Thank you for your interest in joining Dartford as we continue to transform our Borough.
This council has a record of real achievement and a profile within national and regional government that creates a place where talented people want to work and stay. We recruit for the long-term and have been rewarded over the years with low executive turnover, political stability and a genuinely collaborative working atmosphere.
This recruitment arises from a review of our executive management arrangements following the passing of our highly regarded Managing Director, Graham Harris. Graham served the Borough with style and distinction for more than 20 years and created a legacy of vision, decency and financial responsibility Thanks in no small part to him, we are in a good financial position that leaves us not facing a period of austerity or withdrawal of services but one of opportunities and properly managed recovery to continue to serve our residents and businesses well.
Our review led us to a natural move to a three person executive management group, comprising the existing Director of Internal Services alongside two externally facing Directors. Dartford Borough Council may be a small authority, but it punches well above its weight in terms of the ambitions we realise, the importance to the region's growth agenda and the nationally significant assets we are host to: everything from the Dartford River Crossing, Bluewater, an international high speed rail station, Ebbsfleet Garden City, the proposed London Resort theme park and one of the UK’s largest trading and logistical hubs. Today, we are in the midst of one of the largest town centre regeneration programmes in the region.
High profile projects are nice, but you will be expected to be equally passionate about the work we do to deliver improved facilities and opportunities to residents. In recent years we have delivered an award winning eco-football stadium, a town cricket pavilion, the regeneration of our Edwardian Park, a new Rugby Club and the transformation of leisure centres and heritage buildings.
Here in Dartford, we certainly hear the calling of our obligations as a high growth are area and unique location for business, but the voices of our residents (new and existing) are louder still. Everything we do must generate a benefit and an opportunity for Dartford people, businesses and families.
If you are smart enough for these roles, you will be smart enough to know that a Council Leader will always paint an encouraging picture of the prospects, opportunities and sheer sense of possibilities presented by working for a friendly, stable and interesting Council. This time it’s true. Dartford really IS at the heart of so many things and our council IS collaborative, focused and successful. That’s why it matters so much who joins us.
I hope this introduction to Dartford has fired your enthusiasm and you choose to apply for one of the roles on offer. Please register your interest with our consultants at HAYS Executive and I hope we get the opportunity to meet as the recruitment process unfolds.
Jeremy Kite MBE
Leader of Dartford Borough Council
Dartford is a busy and high-profile town 18 miles east of central London. The Borough of Dartford comprises the main town settlement and several rural and semi-rural communities set in beautiful Kent countryside. Our strategic location close to London, the M25 and with world-class high speed international rail and community infrastructure has seen the Borough become a huge focus for growth. We benefit from excellent primary, secondary and further education provision and high levels of employment and earnings.
Leisure and culture is increasingly well provided for in a number of parks, open spaces and live performance facilities including The Orchard Theatre, the Mick Jagger Centre and the Council’s own outdoor theatre. The town’s 26 acre Central Park (one of two main parks close to the centre) has undergone a £multi-million Edwardian restoration and now offers a new bandstand, cafe and extensive gardens. Recent investment has boosted sports and leisure provision to include Fairfield leisure, an award winning eco-football stadium and new facilities for cricket, rugby and athletics. Before Covid, our town boasted a full calendar of events and activities for local people including an annual Festival, Children’s Book Festival, outdoor theatre season, free cinema in the Park, Christmas events and parades to celebrate St George’s Day and the Festival of Light.
Dartford has a proud industrial history; the country’s first paper mill was built in the town in 1588 and iron making was for centuries a critical part of the local economy. While our economy has changed beyond recognition, our unemployment rate is much lower than the national average, and our largest employer is the Bluewater Shopping Centre, employing nearly 7000 people. There are also many exciting regeneration projects helping to shape the borough’s future, and our proximity and transport links to London mean we are an attractive commuter option.
