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All the non-executive directors are considered by the board to be independent in character and judgement and no cross-directorships exist between any of the directors.

At no time during the year ended 25 March 2023 did any director hold a material interest, directly or indirectly, in any contract of significance with the Company or any subsidiary undertaking other than the executive directors in relation to their service agreements. The directors have put in place procedures to ensure the board collectively, and the directors individually, comply with the disclosure requirements on conflicts of interest set out in the Companies Act 2006. The interests of the directors in the share capital of the Company and its subsidiary undertakings and their interests under the performance share plan and other share schemes are set out in the remuneration report commencing on Directors Remuneration Report. Save as disclosed in the directors' remuneration report, none of the directors, or any person connected with them, has any interest in the share or loan capital of the Company or any of its subsidiaries.

Directors to stand for election

The Company's articles of association require the directors to offer themselves for re-election at least once every three years. Notwithstanding this, and in accordance with the recommendations of the Code, the Group's policy is that all the directors retire at each AGM and may offer themselves for re-election by shareholders. Accordingly, all of the existing directors whose biographies are set out on Our Board of Directors (other than Tony Osbaldiston, who is retiring) will be standing for re-election at the 2023 AGM.

The board is satisfied that the performance of all of the non-executive directors continues to be effective and that they continue to show commitment to their respective roles. Non-executive directors are not appointed for a fixed term. The terms and conditions of appointment of non-executive directors are available for inspection on request.

Role of the chairman, Chief Executive Officer and senior independent director

The board has agreed a clear division of responsibility between the chairman and Chief Executive Officer and their roles and responsibilities are clearly established and set out in writing.

Severfield board

The board is responsible for providing effective leadership to the Group to create and deliver long-term shareholder value. This includes setting the strategic direction of the Group, reviewing all significant aspects of the Group's activities, overseeing the executive management and reviewing the overall system of internal control and risk management. The board has a formal schedule of matters reserved for it. It is responsible for overall Group strategy, acquisition and divestment policy, approval of major capital expenditure projects and consideration of significant financing matters. It monitors the exposure to key business risks, including environmental and health and safety issues. It reviews the Group's strategic direction, codes of conduct, annual budgets, progress towards achievement of those budgets, significant capital expenditure programmes and the annual and half year results.

The board also considers employee issues and key appointments. It also ensures that all directors receive appropriate training on appointment and then subsequently as appropriate. Other specific responsibilities are delegated to the board's committees described as follows.

Non-executive chairman
Kevin Whiteman
The chairman, Kevin Whiteman, is mainly responsible for managing the business of the board, evaluating its performance and setting the agenda for board meetings to ensure that adequate time is allocated to the discussion of all agenda items, facilitating the effective contribution of all directors. The chairman acts as an ambassador for the Company and provides effective communication between the board and its shareholders.

The chairman, together with the Company secretary, ensures that the directors receive clear information on all relevant matters in a timely manner. Board papers are circulated sufficiently in advance of meetings for them to be thoroughly digested to ensure clarity of informed debate. The board papers contain the Chief Executive Officer's, the Chief Financial Officer's and Chief Operating Officer's written reports, high-level papers on each business area, key metrics and specific papers relating to agenda items. The board papers are accompanied by a management information pack containing detailed financial and other supporting information. The board receives occasional ad hoc papers on matters of particular relevance or importance. The board also receives presentations from various business units and senior managers, including members of the executive committee.
Chief Executive Officer
Alan Dunsmore
As the senior executive of the Company, Alan Dunsmore is responsible to the chairman and the board for directing and prioritising the profitable operation and development of the Group. The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the day-to-day management of the operational activities of the Group, assessing and implementing strategy and implementing the board's decisions.

The Chief Executive Officer chairs an executive committee consisting of the members indicated on Our Executive Committee. This committee assists the main board by focusing on strategic and operational performance matters relating to the business and meets formally on a monthly basis. He also, together with the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, holds quarterly meetings with each of the business unit boards to review all operational issues and meets with an executive risk committee comprising himself, the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and the Group legal director on a weekly basis to discuss any key issues affecting the business.

In addition, he chairs a safety leadership team ('SLT') and a Group human resources ('GHR') meeting once a month, both of which consist of certain other members of the executive management team and business unit managing directors. His is also chair of the sustainability committee which meets every two months to oversee implementation of our sustainability strategy and review progress against our strategic objectives.
Senior independent director
Alun Griffiths
Alun Griffiths is the senior independent non-executive director whose role is to provide a sounding board for the chairman and to serve as an alternative source of advice to the chairman for the other non-executive directors. The senior independent director is available to shareholders if they request a meeting or have concerns, which contact through the normal channels has failed to resolve, or where such contact is inappropriate. He also leads the performance review of the chairman and the board, taking into account the views of the executive directors.
Board committeesThe board has established three standing committees, all of which operate within defined terms of reference, which are available from the Company secretary by request and published on the website.

The committees established are the audit committee, the remuneration committee, and the nominations committee. Trading companies are managed by separate boards of directors. Any matters of a material nature concerning the trading companies are reported to the board on a monthly basis.

Details of the work of the audit, nominations and remuneration committees are set out on Audit Committee Report.