Get to know Chris Hossack - Talent Bank Associate
The EELGA Talent Bank consists of experienced professionals covering numerous industries and specialisms. Here, Chris Hossack, who has 20 years’ experiencing as an elected member in local government, explains how he can support your authority.
Tell us about yourself and your specialism:
I have a broad career spanning over 30 years in the private sector in addition to 20 years served as an elected member in local government. I was leader of Brentwood Borough Council from 2019 – 2023, having previously held leadership roles in all the key portfolio areas including housing, planning, environmental services, economic development, finance and assets. I also served as the Chairman of the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) working on regional development and inter-authority partnership working.
I continue to run my own consultancy company, focussing on business improvement, process implementation, change management, project management, strategy, structure, communications, recruitment and training.
My specialism is around distilling complex issues into articulating clear ways forward, to either solve problems or seize opportunities. I understand the politics of local government and the importance of officers and members working together harmoniously, as a shared purpose team, to deliver for communities.
Tell us what you can provide potential clients as an associate on EELGA’s Talent Bank:
During my time as Leader of Brentwood BC, I led on the development and implementation of a new corporate strategy designed to tackle the issues facing our communities and organisation.
Under continued financial pressures we developed a robust commercial strategy which included local asset investment and commercialisation and sharing of services.
We successfully completed our Local Development Plan which included a new garden village, thereby setting a solid base for future residential and economic growth.
In 2022, Brentwood entered in a strategic partnership with another Essex authority, undergoing a significant transformation project in sharing of services, improving resilience and harmonisation on both authorities structurally and culturally.
My regional responsibilities with ASELA saw us secure significant investment into south Essex and enter a unique strategic partnership with Homes England to deliver housing growth under a strategic growth board.
As an LGA Peer, I worked with councils around England on the sector led improvement programme, participating in a number of corporate peer challenges. I also have leadership mentoring and coaching experience.
This broad experience gives me considerable insight that would be of assistance to other authorities facing similar challenges and contemplating innovative ways to secure opportunities and improve resilience.
Tell us about any significant challenges relating to your specialism and how you can overcome them:
Local Government understands well the difficulties it faces. The challenge is often, taking the time out to think through and develop solutions and then finding the resources to implement the necessary changes.
Change is never easy, our organisations are made up of people who love what they do. Therefore, it is imperative to be able to take everyone on journeys that involve a change in direction and approach to delivery. This can only be achieved through a clear narrative and inspiring message, so that people understand what the council is doing, why it has to do it and what it will achieve as a result.
Creating that space to think about solutions, get buy-in to the need for change and secure active participation in a well-planned programme, requires authentic leadership, underpinned with experience.
Tell us where you have come from and what has led you to be part of EELGA’s Talent Bank:
Having stood down from local government in 2023 after 20 years, coupled with my broad business experience. I wanted to be able to continue to contribute to the vital work of local government, which I love, by sharing my knowledge, using my experience and applying my skills.
EELGA Talent Bank gives me the opportunity to be able to continue to contribute positively to the sector, so that the communities we serve secure the optimum benefit from all the passionate hard work that goes in from officers and members alike.