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Public Weather Service Customer Group

The Public Weather Service Customer Group (PWSCG) is an independent body which acts as the customer on behalf of the public for free at the point of use weather services and on behalf of Public Sector users of Public Weather Service (PWS) outputs. It also provides independent advice to Government ministers to enable the formal agreement of the PWS Customer Supplier Agreement (CSA) between the Government and the Met Office.

Public Weather Service

The Public Weather Service provides a coherent range of weather information and weather-related warnings that enable the UK public and professional bodies to make informed decisions in their day-to-day activities, to optimise or mitigate against the impact of the weather, and to contribute to the protection of life, property and basic infrastructure. The PWS also provides research, forecast and observational data which are essential inputs to a wide range of Met Office services.

Membership of the PWSCG

The membership of the Public Weather Service Customer Group is drawn from the main public sector users of PWS outputs, other funders of the PWS and interested Government departments and includes a public appointment, by the Chairman, to represent the public users of the PWS who is referred to as the Independent Member of the PWSCG.A representation of a table showing the members of the PWSCG which includes: Duncan Potts, Independent Chair; Dee Payne, Cabinet Office; Agostinho Sousa, UK Health Security Agency; Ian Collins, Local Government Association; Eli Johnson, PWSCG DSIT Secretariat; Jim Baird, Scottish Government; Gemma Cox and David O'Connor, National Highways; Kim Shillinglaw, Independent Member; Cdr Matthew Steele, Ministry of Defence; Eleanor Clarke and Andrew Colenut, Maritime and Coastguard Agency; Andy Wells, Civil Aviation Authority; Paul RIches, PWSCG Secretariat DSIT; Peter Davison, Department for LEvelling Up, Housing and Communities; James Shapland Hd PWSCG Secretariat DSIT; Andrew Brown, Environment Agency; James Kelly, Northern Ireland Government; Christopher Field and Daniel Thomas, Welsh Government; Ben Brook, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service; Shaun West, Emergency Services: National Police Chiefs Council.

Name Organisation
Duncan Potts Independent Chair
James Shapland Hd PWSCG Secretariat, Department for Science Innovation and Technology (DSIT)
Paul Riches PWSCG Secretariat, DSIT
Eli Johnson PWSCG Secretariat, DSIT
Kim Shillinglaw Independent Member
Dee Payne Cabinet Office
Agostinho Sousa UK Health Security Agency
Ian Collins Local Government Association
Jim Baird Scottish Government
Gemma Cox  National Highways
David O'Connor National Highways
Cdr Matthew Steele Ministry of Defence
Eleanor Clarke Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)
Andrew Colenut Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)
Andy Wells Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
Peter Davison Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communitites
Andrew Brown

Environment Agency

James Kelly Northern Ireland Government
Christopher Field Welsh Government
Daniel Thomas Welsh Government
Ben Brook Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service
Shaun West Emergency Services: National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC)

The Chair of the group will be a public appoinment made by a Government Minister and is the single point within the PWSCG accountable to the Minister. Their responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring the proper execution of the PWSCG Terms of Reference;
  • Keeping the PWSCG Terms of Reference under regular review and proposing any changes to the appropriate Government minister;
  • Formally approving the PWS Customer Supplier Agreement, and formally notifying the Met Office on behalf of the PWSCG as to the extent to which the Met Office has delivered the Agreement;
  • Representing the interests of the PWSCG during Government Spending Reviews and in any other relevant cross-Government initiatives;
  • Negotiating the PWS price with the funding Government Department and the Met Office, if necessary, to ensure appropriate financial provision for the PWS;
  • Ensuring that PWS funds are spent with due regard to economy, value for money and the Government's drive for efficiency;
  • Raising the profile of the PWS across the Government and devolved administrations, including increasing the integration of the PWS in wider Government initiatives and increasing the impact of the PWS across the UK;
  • Reporting on the activities of the PWSCG and the delivery of the PWS to the Departmental Owners and Met Office Board;
  • Providing a focal point for all PWSCG correspondence;
  • Maintaining communication with other PWSCG members and Met Office Executive between formal meetings of the PWSCG.

Customer Group responsibilities

The group set the requirements for the PWS, specifying and monitoring its outputs, including the research, forecast and observational data and international commitments required to deliver current and future services. The full list of responsibilities of for the group are as follows:

  • Setting the current and future requirements of the PWS and specifying its outputs, performance indicators and targets.
  • Monitoring the performance and delivery of the PWS outputs against the agreed performance indicators and targets and considering in-period modifications to the PWS as appropriate.
  • Reviewing whether Met Office plans for the underpinning capability and international commitments are appropriately prioritised and have a demonstrable, value for money link to support the delivery of PWS outputs and other direct services to Government, the public sector and civil aviation.
  • Reviewing the socio-economic benefits delivered by the PWS, commissioning additional research as necessary.
  • Supporting cross-Government cooperation to increase the use of PWS outputs and raise issues relevant to wider Government, including through the Chair’s representation on Met Office Governance groups.
  • Providing independent advice to Government ministers on the PWS as required.
  • Consulting widely with the public and the public sector users of the PWS, as appropriate, to effectively undertake its responsibilities above.


Across the year the PWSCG scrutinise and challenge the Met Office to ensure that the Public Weather Service continues to deliver services for the UK public as described in the Customer Supplier Agreement and that the associated performance measures are met.

A summary of this performance can be found in the latest Public Weather Service and Public Weather Service Customer Group combined Annual Report 2022/23 (PDF 2.1MB)