Whatever assets, landscape and facilities we may boast, there is nothing more important than Dartford’s people. We are looking for people at every level who understand and appreciate the ambitions and demands of a real community.
Our Values and Behaviours
The challenges affecting local government in the 21st century are enormous and require a set of new approaches by Councils, to service delivery and to customer engagement. In response, we developed a competency framework to provide employees of the Council with a clear statement of the skills and behaviours needed to sustain continuous improvement in service delivery. Our 12 leadership competencies are:
Personal Impact | Operating effectively at individual, group and Council levels with the wider community
Influencing & Negotiating | Builds effective relationships Influences others to gain support for ideas and commitment for particular courses of action
Communication | The ability to communicate in effective and compelling manner
Strategic Focus & Corporate Focus | Having an outward looking, long-term approach to develop and deliver the vision for the Council. Taking responsibility for the direction and performance of the Council as a whole
Managing Change | Understands and applies sound principles for the management of change
Managing for Results | Working consistently to set and achieve objectives by establishing a culture of outcome-focused working
Partnership Working | Developing partnerships to support shared objectives and achieve collaborative working
Community Engagement | Committed to engaging with stakeholders to continuously review and improve services
Managing People Performance | Committed to developing and maintaining a high performing workforce
Managing Projects & Resources | Ensuring projects contribute towards the Council’s objectives and that the capacity/capability is available to deliver these
Customer Focused Delivery | Ensuring that the service is focused on the needs of the customer
Political Knowledge & Sensitivity | Working with and supporting members to understand the impact on the Council of political interests and the wider agenda. Understanding members’ issues
Dartford has transformed over the last ten years, as part of the Thames Gateway growth area. As a local authority we have been at the forefront of this transformation, working in partnership to drive new investment, secure new homes and advance the regeneration of our town centre. We have changed as a Council too, modernising our services to reflect the changing communities we serve and to meet their aspirations for Dartford as the place to live, work and visit.
We have delivered a great deal but there is so much more that we want to do for our place and our communities. We have re-imagined our Council’s executive management team, creating two, externally facing Director roles that, together with the Council’s Director of Corporate Services, will provide the capacity, expertise and leadership to secure our ambitions for Dartford./p>
Director of Growth & Community
Our Director of Growth & Community will secure the realisation of our exciting plans for the Borough’s places and infrastructure, working with landowners, developers and other key partners. You will help drive the economic success of the Borough, creating the conditions for inward investment and promoting Dartford as a premier destination for business. To succeed in this role we would expect you to bring successful experience in a leadership role in property and development, as well as enthusiasm to take on a wider portfolio of services that promote community wellbeing and cohesion in the Borough.
Director of Housing & Public Protection
Our Director of Housing & Public Protection will lead and develop our housing services, including our new build programme and housing management for our 4000 Council Homes. You will also take the lead on the Council’s ‘Planet Dartford’ initiative and oversee a wide range of environment, regulatory and enforcement services that keep our Borough clean, safe and green. We would expect you to bring experience of providing senior strategic leadership to a wide range of front line local government services.
For both roles, your contribution as part of the Council’s executive management team will be as important as your professional expertise. We will look to you to embody and champion our values and provide the corporate leadership that helps us deliver our vision for the area.
How to apply
How to apply
We want to make the process of applying as straight forward as possible. To this end, we ask that your application consists of the following:
- A covering letter, no more than four pages in length, which addresses and provides evidence against the criteria, set out in the Person Specification. The covering letter provides you with the opportunity to explain your motivation for applying, as well as highlighting how your experience and achievements fit with the requirements of the role. As such, it is an important part of the application process. Please do confirm for which of the two positions you are applying.
- A copy of your most recent and up to date curriculum vitae.
- Please also provide details on two employer referees, which should include your current or most recent employer. Please note that references will not be taken without your permission.
Once you have completed your application, please click on the relevant Apply link to upload your Curriculum Vitae and Covering Letter. All applications will be acknowledged.