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Head of Finance

  • Employer: Brighton & Hove City Council
  • Reference: orbis/TP/25267/11676
  • Published: Mon 26/04/2021, 0:00 AM
  • Closing on: Sun 16/05/2021, 0:00 AM
  • Working Pattern: Full Time
  • Hours: 37
  • Salary: £59,776 - £65,639
  • DBS Check: No
  • Location: BN1 1JE

Job introduction

This is a senior business partner and finance leadership role working in Brighton & Hove City Council primarily providing support to the Economy, Environment & Culture and Housing, Neighbourhoods & Communities service directorates.

Work Locations: Bartholomew House, Brighton (Main base) and Hove Town Hall, Hove.

Given the current Covid-19 situation, special arrangements will be made with respect to interviews ensuring a safe interview process and equality of access for all participants.

Interview dates are to be confirmed.

About the role

Brighton & Hove City Council is seeking a full time Head of Service Finance to lead a Service Finance team providing a full range of financial business partner support and advisory services including strategic financial planning and budget setting, financial management reporting and monitoring, and accounting and technical financial support to the following directorates in the council and the South Downs National Park Authority:

  • Economy, Environment & Culture (EEC) directorate
  • Housing, Neighbourhoods & Communities (HNC) directorate

We are seeking a self-motivated, articulate and competent individual with experience of leading a mixed team of financial professionals and technicians in a public sector service or similar corporation.

The successful candidate will be highly organised, have excellent written and oral communication skills, including good presentation and report-writing skills, with an ability to operate at a strategic financial planning level, build relationships with senior customer & client representatives, and, importantly, lead and develop a high performing team to provide excellent customer service. You will need to have extensive knowledge and experience of financial management, financial planning and financial appraisal.

In this role you will be primarily supporting directorates that cover high priority areas for the council including housing, homelessness, sustainability and transport, including innovative carbon reduction programmes, as well as supporting essential council services such as refuse & recycling, cultural services, planning and estate management. This covers annual revenue budgets of over £200million and capital investment and regeneration budgets of over £100million. The EEC directorate is the lead directorate for carbon reduction and sustainability initiatives, aiming to work with city partners to promote change across the city. The role also includes provide support under contract to the South Downs National Park Authority which is a planning authority and provides an opportunity to work with a unique authority in the region focused on managing and promoting the South Downs and its environs.

Working in Finance in Brighton & Hove brings with it a range of benefits that people in our team enjoy, including working within;

  • the City of Brighton & Hove which is an attractive, vibrant place to live and work;
  • a flexible workplace where we accommodate a wide range of working patterns and are keen to help staff maintain a good work-life balance. 
  • a friendly service with a wide age range and one where we are aiming of a gender-balanced and  diverse service reflecting the city we serve;
  • a progressive council with ambitious transformation plans and  a unique political balance;
  • a service that supports and develops its staff. Many of our current managers came through apprenticeships or entry level positions. The council provides a wide range of training and development opportunities for staff at all levels.

This role is in the Brighton & Hove Service Finance team supporting the Economy, Environment & Culture (EEC) and Housing, Neighbourhoods & Communities (HNC) service directorates, as well as providing services under contract to the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA). Overall, the council has a gross budget of nearly £800 million while the directorates have combined gross budgets of over £214 million. SDNPA has a gross budget of approximately £13m.

We are recruiting for a Head of Service Finance to join our local Finance Management Team and lead the service finance team that provides services to these directorates and the National Park. The team provides direct, localised support to our customers in Brighton & Hove which not only includes the service directorates but external contracted clients. We are focused on being an effective Strategic Business Partner to our customers and clients which means providing them with experienced and knowledgeable Finance Business Partners to advise them on a wide range of financial matters including financial management, budget planning, business case development and appraisal, capital investment programme development and so on. The Head of Service Finance is effectively the Lead Finance Business Partner for the relevant customer directorates and external clients. 

The role requires you to use your financial skills and substantial experience to lead on providing strategic financial support to these customers and clients including advising Service Directors, their senior management teams, members (councillors), service divisional heads and budget holders. The directorates cover a wide range of services and have extensive transformation programmes and multi-million pound capital investment programmes, particularly supporting housing, homelessness, city regeneration, sustainable transport and carbon reduction initiatives. These directorates also generate very large incomes for the council through services such as parking, planning, event venues as well as commercial incomes and rents, and these are an important area of financial management support.

This is an exciting opportunity to enhance your professional finance career in an experienced team that has built a good customer service reputation working across a wide and varied portfolio.

We are looking for people who have:

  • Experience of being part of a management team, and managing and motivating staff;
  • Experience of providing expert strategic financial business partner support and advice to customer and client departments;
  • Experience in building strong relationships at all levels;
  • Well-developed communication and presentation skills, both written and oral;
  • A proven track record of improving services to deliver high-quality public services.

Previous experience in public sector finance or similar corporations is desirable and you will need to have experience at a senior finance level. The successful candidate will be expected to be aware of the implications of working within a public sector environment and how this affects financial management and planning arrangements.

COVID-19 update: The role is traditionally based at Bartholomew’s House offices in Brighton. Please note that Brighton & Hove City Council is currently following the government’s advice on enabling staff to work from home if it is safe and practical to do so. Therefore, this role is highly likely to be required to work remotely to begin with until the council makes any changes to these working arrangements.

If you have any questions regarding this position, please email nigel.manvell@Brighton-Hove.gov.uk 

Please apply via Head of Finance


Additional information

Your starting salary will be pro rata if the above position is less than 37 hours or term-time only.

Work Permits: We may be able to obtain a Work Permit for this post but this is subject to meeting the requirements of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) Points-based Immigration System. Please see Gov.uk for more information on the Skilled Worker Visa.


Company information

Please see the Orbis Partnership webpage for further details on Orbis.

Please note this role requires a Standard DBS Check.

We welcome applications from all sections of the community but particularly encourage applicants from a BME or White Other background as well as those who identify as, LGB, male or trans as these groups are currently under-represented in our Directorate workforce.


  • Employer: Brighton & Hove City Council
  • Reference: orbis/TP/25267/11676
  • Published: Mon 26/04/2021, 0:00 AM
  • Closing on: Sun 16/05/2021, 0:00 AM
  • Working Pattern: Full Time
  • Hours: 37
  • Salary: £59,776 - £65,639
  • DBS Check: No
  • Location: BN1 1JE