Chair appointed to Northern Ireland Transport and Holding Company

Regional Development Minister, Danny Kennedy, has announced the appointment of Frank Hewitt, a current member of the NITHC Board, as the new Chair of the Board of Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (NITHC).

NITHC is a Public Corporation with responsibility for oversight of Translink in terms of support, control and supervision.

Frank Hewitt will take up the appointment as Chair on 1 July 2015 for four years until 30 June 2019. He has served as a Non Executive Director on the NITHC Board from October 2011.

Minister Kennedy said: “I congratulate Frank Hewitt on his appointment to this important post.

“Frank has a good understanding of the issues facing NITHC. He has experience in managing significant budgets and working with Ministers.

“I am confident that his experience, combined with his strong negotiation and influencing skills will be of great benefit to the company in these challenging times and contribute to the continued provision of quality transport services.”

Paying tribute to the current Chair, John Trethowan, whose term ends on 30 June 2015, the Minister, said: “John will continue to make a valued contribution to the success of Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company during the remainder of his tenure and I take this opportunity to place on record my thanks to him for his leadership and commitment.”

The appointment has been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland Code of Practice.

Notes to editors:

1. The Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (NITHC) is a Public Corporation which was established by the Transport Act (NI) 1967. Its responsibilities include holding and managing property assets and the oversight, in terms of support, control and supervision, of its private limited subsidiary companies, the principal ones being Ulsterbus, Metro (previously Citybus) and Northern Ireland Railways, trading jointly as Translink. It is expected to operate commercially and has a duty to operate in line with Ministerial policy.

2. The NITHC Board currently has a membership of a Chair, five Non Executive Members and two Executive Members. The Chair of Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company will receive remuneration of £35,000 per annum based on anticipated attendance of two to three business days each week.

3. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. Frank Hewitt has declared that he is not involved in any political activities.

4. Frank Hewitt has been a member of the NITHC board since October 2011 for which he received remuneration of £12,165 per annum based on five days per month. He has held a range of other public appointments at Chair and Member level. He is a former Chair of the Northern Ireland Science Park and a former non executive board member of Invest NI. Since 2010 he has been a non executive member of the UK board of the Big Lottery and Chair of the BIG Lottery Northern Ireland Country Committee. He receives remuneration of £24,000 per annum for this post. He has been a non-executive board member of the Strategic Investment Board since November 2011 for which he receives £11,000 per annum for 2-3 days per month. He was Honorary Consul for the Federal Republic of Germany from 2004 until 2014. This post was not remunerated.