Head of Stronger Communities
Thank you for your interest in the position of Head of Stronger Communities at Barnsley Council. Due to the planned retirement of the current post-holder, this rare opportunity has arisen to lead a high performing service area, in a high performing Council.
The ideal candidate will be an enthusiastic strategic thinker with a passion for communities and with the ability to turn ideas into reality, to take staff and partners with them to realise better outcomes for our communities.
In order to help you decide if you are the right person for the role, it’s helpful for me to share more information about the background to the service area.
In 2012 Local Government faced an impending crisis as the threat of austerity loomed. Many Councils made a decision to cut or reduce what capacity they invested into community development as this was seen as an easy way to make a saving without affecting statutory services. In Barnsley we bucked that trend and instead invested in an innovative new approach to working alongside our communities that we have subsequently sustained and grown.
Our Stronger Communities model consists of:
- 6 Area Councils – comprising Ward Councillors from the area with responsibility for commissioning £2.1m of services to meet identified priorities in each Area.
- 19 Ward Alliances – comprising the Ward Councillors working alongside key community representatives to address local priorities through the facilitation of social action and the promotion of localised volunteering to tackle local issues. A budget of £10k per Ward is available for groups to access for this purpose.
- These structures are underpinned by strong neighbourhood networks, asset based community development, and a proactive approach to volunteering.
The approach significantly contributes to one of our three corporate priorities which is to create Strong and Resilient Communities.
Our latest performance for 2018/19 within Stronger Communities:
- Number of people volunteering in local community activities: 10,569
- Equivalent cashable hours of volunteering: £1,032,760
- New volunteers: 1,764
- New community groups established: 51
- New community projects supported: 393
We also place a significant emphasis on being able to tell our story of impact and therefore produce a quarterly case study report highlighting examples of our work in communities. The latest report is included with the candidates pack.
In recognition of the success of this model, in 2017 we won the LGC Award for ‘Community Involvement’ for our work with Ward Alliances. More recently, our 2019 Corporate Peer Review feedback noted that our ‘approach to neighbourhood working is innovative and exemplary’.
As Head of Service you will be inheriting a high performing service with a strong track record. We are seeking an exceptional candidate who can continue this success and identify the opportunities for future developments.
This vacancy has arisen due to the current post-holder deciding to retire at the end of 2019. In order to ensure an effective transition, a period of overlap is planned so that an appropriate hand-over can be assured.
The timeline for recruitment to this position therefore is:
Closing date is 26th July
Shortlisting week commencing 29th July
Interviews to be held mid August
Assumption of 3 month notice period
October New Head of Service commences
December Former Head of Service retires
I trust this information will assist you in deciding whether you wish to apply, but if there are further questions you may have regarding the role please contact Gill Holland email@example.com to arrange an informal discussion with myself.
Thanks once again for your interest,
Service Director, Safer, Stronger, Healthier Communities
Further information can be accessed here: