Lord Newton to chair ChangeUp advisory board

Former cabinet minister Lord Tony Newton has been unveiled as the new chair of the formal advisory body for the ChangeUp programme.

The Conservative life peer has been selected by the Infrastructure National Partnership to chair the body until March 2008, when the board will be merged with other government advisory groups under a Cabinet Office shake-up.

Newton, the former Secretary of State for Social Security, takes over from Mike Hudson, director of consultancy the Compass Partnership, and will earn a salary equivalent to £10,000 a year for carrying out the role.

The Infrastructure National Partnership provides an official sounding board for Capacitybuilders and government for the ChangeUp infrastructure programme.

Newton is chair of the honours committee for community, voluntary and local services as well as president of Drugscope and energy efficiency charity National Energy Action. He is also chair of Help the Hospices.

One of his priorities will be to help shape the body that is set to succeed the INP. “It will ensure that the best structures are put in place so that the new advisory body is able to give the right advice where it is most needed,” he said.

Justin Davis-Smith, deputy chief executive of Volunteering England and an INP member, welcomed the appointment. “I am confident that his appointment will ensure that its voice as a critical friend to Capacitybuilders and government on infrastructure matters is heard loud and clear,” he said.

Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, said that Lord Newton would bring “a clarity of purpose” to the role.

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