Introduction from Peter Nutting, Leader and Steve Charmley, Deputy Leader of the Council
Are you a dynamic and experienced officer who can drive forward Shropshire Council in the challenging post-COVID-19 environment? Can you provide leadership and direction to our 2,500 staff?
If so, an exciting agenda awaits you if you’re appointed as the council’s next Chief Executive.
Among your key challenges will be dealing with the rising costs of adult care, the digital tranformation agenda in the aftermath of the coronavirus - and the need to align the council’s work culture with it - and developing the county’s many and varied town centres and communities.
You will work in one of the UK’s most attractive environments. A predominantly rural area of some 325,000 residents, the Shropshire Council area is one of the most rural and sparsely populated in England, with the West Midlands to the east and Wales to the west.
Its population and economy is centred on the historic county town of Shrewsbury, which is close to the centre of the county, while other towns include Oswestry in the northwest, Bridgnorth in the southeast and Ludlow in the south. The county also has many market towns, including Whitchurch, Market Drayton and Ellesmere in the north, Shifnal in the east, and Church Stretton in the south.
Because the county is such an attractive destination it means a substantial number of retirees moving into its towns and villages from the urban West Midlands. Inevitably, therefore, mounting adult care costs are a challenge for the council, increasing by £10m a year. Out of the council’s £600m gross turnover, £400m goes on adult’s and children’s social services
The long-term impact of the coronavirus is likely to mean more Shropshire Council staff based at home and working remotely.
This also means both an acceleration in digital change as more employees work remotely and also a culture change by staff with a greater focus on the communities they serve.
Economic growth is a priority in the largely rural county where 98% of businesses are small enterprises, while the council has also set up its own housing company, Cornovii Developments.
The council’s wholly-owned arm’s length housing organisation, Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing, has managed its homes in Oswestry and Bridgnorth since its creation in 2013.
Shropshire Council has a very large and ambitious programme of development and change over the coming years and we are looking for a Chief Executive who can lead this exciting agenda. For example, the council purchased Shrewsbury’s three main shopping centres – Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside – in January 2018 with the primary purpose of supporting the economic growth and regeneration of Shrewsbury town centre. This was an investment that was much needed and will benefit not just Shrewsbury, but the whole county.
Council Leader Councillor Peter Nutting says:
“Shropshire is an ageing county as lot of people retire here and adult care represents 50% of our annual budget, so the new Chief Executive will need to focus on this sector as well as work closely with health partners.
“Alongside digital transformation we must change the council’s culture, make it more public facing and community-focused so the new Chief Executive will also need to drive forward the organisation.
“And we’re looking for someone who isn’t risk averse as commercial activity is one of our priorities. We also need someone who has a strong understanding of place.”
Peter Nutting, Leader of the Council Steve Charmley, Deputy Leader of the Council