Thank you for your interest in this significant role.
There could not be a more important time to join West Sussex County Council. We are making steady headway on an improvement journey that places residents, customers and partners at the heart of everything we do.
I took up the role of Leader at the end of 2019, just before the pandemic, and I am hugely proud of our exemplary response to this unprecedented challenge. We were able to support residents, staff, communities and businesses, without being diverted from our fundamental commitment to improving outcomes for West Sussex residents.
We have made significant progress in the past four years, including milestone improvements in Children’s Services and Fire and Rescue Services. Moreover, a new four-year corporate plan is now in place to sustain this improvement culture. However, as we build on our achievements and ensure these changes are sustainable for the longer term, we recognise that there is always more to do.
Like many councils, our work in 2024 will begin with a challenging set of budget decisions. While we will continue to protect and invest in vital services, we will also ensure they deliver value for money and clearly contribute to the four priorities in Our Council Plan, together with our underlying commitment to protecting the environment. We will continue to lobby national government for fairer funding settlements that benefit communities in our county.
West Sussex is a great place to live and work. We are ambitious for the residents, communities and businesses of our county, as well as for ourselves as an organisation, and for all our partners. We are confident that we can continue to respond positively as we deliver our improvement work.
I am looking forward to meeting candidates with significant experience, credibility, creativity, passion and resilience. You will bring an impressive ability to inspire and lead colleagues across the council, as well as deepening and extending our culture of positive collaboration both with our staff and our wide range of partners. Your track record must demonstrate an absolute focus on innovative improvement, and you will communicate a distinctive, compelling vision for what we can all achieve together.