NHS Lanarkshire. He has extensive experience and skills of working in public health and experience of working at a corporate/strategic level and at local national levels. After completing GP vocational training, he trained in public health in Glasgow and then worked as a consultant in public heath medicine in Lanarkshire and NHS Quality Improvement Scotland. Dr Kohli returned to Lanarkshire in 2008 as DPH with responsibility for information governance, resilience, emergency planning and business continuity, health inequalities and leading the public health department. He is a member of the Steering Committee of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems and a Board Trustee of UK-Med, a UK Charity.

Philip Matthews has worked on sustainable development and climate change for over 25 years in the public, private and third sector. He is currently the Executive Director of NuLeAF (Nuclear Legacy Advisory Forum), representing local government on nuclear decommissioning and waste management.  Between 2007 and 2010 he served as the Sustainable Development Commission’s Senior Policy Advisor and Acting Director in Scotland. He was also Director of CAG Consultants and previously held a number of Board positions including Chair of Transform Scotland and Non-Executive Director at Zero Waste Scotland. Mr Matthews holds an honours Degree in Geography from Edinburgh University and a Masters (with Distinction) in Environment Change and Management from Oxford University.

The appointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

Length of term, remuneration and time commitment

The appointments are for four years and run from 1 January 2020 until 31 December 2023. Members of the SEPA Board commit to between a minimum of 24 days and a maximum of 30 days per year for a fee of £287.54 per day.

Other ministerial appointments

Mr Hume, Ms Hutchison, Dr Kohli and Mr Matthews do not hold any other Ministerial appointments.

Political activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.

Mr Hume, Ms Hutchison, Dr Kohli and Mr Matthews have had no political activity in the last five years.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

SEPA has been given a unique and visionary Statutory Purpose: to protect and improve the environment in ways that, as far as possible, also create health and well-being benefits and sustainable economic growth. 

With 1,250 staff, split over 22 offices across Scotland, and a budget of over £80 million, SEPA is responsible for delivering two core services - regulation and flood risk management. As Scotland’s authority for strategic flood risk management, they will implement Scotland’s Flood Risk Management Strategies with their partners, develop new flood warning schemes, and further improve flood forecasting to help people and businesses protect themselves and their property from the impacts of flooding.