Director of Place and Communities

Location: Chicksands, Shefford
Salary: Circa £130,000
Reference: A000031
Deadline: Closed

About the Role

Last year we engaged with hundreds of Central Bedfordshire residents, businesses and organisations, asking them to imagine what the world will be like in 30-years’ time and how they want Central Bedfordshire to be in the future.  The result: A powerful new vision setting out our shared ambitions for the area and our communities.  Whilst our recent efforts have been focused on supporting our communities through the immediate public health emergency, the vision will be integral to shaping our priorities and plans for the area to ensure it continues to be a place to prosper, a place to be proud of and a place people want to call home.

Enjoying a strategic location at the heart of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc with outstanding transport links both nationally and internationally, Central Bedfordshire has enjoyed some of the fastest economic growth rates in the country.   It is well placed to benefit from the post-pandemic economic recovery and capitalise on new ways of working that embrace technology and the increasingly digital world.

This role has responsibility for many of the key assets and powers that a local authority can deploy to help create the conditions for successful and thriving communities from infrastructure and development to planning and the environment. Outstanding leadership and experience of innovative service improvement, developing strong relationships with a variety of stakeholders and effectively dealing with and managing growth can be developed in different settings.  That is why we are keen and open minded to see applications from candidates working in a broad range of sectors and not simply those from within local government. We are looking for an inspirational leader who demonstrates that they can think strategically and influence widely, whilst ensuring our teams and those of our partners deliver the services our residents need in a commercially aware and sustainable way.  

You will influence the shape and direction of outcomes and services.  You will manage a group of services and are accountable for managing budgets, resources and people. 

This is a unique opportunity to join our high performing team of senior officers and elected members, totally focused on helping to make Central Bedfordshire a great place to live and work, and an organisation with the financial strength, resilience and capacity to make a real difference.

About You

Key outcomes and accountabilities – generic

  • Develops, shapes and influences strategies and business models aligning with the Council’s plans, visions and statutory obligations to achieve improved outcomes and better public services for local residents
  • Articulates the Council’s strategic goals through excellent leadership and influence, providing direction and clarity to others to help ensure staff and partners understand and support the strategic aims of the Council
  • Drives organisational performance through innovation, challenging perspectives and embracing opportunities to maximise the benefits for our residents 
  • Oversees financial, performance and risk management, people and change management within the Council, planning and deploying resources to deliver priorities
  • Steers major organisational programmes at pace to ensure the achievement of agreed outcomes
  • Embodies the Council’s values and commitment to Inclusion through tangible actions and leadership

Initial key areas of focus

  • Developing a clear and coherent overarching place-based strategy for Central Bedfordshire
  • Ensuring plans, programmes and projects reflect corporate priorities and that they are delivered as expeditiously as possible
  • Economic development and recovery in the post pandemic environment and within the context of the Oxford/Cambridge Arc
  • Quickly developing strong relationships both internally and externally with a wide range of individuals, partners and influencers, including local businesses
  • Continual service improvement and delivery, particularly in areas such as Highways
  • Dealing with and managing growth

Special Conditions

This position has been identified as a politically restricted post under the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. Therefore, you will be restricted from political activity.


Indicative Timetable

Closing date for applications:  Monday 22 March 2021

Longlisting preliminary and technical initial assessments:  Monday 22 March to 30 March 2021

Longlist Meeting: 30 March 2021

Preliminary/Technical Interviews: W/c 05 April 2021 

Interviews will be conducted virtually using MS Teams.  

Shortlist Meeting: 15 April 2021

Shortlisting Assessment Centre: W/c 19 April 2021

Candidates invited to interview will be asked to undertake a variety of assessments and will interact with several key stakeholder groups.

Final Interview: 29 April 2021

A final interview with an Appointment Panel, which will involve a presentation and set of formal interview questions.  It is hoped that these interviews will be conducted in person however, it is subject to Covid-19 restrictions and details will be confirmed with successful candidates accordingly.  


Dawn Faulkner
T: 0121 312 3755

Martin Tucker
T: 0113 532 5900


To apply for this job please submit your CV, a Supporting Statement (no more than four sides of A4), a completed Candidate Application Form and a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form to quoting: ‘Vacancy: Director of Place and Communities, Reference: A000031’.

Download candidate application form Download

Download equal opportunities form     Download

Your Supporting Statement should address the criteria set out in the ‘Experience’ section of the person specification using examples to demonstrate how you meet as many of the essential requirements as possible. Please note the indicative timetable above and let us know if there are any dates when you are not available. Please also provide the names and contact details of two referees, one of whom should be your current or most recent employer. If you do not wish us to approach your referees without your prior permission, then you should state this clearly.