Financial Planning Lead
Reading Borough Council are entering a period of exciting change. Despite the challenges facing local authorities, Reading are focused on improving the quality of life for residents, including investing in new leisure facilities, reducing our carbon footprint, improving customer service and putting in place more self-enabling support within Social Care. The Council has also been successful in securing £19.1 million of Levelling-Up grant funding to revitalise Reading’s cultural offer by transforming the much-loved Hexagon Theatre and providing a modern new Central Library.
The Council has a gross revenue budget of £508.5 million (£164.4 million net) but is currently projecting an underlying budget deficit of £5.7m from 2025/26 onwards which arises primarily as a result of the anticipated implementation of the Business Rates Retention Scheme reset. The Financial Planning Lead will play a key role in helping the Council to understand and manage the financial implications of its ambitious agenda.
We seek the best talent from the widest pool of people as diversity and inclusion is the key to our success. Reading Borough Council is a Disability Confident Employer and is committed to the recruitment and continued employment of people with disabilities.
About the role
Key responsibilities of the Financial Planning Lead role include;
- Working with the Financial Planning & Strategy Manager and senior financial management to oversee the production and embedding of the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS).
- To co-ordinate the budget monitoring cycle and collate and quality assure the budget monitoring information into required dashboards and written reports as appropriate for presentation to the Corporate Management Team and Members.
- To take overall responsibility for existing and new financial models, including the Collection Fund, and reporting methods to present robust information that will inform the Council decision-making process.
- To seek opportunities to improve systems and processes of building and then managing the budgets through the use of the Council’s budget and reporting systems.
- To work collaboratively with senior managers, budget holders and financial business partners, for example, to improve financial & commercial awareness, and cyclical budgeting & planning processes.
- Lead the training arrangements for the Finance Service, ensuring CPD accreditation for AAT, CIPFA and other accounting qualifications where appropriate and ensuring that apprentices and trainee accountants are sponsored and mentored throughout their training.
You’ll be part of a team that relies on each individual to play their part to the best of their ability. As well as the colleagues that you work closely with every day, you’ll also be part of Team Reading, playing your personal part in making Reading a successful and vibrant place. Our vision is to ensure that Reading realises its potential as a great place to live, work and play, and that everyone shares the benefits of this success. Our values and behaviours guide how we will achieve this:
Work Together as one team - work collaboratively, with each other and with our partners, and demonstrate the Team Reading values in everything we do
Drive Efficiency - show initiative, be adaptable to change and put forward ideas to help improve delivery and efficiency. Take responsibility for our own learning and development and for reaching our potential
Be Ambitious - be demanding of our own performance – striving to be even better – and be prepared to engage with and challenge leaders in a constructive and positive way
Make a Difference to Reading - maintain the highest levels of customer service and be flexible and willing to provide the services needed at the time they are needed
To be suitable for this role you need to be a fully CCAB (or equivalent) qualified, customer-focused, finance professional with the ability to build relationships and influence senior stakeholders. You will have proven experience of facilitating and co-ordinating budget planning and monitoring cycles ideally within a Local Authority environment.
We offer a supportive environment to grow and develop your career with the opportunity to put your ideas across. Innovation and ambition is strongly encouraged, and you’ll get a great feel for that working in our friendly and collaborative environment.
We are open to flexible working patterns and can provide a hybrid working environment which utilises the best of both worlds with a mix of office working in central Reading and home-working according to the needs of the Service.
A competitive salary alongside a range of benefits including:
- Generous holiday entitlement - 24 days holiday each year plus bank holidays - rising to 32 days after 10 years' service, with the option to buy additional leave
- A wide range of flexible working opportunities
- Modern working environment at the Civic Offices in the heart of Reading
- Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
- Life Assurance - three times your annual salary (for members of the LGPS)
- On-site day nursery (Kennet Day nursery) rated outstanding by Ofsted, and a salary sacrifice scheme to help lower the cost of your nursery fees
- Season Ticket Loan - to help with the cost of your rail/ bus journey, to & from work
- Lease car salary sacrifice scheme allowing you to lease a brand new, greener car for three years. The monthly fee includes insurance, servicing and road tax
For more information on this position please contact Stuart Donnelly, Financial Planning & Strategy Manager (Deputy s151 Officer) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing Date: Sunday 9th April 2023
Interview Date: w/c 24th April 2023
Please note that the closing date is given as a guide. We reserve the right to close this vacancy once a sufficient number of applications has been received. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you complete and return your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.