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Chief Executive Opportunity Southend Borough Council

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Welcome Section


Dear Candidate

Welcome to Southend

Thank you for considering Southend as the next step in your career.

When we embarked on a fundamental programme of change to our culture and operations in 2018, we wanted to create a Council fit for the future, one that could deliver the 2050 Ambition we developed with our residents.  Despite the tragedies and challenges of the last year, we are in a strong position.  We’ve won awards and achieved amazing things and we could not be prouder of our people.  We have transformed some of our key frontline and support services.   We have embedded new policies and ways of working that encourage collaborative, one council approaches.  Major regeneration projects are underway across the Borough.

Moving forward, economic recovery, reopening businesses and maintaining the safety of our community are our key priorities. Of equal importance, we will invest in our environment and deliver our 2030 net zero target.  Our new Chief Executive will make sure the strategies and plans we have in place are acted upon, that the outcomes we want are delivered.  You will grip performance across all areas within the Council, ensuring consistently high levels of quality and delivery.  In a changing, yet positive partnership landscape, you will be an important voice at the table, ensuring that Southenders’ needs and expectations are prioritised.

You will build on the work we have done to create a modern Council culture, making us more agile, more efficient, more entrepreneurial and more engaged.  Our corporate values have already become an integral part of who we are and how we work.  As our new Chief Executive, you will help us pursue our direction of travel with pace and purpose, to a future where all Southenders live, learn and work in a prosperous, confident and well-connected city.

If you are curious to find out more, contact Mark at HAYS Executive.  Should you decide to pursue your interest further, I would be delighted to speak with you.  An outstanding Council is vital to the health, wellbeing and prosperity of all our residents; if you feel you can contribute then please get in touch.

Yours faithfully

Cllr Ian Gilbert

Leader, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

Ian Gilbert

About Section

About us

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council – working to make lives better.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council employs around 1,700 staff, who work together to deliver a wide range of services that meet the needs of those who live, work and visit Southend-on-Sea.

The Council provides a range of vital services at the heart of the community, as well as investing in exciting and ambitious projects that keep Southend-on-Sea firmly on the map.

The Council is ambitious for the future of Southend-on-Sea. It is working with local partners and local communities to ensure we deliver our exciting ambition for 2050. Find out more about our 2050 vision.

2050 Vision Section

2050 Vision

Our resident and stakeholder-led 2050 ambition:

During 2018 an important conversation happened across Southend-on-Sea called ‘Southend 2050’.

Southend 2050, has been an opportunity to explore what kind of place we all want Southend-on-Sea to become and to understand what we all need to do to create it.

Thousands of people have participated across the borough, through numerous events, workshops, forums and surveys.

The feedback from Southend 2050 has shown some clear messages about the kind of Borough we all want, and this has been used to develop a long term ambition for Southend-on-Sea.

The year is 2050. How does our borough, Southend-on-Sea, look and feel?

Inevitably the place has changed a lot since the early years of the century, but we’ve always kept sight of what makes Southend-on-Sea special. Prosperous and connected, but with a quality of life to match, Southend-on-Sea has led the way in how to grow a sustainable, inclusive city that has made the most of the life enhancing benefits of new technologies.

It all starts here – where we are known for our creativity, our cheek, our just-get-on with-it independence and our welcoming sense of community. And so, whilst the growth of London and its transport network has made the capital feel closer than ever, we cherish our estuary identity – with a seafront that still entertains and a coastline, from Shoebury garrison to the fishing village of Old Leigh, which always inspires. We believe it’s our contrasts that give us our strength and ensures that Southend has a vibrant character of its own.

People are proud of where they live – the historic buildings and well-designed new developments, the seafront and the open spaces. The city centre has generated jobs, homes and leisure opportunities, whilst the Borough’s focal centres all offer something different and distinctive. With its reputation for creativity and culture, as well as the draw of the seaside, Southend-on-Sea is a place that residents and visitors can enjoy in all seasons. Above all we continue to cherish our coastline as a place to come together, be well and enjoy life.

Public services, voluntary groups, strong community networks and smart technology combine to help people live long and healthy lives. Carefully planned homes and new developments have been designed to support mixed communities and personal independence, whilst access to the great outdoors keeps Southenders physically and mentally well. Effective, joined up enforcement ensures that people feel safe when they’re out and high quality care is there for people when they need it.

Southend-on-Sea has grown, but our sense of togetherness has grown with it. That means there’s a culture of serving the community, getting involved and making a difference, whether you’re a native or a newcomer, young or old. This is a place where people know and support their neighbours, and where we all share responsibility for where we live. Southend in 2050 is a place that we’re all building together – and that’s what makes it work for everyone.

Southend-on-Sea and its residents benefit from being close to London, but with so many options to build a career or grow a business locally, we’re much more than a commuting town. Affordability and accessibility have made Southend-on-Sea popular with start-ups, giving us the edge in developing our tech and creative sectors, whilst helping to keep large, established employers investing in the borough. People here feel valued, nurtured and invested in. This means that they have a love of learning, a sense of curiosity and are ready for school, employment and the bright and varied life opportunities ahead of them.

Southend-on-Sea is a leading digital city and an accessible place. It is easy to get to and get around, with easy parking for residents, visitors and businesses. Everyone can get out to enjoy the borough’s thriving city centre, its neighbourhoods and its open spaces. Older people can be independent for longer. It is also easy to get further afield with quick journey times into the capital and elsewhere. Our airport has continued to thrive, opening up new business and leisure opportunities overseas – but it has done so in balance with the local environment.

Southend-on-Sea – it all starts here.

5 year road map

The Opportunity Section

The opportunity

Southend-on-Sea is a place like no other. And what a place to live, work and play. A vibrant, entrepreneurial place, with a burgeoning cultural scene, we are a place of escapism and fun, where the underground meets the mainstream. Our vision, impact, and potential are limitless. Forget the norm. Forget expectations. Forget the beaten path. Southend is the alternative seaside experience.

For such a unique place we need a special Chief Executive. Someone who can deliver results today while steering us toward our vision for 2050. Your ability to drive performance in the here and now, as a truly values-based leader, will be your most important quality.

Working collaboratively, inclusively, and inspirationally across the Council and with our partners, businesses and stakeholders will be second nature to you. We are fiercely proud of our place and our people and know we have everything we need to meet our ambitions. Come to Southend and make the extraordinary happen.

How to apply

We want to make the process of applying as straightforward 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.
  • 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.

Recruitment timetable

Closing date: Monday 14th June

Preliminary Interviews (via MS Teams): w/c 21st June

Officer and Stakeholder Panels: w/c 5th July

Final Member Panel: w/c 12th July

Further information

For an informal conversation about Southend-on-Sea, please contact Mark Bearn of Hays Executive on 07872 672290 or email


Key Documents Section