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News story: Chair appointed to Public Weather Service Customer Group

The purpose of the Public Weather Service (PWS) is to help protect lives, property and infrastructure from the impacts of severe weather and through the exploitation of weather information and services contribute to economic growth in the UK. The PWS Customer Group (PWSCG) is the body which acts as the customer for the PWS on behalf of the public and the public sector. It is independent of government and has an independent Chair who is responsible to a minister.

Duncan Potts said:

I am delighted to have been appointed by the Minister to take on this important role as Chair of the PWSCG. The weather touches all our lives every day and accurate, timely and trusted weather forecasts provide a significant benefit to people and businesses across the UK.

In my role, I will ensure that the delivery of the Public Weather Service meets the needs of all who benefit from these crucial Met Office services.

This includes the important work of our responder community keeping citizens safe in times of need, to services that underpin safe aviation and the operations of our armed forces. I very much look forward to working closely with a range of government stakeholders, representatives of the general public and members of the PWSCG.

About Duncan Potts

Vice Admiral Duncan Laurence Potts CB is a retired senior Royal Navy officer, most recently working as Director of Universal Defence and Security Solutions Ltd.

Duncan was educated at Wellington School, Somerset before joining the Navy in 1979. After initial training at Britannia Royal Naval College, and at sea, he studied Systems and Management at the City University, London.

Duncan went on to be Captain Navy Plans and then military assistant to the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff at the Ministry of Defence. He was appointed Commander of the United Kingdom Task Group in 2007 and Assistant Chief of Staff at Permanent Joint Headquarters in 2009. He became Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces in January 2011 and Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Capability) and Controller of the Navy in April 2013.

Duncan was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the 2014 Birthday Honours, and made director general of Joint Force Development and director general of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, with the rank of vice admiral.

He is a graduate of the Higher Command and Staff Course and Royal College of Defence Studies, a fellow of the Windsor Leadership Trust and a Younger Brother of Trinity House.

About the PWSCG

The PWSCG provides independent advice to government ministers to enable the formal agreement of the PWS Customer-Supplier Agreement (CSA) between government and the Met Office. Its objectives are:

  • setting the requirements and outputs of the PWS
  • consulting widely with the public and other stakeholders to ensure these requirements meet current and future needs
  • setting performance measures and monitoring performance of PWS outputs
  • assessing the value for money for the PWS
  • agreeing provision of funding for the PWS

Terms of reference

The role of Chair

The Chair is responsible for ensuring the effective operation of the PWSCG, which includes:

  • setting out the delivery and performance levels
  • representing the interests of the group in government initiatives
  • ensuring PWS funds are spent with due regard to economy, efficiency and value for money
  • raising the profile of the PWS and maximising its impact across the UK

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