Natural Infrastructure Officer

Plymouth City Council

Plymouth, Devon

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

Reference: PLA/1080

Sectors: marine conservation, sustainability

Closing date: Sunday, 5th April 2020   6 days left

Natural Infrastructure Officer
Grade E (£22,911 - £25,295 ) / Grade F (£26,317 - £28,785)
Location: Ballard House, Plymouth
Fixed term contract until 31 December 2022
Ref: PLA/1080

Are you passionate about protecting the environment? Would you like to become part of an exciting project to reduce plastic pollution in Plymouth?

This is your chance to play a major part in delivering ‘Preventing Plastic Pollution’, a €14m project involving 18 partners from France and England, to remove and prevent plastic pollution in Plymouth as one of seven pilot areas.  

Plymouth City Council is a key partner in ‘Preventing Plastic Pollution’, a three-year project supporting work to develop a model to gather data on the amount and likely sources of plastic pollution within the Tamar. Preventing Plastic Pollution will use technical experts from both France and England to map where plastic is accumulating, work with volunteer citizen scientists to help understand the extent and source of the plastic, and work across sectors to influence behaviour change. 

We are therefore looking for someone to help with the delivery of this project in Plymouth which will involve:

  • Working with key project partners to develop a robust and sustainable model to gather data on plastic pollution
  • Running community events and engaging effectively with communities, recreational users, businesses and schools to support the plastic-free agenda
  • Co-ordinating surveys to, and assisting with the delivery of, a shared GIS system to map plastic pollution data
  • Trialling and evaluating innovative marine devices
  • Working across sector to develop frameworks for industry best practice
  • Raising awareness and promoting the project to ensure local involvement and support
  • Using developed problem-solving skills to find solutions for problems which can at times be of complex nature to include negotiation skills.
  • Assisting with the management of the project, liaising with the other partners and keeping all records as necessary.

The individual will need to demonstrate:

  • An appropriate qualification, or working towards an appropriate qualification, and a passion for the environment
  • Knowledge and understanding of marine environmental legislation and guidance
  • Demonstrable experience of supporting complex partnership and working with a variety of stakeholders from different sectors
  • Ability to prioritise and manage the individual’s workload according to set deadlines
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications
  • Project management and community-based working knowledge would be desirable
  • Ability to work as part of a team and to work towards deadlines
  • Good communication skills and knowledge of using PC applications including Microsoft Office and GIS mapping systems.

You will part of the ‘Environment Planning’ Team in Plymouth City Council; a dynamic and energetic team of over 40 staff who deliver environmental projects across the city, oversee the management of the green estate, lead on low carbon projects, deliver collaborative marine management, undertake environmental planning and provide environmental input into the planning system. Key current priorities include delivering the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park, addressing plastic pollution and developing a new approach to green estate management. 

Key Accountabilities

  • Leading, facilitating and empowering partnerships to enable the delivery of key NI projects and initiatives and in particular the Preventing Plastic Pollution Project.
  • Leading work to build the capacity of communities to engage with natural spaces. This will include a programme of innovative and inclusive events working with waterfront communities and delivering interventions that encourage more people to take an active role in managing their local area to prevent plastic pollution, and in particular litter from entering the marine environment. This will also involve developing new material and utilising social media to promote the work and facilitating community involvement in natural space improvements.
  • Managing a process of change around the profile, perception and the quality of Plymouth’s natural spaces especially in relation to plastic pollution of the marine environment.
  • Securing the effective stewardship of the natural environment through the provision of specialist environmental management advice to Council departments including street scene and waste services, external organisations including the key partners within the Preventing Plastic Pollution Project (Plymouth University, West Country Rivers Trust, Environment Agency and the members of Plymouth’s Plastic Task Force).
  • Facilitate improvements to the City’s water quality driven by the Water Framework directive and Bathing Water Directive.
  • Project manage the delivery of the Preventing Plastic Pollution (PPP) Project.
  • Establish new ways of working and delivery mechanism for the long-term management of natural infrastructure assets in relation to preventing plastic pollution.
  • Coordinate, mentor, and enable local stakeholders to deliver the PPP Project through the provision of a local link to the emerging national and European best practice as it emerges through the PPP Project and to disseminate the learning from the project via regional, national and European forums.
  • Support research development to record high quality evidence for the PPP Project outcomes and initiatives.
  • Carry out other duties appropriate to the grade of the post.

Key Activities

  • Independently assesses project strategies that are more complex in relation to their NI and/or community impacts and mitigation measures.
  • Uses developed problem-solving skills to find solutions for problems which at times of a complex nature. Negotiation skills are required to reach agreement over problems or situations where the post holder will have to encourage others to adopt a course of action that they may not initially agree with.
  • Appraises proposals against legislation, policy and best practice and where there is a conflict, works with interested parties.
  • Delivers the PPP Project as a partnership initiative that promotes and support Natural Infrastructure outcomes.
  • Delivers public consultation, events and information exercises as they relate to the PPP Project.
  • Supports the Council’s representation, as appropriate, in regional, sub-regional and even European meetings relating to the PPP Project.
  • Provides a significant role in supporting the development of the evidence base and community engagement best practice as it relates to the PPP Project.
  • Represents the department and the PPP Project at public meetings, Area Committees, Delegation Meetings, Scrutiny Panels and informal hearings and assists in presenting evidence as expert witness.
  • Proactively seeks improvements to the delivery of the PPP Project.

To discuss this position further please contact Kaja Curry, on 01752 304339 before Friday 6 March 2020.

To apply for this role please visit and follow the links to the online recruitment system.

Closing date: Sunday 5 April 2020. 

Please mention when responding to this ad.