Former House of Commons and National Assembly clerk Paul Silk has been appointed chair of Glas Cymru’s selection panel for its independent members.

Glas Cymru, the not-for-profit owner of Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, recruits independent members on a regular basis to “play a key governance role” in overseeing Welsh Water’s performance.

Silk, who also chaired the Commission on Devolution in Wales between 2011 and 2014, will replace Glyn Mathias, former political editor at ITN and BBC Wales, who is retiring after five years in the role.

Welsh Water said members carry out a similar governance role to shareholders in other companies. They hold the board of directors to account but do not receive payment or dividends.

There are 65 members performing this role at the company with a variety of skills, experience and interest in Welsh Water’s work.

Silk works with several parliaments abroad on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and Global Partners Governance.

He said: “Welsh Water’s unique operating model means that the independent members play a crucial role in ensuring the company continues to work towards its vision of earning the trust of its customers every day.

“I am eager to play my part in attracting a balanced and diverse membership that reflects our communities and collectively has the necessary skills and experience to carry out this important governance role.”

Glas Cymru chairman, Alastair Lyons, added: “Sir Paul’s extensive experience will ensure that we continue to attract and recruit talented members who can effectively oversee the work of Welsh Water – which is crucial as we prepare to enter a new five-year investment period from 2020.

“His extensive experience will help us ensure the highest standards of governance by attracting and recruiting the best talent for our membership and I look forward to working with him in the coming years.

“I would also thank Glyn Mathias for his tireless work over the last five years which has ensured that the membership has been excellent at holding the company to account on behalf of its customers – and to wish him well for the future.”