Thank you for your interest in our organisation and in becoming part of the new Corporate Management Team here at Wealden.
With 60% of our District being protected land, including the renowned Ashdown Forest in the north of the district and Pevensey Levels in the south, its market towns, award winning villages and beautiful landscape, Wealden is a great place to live and to work. However, it’s not without its challenges. With 160,000 residents spread across 323 square miles, much of it rural, Wealden serves a community of communities, each with their own distinct characteristics, needs and aspirations.
As the incoming Director, you will inherit a strong legacy and a healthy ambition. It’s not by mistake that Wealden is in a good financial position compared to many local authorities and, through a decade or more of carefully managed spending, the Council has embraced innovation and technology in order to maintain, improve and tailor services to our customers.
Wealden is not a place for standing still. With the challenge of the ratio of house prices to average local incomes being comparable to some parts of London, we have created a housing company to deliver new homes for local people. We pride ourselves on maintaining strong links with neighbouring authorities with several shared services. With a need to be commercial and avoid placing the burden of reduced Government funding on the local taxpayer and to increase our income generation, we have invested in a new crematorium to be opened early next year. In shaping the future of our largest market town, Hailsham, to make it fit for future generations, we have recently purchased a shopping centre in the town centre with exciting opportunities to regenerate the high street to reflect changing shopping trends, provide new housing and open up a leisure space which can be valued, vibrant and enjoyed by all.
As one of two Directors supporting me, you will bring strong leadership and your own brand of dynamism to our senior management team and the enthusiastic and dedicated team of staff in the Community and Customer Services Directorate. The delivery of much needed housing, a new waste contract and the extension of digital services are just some of the challenges which lie ahead. But it is also an exciting time to join as you will also have a chance to help shape our new senior management team when I move permanently into my new role as Chief Executive, and my colleague Isabel Garden takes on a new Directorate portfolio and the Deputy Chief Executive role.
Our achievements and ambition reflect the enormous commitment, energy and determination of our officers, elected Members and partners; all working together. The relationship between Members and officers is one of mutual respect, professionalism and ambition to deliver for our residents.
This is not a role for someone looking for an easy life. Sustaining those relationships, the momentum, the innovation, the carefully built trust and confidence across our District and continuing to deliver valued and quality services demands someone special. Someone who has vision, energy, enthusiasm, creativity, resilience and a determined focus on delivery.
If that’s you, I look forward to your application and the opportunity of working together.
Trevor Scott, Acting Chief Executive