East of England LGA Seeks New Managing Director

The chance to help shape the future of an entire region of more than six million people doesn't come around too often.

East of England LGA Seeks New Managing Director

The chance to help shape the future of an entire region of more than six million people doesn’t come around too often. East of England Local Government Association (EELGA) has built a reputation as a vital partner for the region’s 50 local authorities by providing innovative solutions, helping councils to collaborate and enabling the region to speak with a unified voice.

EELGA is now searching for a new Managing Director following the retirement of current MD Cecilia Tredget who is due to step down at the end of March 2020.

Whoever takes the role will be tasked with both meeting the needs of senior local authority figures while also encouraging debate and fostering consensus at a regional level around crucial issues such as economic growth and infrastructure.

‘It’s an exciting and challenging job that requires something of a balancing act’, says Cllr David Finch, Chair of EELGA and Leader of Essex County Council.

‘We need to be outward facing to the councils we serve and so this person will need to be capable of making those connections and empathising and understanding each council’s situation and offer advice that’s tailored to their needs.

The interpersonal skills are so important: collaborating, listening to people, understanding what’s going on in different areas. It’s that balance between managing the organisation, working with the councils to meet their needs and looking at the bigger picture.’

The ideal candidate will be a people person – someone who understands how to hold people’s confidence, is able to broker good outcomes between different parties and is able ‘to speak truth to power’. While candidates will need to have worked at a senior level in local government, they will also require a strong commercial background. Over the last two years a concerted focus on making the organisation financially sustainable has paid off and given EELGA a solid financial footing to build on. It is vital that the new MD continues that work and grows the income base, for example through EELGA’s paid-for consultancy services that are highly valued by councils across the region.

‘The profit or surplus that EELGA makes is vitally important to enable us to address the needs of its membership and provide services that are of value to the councils,’ Cllr Finch explains.

The East of England is seeing unprecedented levels of growth and with it pressures on housing and infrastructure. EELGA has been working with politicians in the South East to better understand the impact of the London Plan and enable counciIs to develop strategies for sustainable economic growth. ‘What’s incredibly important is that EELGA punches above its weight in terms of influence not only with the councils within our region but in dealing with issues around infrastructure and housing by liaising with the South East and combining forces to lobby government,’ says Cllr Finch. ‘Between us we represent a very large number of people and we want Government to recognise that it needs to work with us.’

What will success look like for the next MD? Cllr Finch sums it up as being about strong financial performance by the organisation and having a membership who aren’t just content with the services they receive but ‘are excited and enthusiastic’ about working with EELGA.

‘From guiding economic growth to councils sharing information around major areas of change, the MD can be ‘the architect of change in collaboration with the East of England leaders’, he says.

Cllr Finch adds ‘I would say this is a unique opportunity to support the place-shaping of the East of England. I think it’s an exciting role that offers significant influence in terms of helping to create the right plans for success.’

Please visit https://eelga-md.co.uk/ to find out more about this exciting opportunity or contact Steve Guest at Solace in Business for a confidential discussion on 020 7976 3311.